A discussion about breeding (HLD 431)

11 May 2022

I was pondering the other day, as my dog was curled up in her bed on the dining table which she accesses by jumping from the couch to a chair and up to the table, whether she is more cat than dog.

This then proceeded to wondering whether I should tell the vet, next time I’m there making a contribution to his first class overseas holiday, whether she should be listed on their system as a CAG or a DOT.

But then, as I saw her once again climbing a tree down at the park, and recalled both her burying – under a pillow – a bit of food she’d managed to steal from one of my grandsons, and also acknowledging that she regularly brings home the third treat of the day that she’d managed to scam from the coffee shop owners…. I realised that the breed of dog I own is actually a Maltese ShihTzu Squirrel Cat Pig. I’m not sure what the trendy abbreviation for this sort of dog would be, but if it hasn’t already been designated, I need someone to come up with something.

The other day down at the park we met an enormous black dog. Against the black standard poodles who my dog socialises with, this dog looked like Hagrid against a young Harry Potter. The owner informed us that the breed was a Black Russian Terrier, which had some of us immediately googling to find out more information. We do have one extremely knowledgable-on-all-subjects dog owner down the park, who not unexpectedly knew everything that could be known about this particular breed. We decided to give Google a shot anyway.

To save you the research, I can tell you that the BRT (as our knowledgable gentleman instantly identified) was created by the USSR in the late 1940’s for use as military/working dogs. Our KGB (knowledgable gentleman bloke) told us that the breed was a mix of a giant schnauzer and rottweiler, but Mr Google says that as many as seventeen breeds were used in its development, not just the two the KGB identified. Possibly this particular KGB knows more than Mr Google – it wouldn’t surprise me. Either way, I found it hard to visualise this amiable and friendly giant black woolly mammoth as a fighting beast.

We see a lot of different types of dogs down at the off-lead dog park, but this was a new one for most of us. We seem to see a lot of breeds where something was mixed with a poodle, which always leads to the question of ‘what size poodle?” – standard, toy, teacup etc. In the poodle world, size matters. Mixing a poodle with a great dane could possibly produce an interesting dog, but if you’re mixing a teacup size poodle with a great dane it could lead to some logistics issues, and possibly some nasty injuries, I’d think.

Poodle mixing seems to be popular purely so that people can add a bit of POO into the breed name. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Surely someone somewhere has thought of breeding a Shihtzu with a Poodle. If not, why not? Doesn’t matter whether you put the poo or the shiht first, it’s a great name regardless.

I like the idea of merging the good bits from some dog breeds with good bits of others, to supposedly get the best of both worlds. Growing up, I really don’t think I ever met a ‘pure breed’ dog. I saw quite a few farm dogs, generally called sheep dogs, but parentage was always a bit suspect. What happens on the farm, stays on the farm.

Nowadays it seems like every and any combination of ‘pure breed’ dog can become a known breed (and charged for accordingly, of course).

Rumour says that mixed breeds (known fondly as bitsa’s – bits of this, bits of that) are much nicer dogs.

Unfortunately I sterilised my dog when she was quite young, otherwise I could be setting the puppy world ablaze selling multishitsqucigs.

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