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Lv 7
Jesse asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

The 'cute puppy/dog' epidemic?

Is it me or are more people buying, adopting a puppy or dog based on 'looks' alone?

People are continuously asking questions about the 'best' small and/or large breed dog.

So many answers are based on 'cuteness'. What?

Then there are the questions on 'what can I do about my hyper Boston Terrier?' Cute little pup wasn't he? Did they do any research about the breed?!

Also seeing many questions referring to 'which should I get?' A Labrador or a German Shepherd? These breeds are at 2 different ends of the spectrum.

What has happened to picking a puppy/dog pure bred or mixed based on temperament and genetic traits?

I know it is difficult to access mixed breeds when adopting from a shelter, but taking some time to get to know the dog is important before you bring it home and find out it wants to kill your cats.

Am I the only one seeing this running rampant?


Jessie: I find the whole love, love, love thing to be extremely disturbing. People buying/adopting GSDs. Rotties. Dobermans. American Pit Bul Terriers.... with absolute ignorance.

Then you have the herding breeds.....more ignorance.

Update 2:

Chigirl: I couldn't agree with you more. I love to see people adopting from rescues and shelters but too many times it is for the looks. Granted, we are ALL drawn to the 'look' but a big deciding factor lies in temperment.

I answered a question awhile back. The person adopted an APBT/mix (?) from the shelter. Got it home and it killed his cat.......duh?!!! Not ALL are prey driven but it would have been a GOOD idea to test that before exposing your poor cat to possible death. Of course, the dog went back because it was 'agressive'.

Update 3:

Bernese Love: I would like to verbally pick them up by the back of the neck and shake the sh*t out of them.

Daisy: You have a 'cute' dog. But you did your research and KNEW what you were getting for better or for worse!

Update 4:

Summer! EVERYONE'S answer matters! I read every word. Don't ever think you have nothing to contribute.

Update 5:

For You Blue: Chaplin is adorable!!!

What a great mix.

Update 6:

CC: Black dogs and cats are the least adopted at shelters. I owned a Black German Shepherd. Absolutely beautiful dog not just in appearance but tempermant. Why the stigma? I don't know....

32 Answers

  • Summer
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    That's a good question, but you have lots of answers so mine wouldn't matter anyway.


    Since you think that i may have something to contribute, here it goes:

    1. Yes, i think that more people are buying dogs based on looks. Think about it, children grow up nowadays around the media. So whatever the media, or Hollywood, is into at the time, so are the children. For example Beverly hills Chihuahua's show all different kinds of cute little dogs; wouldn't they be so neat to have? Then all of the little br@'s in America have a chihuahua whom's parents know nothing about, nor how to take care of it. It will usually be lucky to go to the pound or a shelter.

    2 Those answers would be from those kids we talked about earlier, except now a little older so they can give 'advice'.

    3 Most likely, they did little research on the breed, but i doubt they did absolutely NONE- but that's just based on the people in my town- but not enough to realize just how much work in comes with certain dogs: maybe even to the extreme that they don't know how quickly a great dane becomes an 'elevator dog' just because they are infatuated with the attention they think they will receive when walking it, or its pretty blue coat.

    4 With those questions, maybe someone doesn't know the personalities of the breeds, likes how they look (0f course) but, unlike the previous is making the tiniest effort to learn a little about the breed; there just to lazy to do a web search.

    5 To some people, it must be cockyness, or just plain stupidness. They want 'the pick of the litter',for their 5 year old daughter, even if he's the most dominant dog in the litter, and will most surely have problems in the future. But i always would pick a dog based on genetics.

    6 yeah, i agree with that

    7 Oh yeah its running rampant, hon! Haven't you noticed lately, everything is kinda going pieces, so we just better hold onto our piece hard, and lets do something about it!

    One question for YOU; Do you belive in good, qualified breeders, or do you not approve of breeding in the slightest? (-Just a question, i just wondered!-)

    Thanks for reading it word-for-word, =)


    Source(s): My brain and opinions, basiclly
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  • Lisa
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Once again you have asked a question designed to make people think. As with most of your responses, I truly believe that the "CUTENESS", way of picking pets especially dogs has been around FOREVER. It seems to have gotten worse with the need for instant gratification. Most people see a dog, like what they see, buy the dog. They never see what it takes as far as training, exercise, and grooming to get what they see. AND IF THEY DID many would still get that animal, because this is he fast food world of dogs. You can pay people to train, walk, babysit, and groom them and if your not happy with the results you can dump it at a rescue or shelter and start all over. The sad truth is cute puppies grow up and a few hours of research could have helped these people find the RIGHT CUTE PUPPY for their lifestyle, or even prevented them from making that purchase/adoption in the first place. Really doesn't matter if its a shelter pup, or pure breed champion, if people would slow down and think things through, research breeds and take a hard look at their lives, they could find a dog that really fits into their lives.

    Source(s): Owner of GSDs, and a Yorkshire Terrier, I grew up with GSDs and Before purchasing the Yorkshire Terrier I did my research.
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  • I agree 100%. I didn't and don't still buy from breeders, I usually go to the shelter, and was shocked to see - at the last time I was there - that people do the same thing ON the shelters... I cannot see how they can choose a dog based on the look when many have twisted and complicated behavioural problems you should avoid...

    For e.g, when I went to pick Chaplin three years ago, the girl next to me was looking at the puppies - Chaplin and another one - and she imeaditly grabbed the other one, a puppy who seemed un-confortable, ill, scared of life and even a little bit agressive. Why? Because Chaplin wasn't (and isn't) the most beutifull dog out there. But the other puppy, I must admit was gorgeous - still I chosed the "ugly" dog because it had a dashing personality, a waggy tail and bright eyes.

    PS. Chaplin is actually really cute once you get into him! -


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  • 1 decade ago

    I see it too. I may be handling it the wrong way, but if I come across a question like "These puppies are all so cute, which one should I get?" I make it a point to point out the absolute worst tendencies of the breed. For instance if it's a Maltese that is so "cute", I point out that it takes an hour daily to properly groom them. Most Maltese are prone to separation anxiety so you can expect to come home to a destroyed house if you aren't going to crate them. etc etc. I try to knock some sense into them.

    I did my research before I adopted my dog (which yes is a "cute" little Maltese). I have small children so I knew I didn't want a dog that had small prey instincts or herding instincts. I would have LOVED to get a Great Dane, but I know they have a tendency to accidentally bump smaller children. I knew I wasn't experienced enough to train a bully breed correctly, so I didn't get one. My aunt had a boxer that I absolutely loved, but I know they have been known to "box" small children and I didn't want to take the chance. That is why I settled on the dog I did. It's breed has a tendency to be milder tempered, they are small enough that I can feel comfortable and assertive when training, etc. Looks really didn't have much to do with. Plus he needed us. Once my children are grown up, I definitely plan on getting a larger breed.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think people more or less fall into the "this puppy is so cute" - all puppies are cute, but they do grow up and sometimes they just aren't all that cute anymore! I think THIS is where people's lack of knowledge on the breed comes into play. Like this little itty bitty cute JRT puppy is soooo adorable - a year later....why is it jumping around everywhere and eating all this stuff? I am going to give it up.

    I do think looks attract people initially in a breed. When I decided I wanted a Dobermann (I was like 12 years old!) it was mainly based on looks...I knew nothing about the dog. I just knew that it looked incredible! My husband bought me mine as a gift knowing it was kind of like a child-hood dream of mine to one day own a Dobermann - at that point I was a first-time dog owner with not a whole lot of knowledge on the breed. But I learned A LOT within the first week of owning him, and still learn new things every day - I talked to breeders, researched on the net, came on here lol.

    He is a lot of work since he is high energy and a working breed - but I adjusted my life in order to suit him and his needs...and if I do say so myself, I did a pretty damn good job with him too! I even get the comments when I'm on walks "that's a very well-behaved dog you have there".

    On the other hand, I would never tell someone to go buy a Dobermann as their first dog lol.

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  • Jessie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It does seem to be getting worse, yes. I think it's linked to the anthropomorphism epidemic. If you believe that a dog is just a little 4-legged human, then why wouldn't you go for the cute one?

    Pet owners seem less and less willing to believe that a dog is a DOG with a breed history that is ignored only by fools.

    I'm frankly more disturbed, however, by the number of posts I see here saying that fighting breeds can be handled by love and that any old new dog owner/first time trainer should try out a guarding or working dog. There seems to be a rejection of the idea that dogs have genetic temperaments. I don't know that there's ever been a more dangerous idea put forward about dogs than that you can ignore that they have genetic temperaments and drives if you just 'wuv' them enough!

    Source(s): mb
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  • rachel
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think the whole world is too obsessed with looks and cuteness in general, not just with dogs and puppies. You know what I mean?

    I think that a lot of people, me included, do research and know about the breed and then get the dog anyway, thinking, "Oh, I can handle that," or basically the cuteness over rules any behavioral issues or 'flaws' the dog might have.

    I did the research when I got my dog, I knew about a beagle's stubborn personality which wasn't my ideal dog, but his cute little face made me get him! Haha. I know better now though. And I'm handling him and his stubbornness pretty well.

    I wish their could be like rental dogs/puppies or trial days for owners to try it out so they know what they're getting into, haha.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, I totally agree with you! Another big issue is the "sadness" factor. A lot of people will go to puppy farms because they didn't do their research on how to tell if a breeder is good or not and they will buy a sick, unhealthy, geneticly-messed-up puppy all because they feel bad for it. You may feel bad for that puppy now, but think of how bad you'll feel for youself when your sick "puppy" is all grown up, has defects, and you're flat broke because of the vet bill?

    I also agree with you about looking in shelters. I visit my local shelter often, and there are tons of sweet dogs there. One dog, a beautiful, trained GSD, caught my eye. She was there originally because the owner couldn't afford her. Then, she was adopted, but get this: one day, she was eatting her food and her owner tried to take it away from her. She snapped at the owner, and the owner took the poor pup back to the shelter for being "aggresive". I mean, really people, if someone took away your dinner, you wouldn't just sit there and wag your tail, would you?

    Research is VERY important when choosing a breed. To find out the right breed for me, I had to do a TON of research. The "right" breed for me switched from Lab to Chihuahua to Golden Retriever to Papillion until it finally landed on the truly perfect dog for me, the Pomeranian. I think finding the right dog for you takes the delicate balance of temperment and cuteness. Now, I'm not saying that I think your dog HAS to be cute, I'm just saying that it's a factor for me, but not TOO big of one.

    Anyway, great post. Really got a good discussion going!



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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Haha, I find it hilarious (NOT for the dogs).

    For the idiotic clueless twerps who think buying a dog should be casual impulsive Saturday afternoon "Ooh, let's buy a dog" sort of thing. Morons who, six months down the line, realise they cannot cope and ask how much their should sell their £/$1000 Peekapoo for. I hope they get nothing for the dog. I hate it when money is the only thing on someone's mind when a living creature is at the centre of the equasion.

    What I love most is when somebody just asks "What breed of dog is best?" For who? For what purpose?

    There are hundreds of dog breeds out there. Why do people think that somebody can judge what breed of dog is best for them when they have no clue whatsoever what their lifestyle is? It's ridiculous.

    People just think a dog is a dog. They don't even think they NEED to base their choices on anything other than looks because they think that all dogs are the same - temperament wise, energy-level-wise, aggression-wise. It's plain ignorance. People need to be educated.

    And then there's the "I want a hypoallergenic small, cute, cuddly, quiet dog, that is good with kids, doesn't bark, is protective of my house, doesn't need a walk and never pees".

    I tell them to go and buy a soft toy. And then laugh hysterically when they email me telling not to be so rude.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I totally understand your point. In the shelters that I volunteer at there are many black dogs. I see people come in and out, not really taking a look at the black dogs. They think they are a boring color so they are less adopted. I mean I have 2 black dogs, my Patterdale Terrier (black) was a street dog, and Chata my APBT is black too. I love them like any other dog.

    Lol if humans stereotyped by appearance as they do with dogs, I bet many mothers would dis own their

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