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.
Reading North American Dog Training Literature, 1850s-2000s
In Genealogy of Obedience Justyna Włodarczyk provides a long overdue look at the history of companion dog training methods in North America since the mid-nineteenth century, when the market of popular training handbooks emerged. Włodarczyk argues that changes in the functions and goals of dog training are entangled in bigger cultural discourses; with a particular focus on how animal training has served as a field for playing out anxieties related to race, class and gender in North America. By applying a Foucauldian genealogical perspective, the book shows how changes in training methods correlate with shifts in dominant regimes of power. It traces the rise and fall of obedience as a category for conceptualizing relationships with dogs.