What Brand is Your Dog?

Paperanian (Papillon X Pomeranian mix)

There is always some fad that is going around that everyone wants to be a part of or get involved in somehow. These fads can be anything from the clothes you wear to the things you eat. In the past few years, a new fad has come about, what dogs people get. Designer dogs have gotten extremely popular among the pet owning and pet breeding community. Designer dogs are dogs that are mixes between two well known breeds and given a new fancy name, such as yorkiepoo, chusky, and puggle. They are basically fancy mutts.

Sadly, people may be getting these designer dogs because they are just that, designer dogs. It’s in the name. It’s almost the same as getting a designer purse or designer shoes to some people. The public doesn’t always watch what matters, like global warming and the current political problems. They will pay more attention to which politician cheated on his wife or who was caught in an embarrassing situation. One thing most of the general public pays close attention to is celebrities. Celebrities can easily be considered tastemakers. The media always gives new information on the shining stars, but what the audiences take in from the information they get varies. Since even celebrities now own these mixes, the fad just expands. Jack Lule says,

” Historically, popular culture has been closely associated with mass media that introduce and encourage the adoption of certain trends. We can see these media as “tastemakers”—people or institutions that shape the way others think, eat, listen, drink, dress and more”.

Some people may decide to get a designer dog just because a celebrity has one. They may not consider the responsibility that having that dog would bring. Someone looking for a dog may think, ‘Oh, this so and so actor has a labradoodle; they must be a great dog. I’m going to get one of those.’ They may not look into the fact that labradoodles can be large and need plenty of exercise and space.  This tells you that the people, who get these dogs just to follow a trend, just want to fit in. They will even take such a responsibility in order to join or stay in the ‘In Crowd’.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal and his Puggle

While the public is spending hundreds of dollars on designer dogs, there are dogs available for adoption who remain homeless.  An Article by Amanda Onion says,

“The problem with designer dogs is people might think they’re trendy — and that’s not a good reason to buy a dog,” said Susan Smith, community relations manager for the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Columbus, Ohio. “And before they put down, say $1,200 for a labradoodle or puggle, they should look first in a shelter because they can probably find the same type of dog here.” Smith says her shelter often houses mixes such as puggles, labradoodles and other unique blends of dogs. They may not carry the designer dog label, but she says the mutts are just as cute as any pooch that has been featured lately in the media.”

What she says is completely true. There is no difference between a dog at the shelter and designer dogs except that designer dogs cost hundreds more. There is nothing wrong with designer dogs, but the fact that they are requested so much that shelter dogs are rotting in shelters is true. If the public just look at shelter dogs as well when looking for a dog, or do their research about a breed so the dog they buy doesn’t end up in a shelter, there can be a difference.

Adoptable dogs lined up in cages in a shelter

Overall, designer dogs are just a fad. People want them because other people and celebrities want them. I believe the fad will last for a while, but eventually they will be seen as just another version of a dog. Sadly, this may result in many of these designer dogs being sent to shelters because their fad following owner is on to the next thing. Because of this I hope the fad lasts for a long time; at least for the sake of the designer dogs.

A yorkiepoo puppy

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One thought on “What Brand is Your Dog?

  1. As a dog lover myself, this article touched my heart. I believe that animals should stay out of the “designer” world. Having a pet dog is like having another family member. There’s no such thing as “designer” babies (yet) and if there were, imagine the ethical uproar over that. Buying a dog over hype or social status is not responsible, especially with all the dogs in shelters. I think you’re post touches on a lot of the issues and is written very well. But I think another aspect of designer dogs is the possibility of health issues and abuse in the industry. I think you did a good job in tying your topic to pop culture as well. Good heartfelt post!

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