|Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 5:37am PST |
|Tiller- appreciate the history on the cockapoo. Do you think that opened up the door for this designer trend though? I understand the behavioral issues cockers had....but did the creation of the cockapoo make people very amenable to the idea that a cross breed would be a better pet, fertilizing the ground for the designer dog trend?
That idea is now very firmly entrenched in America's psyche....and then add to it the problems some purebreds have had because of bad breeding practices, and the loss of confidence many people had in the benefits of a purebred....and this created a market niche for the "designer dog". It isn't that people woke up one day and decided "I want a chiweenie"..... but the average person looking for a dog could be swayed very easily by false claims and marketing strategies, because of the history. We are very susceptible to hype- after all, this is a country where people line up at midnight in the bitter cold on Black Friday to save fifty bucks on the latest and greatest gadget!
Charlie- I'm not sure you got the point of my post and apologize if the message was not clear. I don't endorse the designer dog trend, and education is key...but I do think it is important to understand how it came to be....which is what I'm struggling to do here. With understanding, we might get an answer to the problem. Yes, education is a piece of it, and an important one, but it is a complex issue.
We all know the end result of this trend is more dogs in the shelters. All my dogs are little fluffy mixes who ARE products of this designer dog trend. Both Misty and Lily very likely were pet store impulse purchases, probably bought for a thousand bucks or more by their original owner. Fast forward less than a year, and they're on a euthanasia list at a high kill shelter. Working in rescue, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, as many of the fosters I have had also fall into this category. We like to throw things away in this country, and need to change that attitude toward our pets. Understanding the roots of it may prevent it from re- occurring. or re- occurring in a different way.
There is something so firmly embedded in the way we look at animals here that allows this type of thing to proliferate. This is a bit off topic, but I think looking at countries that don't have problems with homeless animals might be a good first step, like Germany, Sweden, Switzerland. What do they do differently? Also looking at areas of the US that have better control of this- what were the factors that made it change? I live in the northeast, and the homeless dog problem has greatly improved in the last several decades. Didn't used to be that way... growing up in the 60's- stray dogs used to be common, and there were all sorts of free puppies to be had. Is there more education here, or is it something else? I don't know that answer.
But even the search for this truth backfires in our press. Cesar Milan came back from Germany reporting that they have mandatory sterilization...which is totally not true. He must have misunderstood. He did do a nice report on other things Germany does right. They have virtually no stray dogs, it is against the law to euthanize a healthy dog in a shelter, people pay good money to license their dogs and there is a tax to own a dog, they rescue dogs from other countries... but there is not mandatory sterilization...unless something has changed very recently that I am not aware of. I think dogs that are adopted from shelters have to be sterilized- which is probably where he got confused. Germany actually has a very relaxed attitude toward sterilizing pets...but not the problems with homeless dogs.
So-what's up with that???? Touting mandatory spaying and neutering as the answer does not address the real problem, but speaks to our desire for a "quick fix". We have to be careful of that. Many European countries do have BSL- so things aren't perfect over there either....and I am deviating too much from the topic. But my point is- fix the underlying attitudes and many of the issues we have will go away. How to do that is the question...and probably a topic for another post!
Edited by author Thu Oct 25, '12 5:55am PST
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