– The latest canine craze to come out of China involves pet shops grooming Chow Chow puppies to make them resemble Pandas, then selling the dogs for a large profit. To the Daily Dog, all this proves is that once a nation starts to accumulate wealth (as China is now doing), the people have a tendency to be just as frivolous and unwise in their spending habits as any other.
It seems that the welfare of the pups in question is not even on the radar, as pet shops across China rush to cash in on this latest silly trend. With the boom of the “middle class” in China, a resultant loosening of restrictions on dog ownership has also come about. Previously, ownership of dogs was limited to those with Communist Party connections or the money to pay officials bribes in order for them to look the other way. With tens of millions of Chinese now moving into the middle class income category, dog ownership has taken off, meaning any canine related fad or craze gets followed by millions of enthusiasts.
One upside of the twin rising trends of affluence among Chinese and ownership rates of dogs is that the Chinese are now eating less dog meat than in years gone by. However whilst that is an obvious blessing, one wonders just how many Chow Chow puppies are now being sold to unsuitable homes that are loving the dogs for their looks rather than their taste.
After the pups are sold, of course their coats need ongoing maintenance in order to perpetuate the “Panda look”. Groomers report they spend an average of two hours every six weeks clipping a pup’s hair and re-dying it in order to maintain the styling demanded by its owner. For wealthy people this isn’t an impost, but of course what about the exercise and socialisation requirements of their dog? Many owners now employ dog walkers to take care of the exercise side of things, but nothing can replace a loving family environment in the life of the social animal a dog most definitely is.
Previously we have reported on other expensive and strange canine-related trends occurring in China, such as the multi-million dollar prices being pad for Tibetan Mastiffs. The pups4sale team can only wonder what will be the next trend to emerge, but we do hope there will arise trainers and educators who can impress upon the Chinese people that every dog has the right to a loving, long-term home.