AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Soi Dogs

Since our arrival in Thailand we have noticed that there are numerous dogs and cats living on the side of the road. The cats generally have an owner. The dogs are usually strays. All over Asia dogs can be seen lying down in the street but it is much more prevalent in Thailand. In Ayutthaya, I counted 30 dogs lying on the road in a 500m stretch.





These dogs come in all sorts of conditions. Some have their fur falling off, some have horrid growths’ others appear to be looked after. Most females have just given birth. In regards to safety, the majority of the street dogs show little interest in you as you walk past them. Often they blend into the landscape, lying under cars or in the scrub at the side of the road. Others are more curious and one attempted to lick me, another decided to jump off the pavement as we went past on the scooter. These dogs survive on scraps thrown on the floor or because people feed them. The male dogs tend to go round together at night searching the bins. We have read that it is a good idea to be with someone else if you are walking in the streets at night. Despite most dogs being lethargic they are probably disease ridden so it is best to avoid them. The street dogs seem friendlier than the dogs who have owners. Many a time a little yappy dog has jumped out of the shadows and made me jump. Today, I was pushed into a corner by a barking rottweiler and a horrible yappy dog. I know their bark may be worse than their bite but it’s still unpleasant to have dogs following you and barking very loudly. Street dogs are much quieter… unless they are fighting each other then it’s best to get away rather swiftly.


The Thai government previously proposed destroying the dogs but was faced with a backlash from the public – Street Dogs. This means there are hundreds of dogs roaming the streets. Many of them are in a poor condition and they do get hurt or killed because they run into the road. They are also a hazard to road users because they wander into the road. One example at an intersection – a pack of dogs waited patiently to cross the road,appearing to only do when the lights turned red. At the other side a rather dopey looking dog almost caused multiple accidents.


The solution – the male dogs need to have the snip because they just keep breeding and after seeing lots of dogs with 3 legs or a broken leg limping down the street or dogs covered with growths etc then it’s probably time to stop them breeding. I don’t think enough Thai people would want to adopt a dog as Soi Dog wants. I suppose this problem doesn’t exist in Vietnam, Korea or China because they really really like dogs.


Note: Soi is a term for a particular type of street in Thailand.

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