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Shiba, dwarf spitz, pomsky… Small dogs are the new best friends of millennials

Sitting at the feet of his mistress, Bibou gets impatient during the interview in a café on rue de Bretagne, a mecca for creative gastronomy and fashion boutiques. She pulls on her leash to approach the chicken and fries served at the next table, not without hindering the comings and goings of the waitress, annoyed but understanding. Pointed ears and tail curled into a corkscrew, Bibou is a 2-year-old shiba inu, a dog from Japan that looks like a small domestic fox, related to so-called “primitive” breeds – due to a reputedly more pronounced animal instinct. . By a curious irony of urban modernity, these animals prized for their appearance which summons an imaginary of wild life have melted, in a few years, in the young and trendy districts of the big cities.

Coming out of the first confinement, Marie Deligny, 37, financial director in an insurance company, took her day to travel Paris-Toulouse by train, rent a car at the station, and drive to the breeder, near ‘Albi (Tarn), who gave him a still-baby Bibou in exchange for 1,800 euros, including a 200-euro deposit to reserve the animal two months in advance. “It’s a little cheaper than the price now in effect, because Bibou is all white, a color quite far from the standard of the breed. As we get closer to Paris, and if they have the right color (“sesame” or “black and tan”), the puppies will rather cost between 2,000 and 2,500 euros. »

“We have gone from a rural France, in which dogs were utilitarian auxiliaries, to a more urban France, where they are full members of the family” Alexandre Balzer, president of the Société centrale canine

Like Bibou and its 7.4 kilos, the small canine population (less than 10 kilos) represents 41% of the French workforce, according to figures recently published by the Société centrale canine, the organization that updates the Book of origins. French (LOF), the genealogical register of pedigree dog births, and as such acts as a true canine Insee. Alexandre Balzer, its new president, who works as a veterinarian in Vichy, confirms the trend towards urbanization and miniaturization of the canine population: “In the annual ranking of the favorite breeds of the French, there are very small dogs, such as the cavalier king charles, the staffie, the French bulldog, the chihuahua or the shih tzu, which are essentially urban animals. We have gone from a rural France, in which dogs were utilitarian auxiliaries of man, like hunting dogs and guard dogs, to a much more urban France, with completely different dogs, which have become companions and, indeed, full members of the family. » As a sign of this shift in the canine world’s center of gravity, the kibble manufacturer Royal Canin inaugurated Le Lab in January 2022, a concept store located rue de Turenne, in the Haut-Marais, in the heart of the territory of Bibou and its boyfriends.

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