From Designer Clothes to Designer Dogs... Are We Gullible or What?

From Designer Clothes to Designer Dogs... Are We Gullible or What?


We may as well face it.... the western world has become to a large extent more and more embroiled in the celebrity culture. From the cars we drive, to the way we dress to the pets we own, we have become a people largely involved with status and symbolism. We are increasingly it would seem, incapable of being without something to show off as it were. But why is this and does it really matter?In the first instance we should understand that humans are basically social animals. We like to belong to groups – furthermore we like those groups to reflect who we are, what we think and in some cases, what we believe. It is not merely an old wives tale that states ‘birds of a feather flock together’. By being in similar company we feel safe and we feel comfortable – we are in short assuring ourselves that we are okay, that we are, as normal as the next person. In days gone by when people lived in much smaller communities, people were much more easily able to identify themselves and to be identified.Indeed in days gone by they used to say, clothes maketh the man...**But what has all this got to do with dogs you may ask?**Well time marches on. Things change. While our basic needs stay the same some of the ways in which we express them have changed. And today, we could easily exchange the word clothes for dog. Designer Dog.**What exactly is a designer dog?**To be completely fair it should be said that the ‘designer dog’ has been around longer than one might think – Victorian ladies were very keen on what were commonly known at the time as lap dogs - small breeds, suitable for ladies to sport in public much like they might a new hand muff or for them to play with and pet when at home in the parlour. All the same the philosophy was the same – as one newspaper stated at the time – A lady is nothing without her dog!Likewise, today we have handbag dogs, and more recently still Teacup Dogs.Like those Victorian women we are sending out messages. They are fashionable items that help tell who and what we are. Whether we do this consciously or not is a matter for the individual to answer.But as we all know fashionable items are prone to change frequently with the times and if we are to keep abreast of those fashions....And that, sadly, is only one part of where we go wrong when it comes to using a live animal as a statement.Some facts then about designer dogs:

  • Designer dogs cover all kinds of breed not just the teeny weeny breeds.
  • In the 1990’s in Australia the Labradoodle was specifically bred for people who were allergic to canines.
  • This led to a number of other ‘crossbreeds’ being born and the subsequent birth of the designer name – the plain old mutt was no longer!
  • Designer (mutt) breeds can sell for very large amounts of money, making us a whole lot poorer and the unscrupulous breeder, well, a whole lot richer.

And if that isn’t enough to make you think twice, next time you come to get a new dog then read on FOR THE REALLY BAD NEWS!!By definition the word design means to devise, or to put it more bluntly, to fabricate. By definition then, when we produce a designed dog, we have in actual fact altered its natural plan. That is, the one that was working okay in the first place. Could it really be that we do this for no other reason than to satisfy our need to express personal identity?Because shockingly - just as with everything that man designs, it can and does develop faults. Let’s Look at a Few Of These Design Faults:

  • The bulldog – renowned for wheezing. Incongruous in its painfully difficult attempts to make it from one place to another.
  • Or the King Charles spaniel, whose head is not actually quite large enough to house its brain.
  • And what about those smaller breeds... now being offloaded at rescue centres in ever increasing numbers... often so adulterated they cannot even walk properly.

**So... are we gullible when it comes to the designer culture?**The answer, if we consider it from a human psychological perspective, is not as damning as some like to think... unless of course, we knowingly use the animals that we would profess to love and care for. The only clear question we should all ask of ourselves now is.... do we?

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