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  • Posted May 15, 2014 by

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    Dogs Primped Like Pandas in Chinese Craze


    Pet shops in China are overflowing with ogling customers waiting to make panda-like dogs their pets.


    In a craze that’s spreading across the country, dogs are now being primped and primed to look like miniature versions of the nation’s iconic figure, the panda bear.


    Capital of Sichuan province, located in the southwest region of China, Chengdu is home to many pet shop owners who say they can’t keep up with the demand. Hsin Ch’en, one owner, says he is flooded with requests by potential buyers.


    He says, “ten years ago the natural instinct of a Chinese person was to eat a dog. Now we are like Westerners and want one as a companion. The cute breeds like French Bulldogs and Labradors were the favorites, but now it is the panda dog.”


    Anyone who knows dogs also knows that “panda dog” is not a legitimate breed. What it really is a chow that has gone under cosmetic metamorphosis to look like a panda.


    Claiming to be the original creator of these new creatures, he adds, “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. 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.’”


    Things are changing in the Eastern world, and as more disposable income becomes available and entrepreneurial spirit abounds, who knows what else may pop up in households as trends catch on.


    Ch’en has not shared how from where he got his inspiration, but his story comes months after reports were published on puppies that started off as grey and sported black and white markings making them look very much like pandas as they grew.

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