Post-Communist Canine: A Feminist Approach to Women and Dogs in Canine Performance Sports in Poland

in Society & Animals
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The article attempts to present the complexity of relationships between women, capitalism, democracy, and competitive dog training in post-communist Poland. The article documents the correlation between increased involvement of women in competitive canine sports in Poland after 1989, changes in the methods of dog training, and the transformation in politics from totalitarianism to democracy. The correlation suggests that in the early years of democracy in Poland women were more open to shaping their bonds with companion animals and to taking into account the ethical dimension of these relationships. Secondly, the article attempts to argue that the primary motivation for women who participate in dog sports is the desire to create a relationship in which the non-human other shares their desires, primarily the desire for interaction.

Society & Animals

Journal of Human-Animal Studies



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Through 2012, mushing (dog-sledding) was the only canine performance event officially recognized as a sport by the Ministry of Sport in Poland, which resulted in governmental funding (albeit very low) being provided for the association sanctioning mushing events. In 2013, after shifts in the classification of sports, mushing lost its status as an official sport. According to the argumentation provided by the Ministry of Sport, it is merely a hobby. This opens up the question of the ideological implications of the definition of sport, explored more broadly (though not in relation to sports involving animal partners) by contemporary theorists of sport.


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