Stray Dogs and the Making of Modern Paris

Past and present
Pearson, C.
Past and present
Publication date

This article traces the policing of stray dogs in Paris from the French Revolution to the outbreak of the First World War. It argues that long-standing rabies anxieties dovetailed with the emergence of the public hygiene movement, fears of rapid urbanization, vagrancy and crime, modernization projects, and the veneration of the pedigree pet dog to cast the stray dog as an unwelcome presence on the city’s streets. Parisian public hygienists and authorities turned strays into a problem that they would solve to make the city safe, clean and modern. Combating strays became a matter of social defence and medical police.


Pearson, C., (2017) “Stray Dogs and the Making of Modern Paris.” Past and Present 234: 137-172