Adorable “panda dogs” have become the latest ‘must have’ trand in China, with pet shops selling out them quickly.
Hsin Ch’en, owner of an animal store in Chengdu city in southwest China’s Sichuan province, revealed to reporters that he was struggling to meet demand.
“Ten years ago the natural instinct of a Chinese person was to eat a dog,” he said. “Now we are like westerners and want one as a companion. The cute breeds like French bulldogs and Labradors were the favourites, but now it is the panda dog.”
Hsin also admitted that he used a bit of trickery to make the chow dogs appear like pandas.
He added: “With a bit of careful grooming and colouring it is easy to turn a chow into a panda dog in about two hours. Then the look will stay with the dog for around six weeks and the owners bring them back for some touching up.”
“Then the look will stay with the dog for around six weeks and the owners bring them back for some touching up.
“There are no chemicals or cruelty involved. But the price of the dog does rise significantly because of the amount of grooming that goes into it.
“People don’t mind paying the extra though – they like the fact that heads turn in the street and they can tell their friends: ‘I have a panda dog’.”
However, Hsin Ch’en is being disingenuous. The panda dog is not a separate breed of pooch at all, but rather a chow which has undergone a lot of cosmetic tomfoolery to make it resemble a panda.
He went on: “I perfected the technique here and now it is spreading across the country. With a bit of careful grooming and coloring, it is easy to turn a chow into a panda dog in about two hours. Then the look will stay with the dog for around six weeks and the owners bring them back for some touching up.
“There are no chemicals or cruelty involved. But the price of the dog does rise significantly because of the amount of grooming that goes into it.”
By the way, there’s one more adorable creature that truly believes that he’s a dog.
Whenever someone with pets fosters another fluffy friend, the owner might face difficulties with the newcomer, who might not fit right into the new family. However, it is not the case of Matilda the foster kitten, as she instantly became obsessed with the dogs at her foster home.
Lisa Revella Morabito, director of operations at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter’s (BARCS), took the little fluffy ball of cuteness two weeks ago to incorporate the kitten into the household, “to get her fattened up and socialize her.”
And to Lisa’s surprise everything went extremely well, as Matilda fitted in perfectly with new doggie friends. Morabito said that Matilda “tries to nurse off of Spike, which is funny since he’s our only male dog.”
“Her cuddling with all of the animals is adorable. Matilda usually runs around in the morning and plays with Fiona because the dogs sleep in as late as we’ll let them,” said Morabito.
“Once the afternoon hits and the dogs have been fed and walked, they retreat for more napping and Matilda joins them then for cuddling.”
“She runs the show in the house. The dogs all let her boss them around and the cats love her,” says Morabito. “We’ve had her six years.”