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article imagePanda dogs take off as latest craze in China (Video)

By Anne Sewell     May 16, 2014 in Odd News
Dogs now are becoming popular pets in China. The latest craze is to take a Chow dog and groom it to look just like a panda. Now they can't keep up with the demand.
Apparently it was a Chinese pet shop owner, Hsin Ch'en, who had the brainwave to take a Chow dog and then groom and dye it to look like the country's most popular animal, the Giant Panda. Now the animals have become so popular, he is having trouble keeping up with the demand.
"The cute breeds like French bulldogs and Labradors were the favorites, but now it is the panda dog," he added.
"I perfected the technique here and now it is spreading across the country," Ch'en added. "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."
According to Ch'en the process is not harmful to the animals as there are no chemicals involved. But he did add that the price of the dog is significantly higher, due to the amount of grooming required.
"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,'" he added.
While Ch'en reckons he came up with the idea, the Huffington Post says otherwise and that dogs looking rather like pandas have been seen at dog shows all over China in the past.
Also there is a little controversy about the coloring of the dogs' fur, with popular dog trainer, Cesar Millan, saying on his website that while "pet-safe" hair dyes for dogs do exist, he warns against them.
According to Millan "Hair dye and pets do not mix" saying that the dye could be potentially harmful to the dog, for instance when it grooms itself. The dye can also apparently irritate the dog's skin.
There is no doubt, however, that the animals do look extremely cute. The Huffington Post has a selection of photos of the dogs.
The video below shows a child interacting with a Panda dog.
More about China, panda dogs, Breed, Popular, Hsin Ch'en
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