No-dog apartments in Shanxi spark debate on the Chinese internet

Society & Culture

A real estate developer in Yuncheng, Shanxi Province, has implemented a strict no-dog policy in some of its buildings, which ignited online conversations about how to balance the interests of dog owners and haters in China.

The Paper reports (in Chinese) that the DingXin property investment company first introduced the no-dog rule in a new property in July 2017 after receiving a number of dog waste complaints from tenants in buildings in other locations. In order to avoid future conflicts between tenants and the management office, when the new apartments were on sale, Dingxin explicitly stated in property contracts that no dogs are allowed in the residential estate.

When talking to reporters from The Paper, Dingxin said that banning dogs in its properties was also a decision based on safety concerns. “We’ve seen so much news about unruly dogs attacking people and some tenants suggested a no-dog policy. We talked to the company’s leaders and they agreed,” said a manager at Dingxin.

According to Dingxin, there were some tenants who violated the rule after moving in, but all of them decided to give up their pets after persuasion from neighbors and the company. When it comes to tenants who have disabilities and seek waivers for their service dogs, Dingxin said that they hadn’t encountered such cases. When asked how they would deal with a blind tenant who needs to live with a service dog, the manager said, “We’ll advise this person to look for other properties that allow dogs.” The manager added that the company was open to suggestions and criticism, as it planned to make changes to its policies in the future.

Dogs are polarizing creatures in China. In recent years, divisive opinions and sentiments about dogs and dog ownership have resulted in a series of deadly disputes and killing sprees of canines led by local government and dog haters.