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One of the joys of taking my dog for a walk here in Japan is the wealth of opportunities for small talk with my fellow dog walkers. However, I find I'm lacking on puppy vocabulary....

この子は神経質【しんけいしつ】なんです。まだ日本に慣【な】れていません。 My boy is very skittish around new people and I have been using this as my explanation for why he doesn't want pets. It's it sensical?

Also,seeing how most dogs in Japan are from pet shops, how would I explain that he is a rescue dog? I've seen 里親【さとおや】used online to reference a person who adopts a dog, but how do I reference the dog?

Thanks! 🐶

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  • As the talks between us dog owners are often pretty colloquial, I would certainly vote for the 捨て犬 or この犬はもともとすてられた。But, I personally do not often point out the fact [that my 2 dogs are rescue dogs] to the people here, since many people who get their dogs from a pet shop, love them just as much and treat them just as well and at least many of us with rescue dogs, and I think that there is a risk that people think you are bragging about yourself if [at least without being asked] stressing yours are rescue dogs. Although I would like to stop "puppies for sale" being kept in pet shops in Japan!
    – Tuomo
    Dec 27 '19 at 13:58
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この子は神経質なんです。 ... My boy is very skittish around new people and I have been using this as my explanation for why he doesn't want pets.

makes sense to me, but I'd say more like:

「すみません、この子、[人見知]{ひとみし}りなもので・・・ (^^;)」


まだ日本に慣れていません。

Do you mean your dog is not accustomed to Japanese people? 外国で生まれ育って、日本に来てからあまり時間が経っていないから、日本人に慣れていない、ということですか?


Also, seeing how most dogs in Japan are from pet shops, how would I explain that he is a rescue dog? I've seen 里親 used online to reference a person who adopts a dog, but how do I reference the dog?

I think "rescue(d) dog" is called [保護犬]{ほごけん}. (If it's not understood I think you could add that it was a [捨]{す}て[犬]{いぬ}, "abandoned dog".) So how about...

「この子は保護犬(or 捨て犬)だったんです。それで、里親として [引]{ひ}き[取]{と}ったんですよ or [譲]{ゆず}り[受]{う}けたんですよ。」
「保護犬(or 捨て犬)だったのを、引き取ったんですよ。」
「保護犬だったんですが、里親になったんですよ。」

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