As an owner of two Chihuahuas, a Husky, a Beagle, and a Chow-Chow Lab mix, dogs have always been animals that are important to me. However, it was not until I got to Prague that my obsession with dogs reached its peak as I realized I’d stop anywhere during any conversation just to admire the dog that I stumbled across.
This, of course, happened quite often due to Prague’s carefree attitude when it came to dogs. From parks to stores, to restaurants, Prague is a very dog-friendly city that allowed man’s best friend to roam free.
Because of this, my roommates and I, being the dog lovers that we are, were constantly stopping at every corner and admiring the beautiful doggies that we would come across. It was this constant habit of ours that introduced us to the world of Dogspotting when a friend of ours added us to the Facebook group.
So what exactly is Dogspotting?
Dogspotting, as described in the official Facebook group, is the “sport and lifestyle of spotting random dogs” and posting about it on Social Media. The sport originally started back in 2008 but did not gain momentum until 2014, when an influx of dog lovers joining the sport. Nowadays the sport has had an increase in social media presence with sites like Dogspotting on Facebook having over half a million views.
The rules of the game are simple, you spot a dog, you take a picture of the dog, and you post it online. The dogs cannot be yours nor can they be familiar to you. Of course, there is more to the rules, but that is the gist of the game.
However, this sport is not limited to just the Facebook groups but extends to other media handles such as Twitter where pages like WeRateDogs have a very prominent following of 2 million. People also post about the dogs they see on personal accounts such as their Instagram and Snapchats, promoting the sport of Dogspotting to others.
Despite the large gathering that Dogspotting has created, the sport did not truly take off until the year 2014, despite having been established as early as 2008.
According to NPR ‘s article of Doggolingo, “Some dogs are doggos, some are puppers, and others may even be pupperinos. There are corgos and clouds, fluffers and floofs, woofers and boofers. When they stick out their tongues, they’re doing a mlem, a blep, a blop. They bork. They boof. Once in a while they do each other a frighten. And whether they’re 10/10 or 12/10, they’re all h*ckin’ good boys and girls.”
DoggoLingo, or doggo-speak as some may call it, “seems to be quite lexical, there are a lot of distinctive words that are used,” says Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch. She further explains that this form of talk may have developed from the cute-talk owners use on their own their own dogs; “It’s cutesier than others, too. Doggo, woofer, pupper, pupperino, fluffer — those have all got an extra suffix on the end to make them cuter.”
These dogs have gathered a massive following online, with Popeye the Foodie having over 254 thousand followers on Instagram, and Boo the Pomeranian having 17 million likes on Facebook.
From Dogspotting to Doggolingo to Dogstagram it appears that the love of dogs has fostered a sense of community within the realm of social media. Despite the rough times currently going on in the world, it’s nice to know that the wholesomeness of dogs is able to bring people together. It is in these communities that people from all walks of life, are able to put away their differences and come together to bond over a common theme –– dogs.