April 2, 2013

This is our regular column called Ask a Brazilian”, the idea being that you can quite literally ask a question of a Brazilian – for those issues you aren’t sure about but perhaps dare not ask someone else. It is meant as a bit of fun and answers should not be construed as expert opinion or the definitive reply on the matter. For that reason we ask you to please send your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

My question is about Brazilians and their dogs. I have lived in São Paulo and Santos for four years and I have never seen such angry, loud, neurotic, barking dogs in my life. They bark all day in the apartment or house and since they live in such close quarters and eveyone keeps their windows open, hot or cold, you hear dogs barking from several blocks away. The very few times I have seen a Brazilian attempt to quiet their dog, they yank at the leash and yell at the dog to stop barking… that is a clear message to the dog saying, “if you can bark (talk loud), I can bark”. I see the people sitting around talking on the street or in the park and the dog just keeps barking like an annoying child and the owner says nothing. Brazilians may be very humane when it comes to their love of dogs and adopting the homeless, however, they do not know how to discipline them… same as their lack of disciplinary skills for children.

— Robert

Hi Robert,

Well, I live in a place where there are plenty, plenty of dogs. But I do not have the same problem of the barking dogs, maybe because my building is old, and better constructed, so I do not hear them, or maybe because luckily there are no dogs at my floor. Instead my complaint is that the owners do not pick up their poops with the readily available bags sitting by them at the yard, but that is another story.

In regards to the barking, you are correct, brazillians talk to their pets, and since they do not care much about the barking bothering others, they just talk louder to their pets. It is really another cultural fact, just like raising the children, brazillians raise their kids and dogs differently.

Kind regards,


Our Brazilian-You-Can-Ask is Teresa Cristina Asfour, a graduate in Computer Science and Post-Graduate in Project Management. She lived for 12 years in the USA working for a multinational IT company, and now lives in Brasilia – DF, working for the federal government. She can be reached by email at tecris@hotmail.com.

Are there any burning questions you have about Brazil, or other issues that you’re curious about, such as Brazilian culture? If so, send your questions to gringoes@www.gringoes.com

Previous articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Visas and Toilets
Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
Ask a Brazilian: What Do the Police Do?
Ask a Brazilian: Contractor Frustrations
Ask a Brazilian: English Books and Brazilian Boys
Ask a Brazilian: Cold Cahaca
Ask a Brazilian: Interruptions
Ask a Brazilian: Travel and Security Concerns
Ask a Brazilian: Gestures and Toys
Ask a Brazilian: Hispanics or Latinos, and Duvets
Ask a Brazilian: Overbearing Sogros
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Bank Transfers
Ask a Brazilian: Swimming, Showers and New Year’s
Ask a Brazilian: Making Friends
Ask a Brazilian: Female Etiquette
Ask a Brazilian: Washing Machines
Ask a Brazilian: Picking Teeth
Ask a Brazilian: Lozenge or Candy?
Ask a Brazilian: Liberal or Jealous?
Ask a Brazilian: Truck Wheels
Ask a Brazilian: Tolerance
Ask a Brazilian: Screens
Ask a Brazilian: Brazilian Wax
Ask a Brazilian: Flashing Lights
Ask a Brazilian: Lemon and Limes
Ask a Brazilian: Shocking Showers

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