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Panda Dog: A New Hybrid Species or a Cruel Joke?

My hubby and I share our hearts and our home with 23 amazing dogs! They are mostly Golden Retrievers and Golden Mixes.

The panda dog is a new species of hybrid panda-meets-dog found in Japan and China. Get this new designer dog while they're hot!

The panda dog is a new species of hybrid panda-meets-dog found in Japan and China. Get this new designer dog while they're hot!

What Is the Mysterious Panda Dog? (And How Can I Get One?)

Obscenely cute and somewhat controversial, the panda dog has taken Japan by storm.

Is it a new hybrid species born from an innocent but forbidden love affair between a panda and a dog? (That's a mental picture that's difficult to erase from my mind.)

Or is it a photoshopped image that was created by a bored person in order to pull our legs? (If so, will it one day be categorized under "mythical creatures" along with the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot?)

Oddly enough, it's not so much a mystery as it is a tale of love, passion, rescue, and a big bottle of black (doggie-safe) hair dye...

Meet Columbo, a maltese-poodle mix

Meet Columbo, a maltese-poodle mix

Columbo and His Extreme Doggie Makeover

Named after the quirky detective in the hit TV series Columbo, this maltese-poodle mix is the talk of the town in Tokyo. His owner, Kensuke Hirakawa, is a former beautician and pet shop owner who adopted Columbo after his previous owner abandoned him (reportedly due to his ugly looks).

Although Columbo was a bit aggressive and barked non-stop at first, Kensuke saw potential in this little droopy-eyed fur ball and took him in. Columbo soon warmed up to his new owner. Poor Columbo had been through a lot and had the marks to prove it—a stiff back leg, tear-stained eyes, and removed canine teeth (to prevent biting). It didn't take long for Kensuke, given his background styling hair, to hatch a crazy little plan for an extreme doggie makeover!

Using completely safe, non-toxic black hair color meant for dogs, Kensuke dyed parts of Columbo's dingy white fur to mimic a panda's striking patterning.

And boy did he stand out! Once a mixed-breed mongrel tossed aside because of his looks, Columbo is not only the most talked about and adored dog in the neighborhood (and probably all of Asia as well), he's also now the poster dog and mascot in a campaign to save the abandoned and abused dogs of Tokyo. Kensuke only hopes that this will help teach others how to be responsible and love their pets. (I know there's a moral in there somewhere...)

Kensuke said that dying Columbo's hair just made sense—the dog had always had stains around his eyes. And the good news is that the dye isn't permanent. Since it only lasts about a month, Kensuke can change Columbo on a whim! Who knows—maybe the dog will show up as a tiger or leopard next month.

But Wait! There's More!

It seems Columbo started a hip new trend—now panda dogs are popping up everywhere!

Take a look at these über chic panda-wannabees:

It would appear chow chows are prime panda-dog material. As you can see below, even chow puppies look just like, well, unpainted panda dogs!

An unpainted panda-like puppy. Awwwwhhhh!

An unpainted panda-like puppy. Awwwwhhhh!

Share Your Thoughts in the Comments

So come one and come all—share your thoughts on this strange-but-true oddity from the East that we all know will soon sweep the States. It's only a matter of time, my friends; only a matter of time.

Comments

Lahn on May 04, 2020:

they are SOOOO CUTE

euan on December 12, 2019:

this is a joke

Jaxxon on March 16, 2019:

Panda and doggos

gloria on August 23, 2018:

cruel

calypso dolman on June 19, 2018:

i wish they were real!! they look so cute

hi on March 06, 2018:

this really got me interested . the only reason I was on is to see if this was a reliable resource after I told my teacher its just black dye and she started laughing so hard she knocked herself out . That may not be true or is it . The point is it was hauilors and a ok website

AnimalLover on April 29, 2017:

ITS SO CUTE

Trin on March 14, 2017:

That's kinda cruel dying a dogs hair. But I still want one they are adorable. I've wanted a panda my hole life and now I can basically have one.

Cadence on November 03, 2016:

I think it's sweet that this man took a old abondoned dog deemed ugly and cared for it and I don't find that theirs anything wrong with dying the dog as long as it's not harmful, I mean if your not hurting the dog their shouldn't be anything wrong with it.

Karin Johansson on May 16, 2016:

Now we know more. This trend is going over in China. And then they kill the dogs. No dog colour are harmless so when it has had this black in the fur, refreshed every six weeks it can't be like a usual dog again. So then the owners don't have same use for it! And they kill them! Don't use dogs as accessoar. And dogs have more feelings than humans.

annaweirdo on August 20, 2014:

I don't think its right!!! Animals have feelings too. think about when u take ur dog to the groomer they get scared! I don't agree with this.

Jesper on August 02, 2014:

.,.,

shelby on June 11, 2014:

i like your dog

Hishay on May 23, 2014:

So cute I won't one

hlhay on May 13, 2014:

I wish the dogs were born looking like a panda. SO CUTE!!!

listen on May 13, 2014:

First of all. The people that think this is cruel are unaware of the meaning of the word. You are so used to the word cruel in the stories of dogfighting and the like. Now after you have read the definition im just assuming as I would do the same to make sure this is not causing pain to my animal. And on top of that does anyone that is against this have a dog? And if so is their a collar on him/her? Surely your pet loves that thing hanging around its neck for ever. Also is your pet chipped? If so did you not just put it through a surgery and pain for your own selfishness???. Now I love all animals, however if I see a stray I let it be. And if im confronted about it as to why I didn't take it in and give it shelter ( oh my god you're so mean and cruel) my response to that is always "what did these animals do before their were houses?" Surely they are doing something right because their not extinct... good day.

i am panda on April 30, 2014:

mwahahahaha

lily on January 01, 2014:

gcjl

poopoo on December 03, 2013:

love it! want 1 lllllllllllllllllooooooooollllllzzzzzzzzzz

Justine on September 21, 2013:

^ I just read through all the comments too, and I'm feeling exactly the same way.

john on December 20, 2012:

I can't believe I just read ALL the comments, that is reason enough to post.. I think. What could I have done better with that time? Ill never get it back. damn.

mel on June 09, 2012:

it is NOT cruel at all if it's doggy safe then what is the problem? Do no argue that the dog isn't able to tell us what he wants, because I'm sure dogs would LOVE to tell us that they want to defecate in the middle of the living room and eat ANYTHING that smells good to them OR is available when we aren't around, they probably will tell us to throw the leash and collar in the garbage and if it was up to any dog in the world VETS would have no open businesses.. I think that what this person did was brilliant, I'm so happy he rescued a pet and found a creative way to get rid of his fur stains, and MADE SURE THAT THE CHEMICALS IN THE DYE WOULD NOT HARM HIS PET. If he takes care of his dog, and loves it, and gives it attention, what more could you ask for?

Michelle on May 17, 2012:

some of you people really should read. It says its doggie dye and its safe. What's so cruel about that? She adopted a dog that was going to be put down and gave it a makeover. To me, she seems to really care and some of you are just ignorant.

Brittany on May 13, 2012:

HAHAHAHAHAHALOL, wow, this must be a senitive subject...let's get judge judy on this! i love pandas, everything about me is panda! love them, and i'm going to do this tomy dog, so yeah!

chassity on May 10, 2012:

they are cute i love dogs

Patricia on May 01, 2012:

There is NO black dye that is safe to place around an animals eyes or ears. So it is cruel placing these animals in danger from carcinogens. Do people read anymore?

Nia on April 29, 2012:

Oh yeah, it's sooo cruel....

It's FCKING DYED PEOPLE!!! WHAT THE F IS THE BIG DEAL?

GoVegan on April 22, 2012:

Agreed with SamB.

jamie on April 12, 2012:

it is not cute... IT IS CRAPPING ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 MY FRIEND WILL DIE TO HAVE ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!or just to see one.

Jinny on March 18, 2012:

This is a heart warming story. I really think that the whole spray paint panda bear idea is cool.

Wolfie on February 29, 2012:

To those who say this is cruel: Honestly, dogs never asked to be domesticated either. How do you know they don't think that's cruel? How do you know they like being on a leash? Or told to stop doing something they want to do? Maybe the dog thinks its cruel because you won't let it pee on your carpet? Just think about that one for a second...

AVS student on February 29, 2012:

dogs are colorblind, so they really don't care as long as they don't mind being bathed

Dewee 3 on February 10, 2012:

Their so cute and puffy

squirel on February 10, 2012:

i think their so cute

piffiii on January 28, 2012:

yeah protect the pandas!

Roseanne on January 20, 2012:

What is the big deal? It's just non toxic dye which isn't permanent. It's just like dressing your dog up with those doggy clothes. And of course they can't tell us what they like or don't like. They can't talk. As long as you love them, feed them, give them shelter, and play with them then there shouldn't be anything wrong with dying their hair color with something that ISN'T PERMANENT. Why is people making such a big deal? And they make the dog look even cuter!

Maggie Jo on January 18, 2012:

I thought it was real haha kinda sad its not they were the cutest things. I have a chow ive had two one i grew up with he was my best friend. Sadly my chow is black so ill never have the joy of trying this haha unless i wanna hold my dog down for six hours and paint him wight. Haha but yeah maybe not the nicest thing to do all the time but once in a while forsure! Its adorable and harmless. But good luck getting your doggy to hold still and be patient for you haha

Diamondbuck on January 17, 2012:

I am a dog groomer, and this is called creative grooming. It is safe, and causes the dog less discomfort than a standard haircut. The only problem is that because it is non chemical dye the dog will sometimes turn out purple. Many grooming salons offer dog dyes. The people who say this is cruel have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. But this article is wrong about one thing, the dye IS permanent and will last until the hair sheds out or is cut.

littlewitch on January 08, 2012:

They removed his teeth because he bites? What if I glued your mouth shut because you talked too much?

catherine on November 24, 2011:

oh my god SO cute

panda do girl on November 24, 2011:

oh i wish that i could have one!

girl on November 17, 2011:

it's so so so cute

yo mama on November 17, 2011:

it's so cute

alecia on October 26, 2011:

i wish i had a panda dog lol id be the coolest chicka on the block

hannah on October 19, 2011:

okay to all who are bitchin about how cruel this is thnk about this he is doing waaaaaaaay better than he was with the previous owner who fuckin abandoned him so you guys really need to just get over your pity party for one and enjoy the dogs new happier life like im sure he is...k bye :)

Animal lover on October 04, 2011:

People are stupid if the dog isn't uncomfortable our stressed and the stuff is made with vegetable oil where is it ok for you to complain about the dog our for the dog. Hes cute and looks so happy leave it be

brianne on September 30, 2011:

awe so cute

Love on September 13, 2011:

PPL complain about everything just for attention! Its doggy safe dye and it looks much better than a beat up dog (READ THE ARTICLE before you judge and if you didn't read all way through then that speaks for itself)

The dog doesn't notice if its not harmful AND its getting ppl to love it more and give it affection that it well deserves after being abused! I didn't think it was so great of an idea till I read why they did it. I mean if you saw a sick person you'd hesitate to go near them..its mean but true about this world. Plus the dog looked super happy with ken!! Im sooooo glad he found a great owener to love him like he deserves!!!!and he looks effin adorable!! Its NOT accessorizing him its not like hes changing him into an earring or something cruel as heck like putting him in a purse ...ffs look how happy he was.

lala on August 03, 2011:

AWWWWWW!!! how cute!!>.< i want one!! lol

if the prouduct their using is safe who the hell cares

cherry07 on July 05, 2011:

I find that they removed some of columbos teeth much more disturbing than the fact they died his hair.

charbear on April 03, 2011:

LOL - to the people who keep referencing dogs being eaten in China... first of all its only certain regions. SECONDLY, it's only certain breeds... just like we only use certain breeds of chickens for eating (some lay eggs, and some are for pets)

Shoot... in Guatemala those cute little Guinea pigs you see @ your local pet shop - they're bred for eating there. just because a food is uncommon to you doesn't mean that it's disgusting. I personally don't eat dog...

but my point is the FEW regions of China that do eat dog only eat very.specific dogs that are specifically bred as food... like our chickens or cows. It's not like a Chinese person sees some random dog and says "hmmm, I'm having bbq dog tonight"

how ignorant and racist can you get!!!!

Also - to the person who said chow chow were bred in china for food... you so do not know what you're talking about! Chow chows were bred for the purpose of gaurding a young child out in a field as a parent worked said field. This is because Chow's typically favor one person over all others and are known to be one family dogs. So said child could safely be reared with the dog as the guardian, and typically only the children's parents were allowed close by the Chow. when chows are put into a community setting that community is allowed access to the children, but if a child is fearful in.anyway the chow will attack the threatener to protect child/children.

Chow's are very smart, loyal, and protective dogs... i have owned 3 in my lifetime... that's as to why i know the original purposed breeding - i actually had the audacity to RESEARCH rather than make assumptions that made me look like a racist know-it-all.

ryan.h on March 12, 2011:

culte ugly

Eve Munroe on February 22, 2011:

I want 1 now. they r so cute. where can i get 1. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grace. on February 02, 2011:

DID YOU PEOPLE EVEN READ THE ARTICLE!?!

"(Columbo)is also now the poster dog and mascot in a campaign to save the abandoned and abused dogs of Tokoyo. Kensuke only hopes that this will help teach others how to be responsible and love their pets."

"Using completely safe (non-toxic) black hair color for dogs, Kensuke dyed parts of Columbo's dingy white fur in the striking pattern of the panda"

obviously its for a good cause and not hurting anything or anyone.

Screwmommy on January 22, 2011:

You're all retards

..... on January 02, 2011:

Why do people always have to take something so simple as this dog is friggin cute and turn it into an argument over animal cruelty or not. Let me hear one of you not say something negative about how you look. You should complain about how you look if a dog doesn't care how it looks. Just be loving and not judgemental. It is the civil thing to do.

no name on December 30, 2010:

I don't think this dog is mad at his owner because he put hair dye on his fur. I'm pretty sure that the dog doesn't look in the mirror every day and get mad, that's absurd. This guy obviously loved and cared enough about this dog to take him in when the former owner did not want him. Look what happened, he turned the dog into a celebrity. That is why you get a dog, so you can do what YOU want with it. Obviously nothing cruel like abuse, dog fights etc. But honestly do you really think that the dog is mad or "Heartbroken"? Please don't feel like I am trying to be a jerk, I just want you to see my point of view. You can take it or leave it, it's fine with me :)Have a Blessed Day

Wawat on December 22, 2010:

to Mandy:

Cruel? How can u say it's cruel..U're not hurting them.. It benefits them also. Like me, if I will have that kind of panda~chow i would LOVE him more than a regular chow.

Besides, it's just a hair. Dogs are like babies, and children and we are their parents. We know what's good to them, if i see hair dyeing will harm them, then i would stop.

Just like our parents, do you argue with your mom during your kindergarten days. Whenever she brings you to the barbershop and decides on her own what kind of haircut she would like?

Just like peoples coloring their puppies, we know what's good and bad for them.. Color dyeing wont harm them. unless they eat it!!

It's Fashion!

Wawat on December 22, 2010:

to Mandy:

Cruel? How can u say it's cruel..U're not hurting them.. It benefits them also. Like me, if I will have that kind of panda~chow i would LOVE him more than a regular chow.

Besides, it's just a hair. Dogs are like babies, and children and we are their parents. We know what's good to them, if i see hair dyeing will harm them, then i would stop.

Just like our parents, do you argue with your mom during your kindergarten days. Whenever she brings you to the barbershop and decides on her own what kind of haircut she would like?

Just like peoples coloring their puppies, we know what's good and bad for them.. Color dyeing wont harm them. unless they eat it!!

Syraeth on November 27, 2010:

I think people misunderstand the cruelty that this kind of thing causes.

No, the dog being dyed is not being harmed, nor is it cruel in my opinion, as long as the dog isn't mistreated, although I do think that it sends a very poor message about how to treat animals.

The problem is that people often see animals that become popular for things like this and go out to get this as a pet for themselves without giving the proper thought about each animals temperament, exercise needs, potential growth size, possible medical needs, and other responsibilities of pet owners.

Often times you will see huge spikes in what dogs are being over-bred and dumped in shelters depending on what is popular at the time. Animal related movies and stars are a huge influence and publicly adored animals are often sought after, then dumped, once the owner decides that they no longer like the animal, the animal doesn't meet their expectations, or they tire of the work or are overwhelmed by taking to care of the animals needs.

I think it's great that he rescued this dog and is helping other pets by promoting adoptions of abandon animals. It is very important that people become more educated about animals and the care they need and deserve.

We need to change how people see animals and make sure they are treated with the love and respect that they deserve. Animals are not lifeless toys, they are not devoid of emotion, and they are not here solely for your entertainment and to do as you please. They have free wills and personalities of their own, they are smart and capable of learning and understanding us, and they are full of an amazing amount of love, joy and loyalty.

starry nightss on November 23, 2010:

The doggy safe dye is actually manic panic. Its non toxic, it doesn't heat up, has no smell and doesn't hurt the eye(I've had it in my own eye). Its not truly a dye at all its just a vegetable based stain, and there are no carcinogens in it. The only cruel part is giving a dog an extra bath, but as any good responsible pet owner knows, you should be bathing/grooming your pet regularly.

anonymous on November 20, 2010:

...its just a chow chow dog, right? not some special hybrid. thats the way i understood this. you could even just get a chow chow from a shelter.

to get it these colors, you just use dog-safe hair dye. people dye their hair and live, so why can't you dye your dog's hair?

i dont think this is cruel

Emily on November 18, 2010:

Just because a dog is a dog and because it's your dog, doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with it. It may be a hair dye that doesn't hurt dogs, but some dogs may be allergic, and they CAN'T tell you if it's uncomfortable for them.

So all in all, it's cute, not really cruel, but just stupid.

Your dog is supposed to be your friend, companion.

Not just some makeover doll.

Jeneve on November 10, 2010:

Wow Columbo looks amazing. guys stop complaining. The owner clearly loves Columbo and that's all that matters!

awesomecourt on November 06, 2010:

it is a chow chow dog dyed!!!

cow on October 30, 2010:

I want 1.

kaklaye on September 21, 2010:

They're the funniest thing in the world but they are the cuite.Why would someone do such a thing like posting pictures that aren't even ture. That is very cruel.I would love to have one of my own.they look very soft and cudly, I would want to sleep with one of them one day. They are so weird.

cassie on September 21, 2010:

I want one very bad. They are sooooooooooo cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

chelsie on September 21, 2010:

They are so cutie and soft.If I had one a would sleep with it!!!!!!

lilzz on September 21, 2010:

they are cuite and weird. :):):):):):):):)

megan on September 20, 2010:

their are cuite. iwant one like now

emily on September 20, 2010:

they are cutie

pandaas on September 08, 2010:

I just read all the comments and I don't think this is cruel at all I would frecking love to be rescued from a horrible place and get my hair dyed :D and I'm a human! XD

chowchowlover on September 08, 2010:

omg so cute!!!!! i have a chow chow and i know she would be a cute panda!!!

Katt on September 02, 2010:

Im pretty sure the dog couldnt care less as long as it has a loving family and yum food :) although I cant stand genetic mutation and iinbreeding to get a certain look just leave them alone

Chase on August 31, 2010:

This is just something that occurred to me while I was reading is. For all those who say, "Thats so cruel, how could you do that to a dog?" first of all. The dog is NOT being harmed. Second of all, how do you know the dog doesn't think it has always looked like this? And second of all, how do you know the dog doesn't think it out of the ordinary. I mean, know dogs aren't dumb, but they aren't overly smart either. I'm pretty sure they can't have a train of thought and think, "oh, I look stupid." so honestly, I'm thinking that the dog either thinks it always has looked Ike this(assuming it even sees itself in a mirror) or they think it's completely natural(again, they might not even be aware they look Ike that)

Rachel on August 30, 2010:

Do you think his collie is jealous?

Panda Dog on August 20, 2010:

Some sweet photos here. Great content too. It's a shame it's not really a dog, otherwise I'd get one for sure.

JeAnS:) on August 13, 2010:

it looks relly cute but even if it is "doggy safe" it could get in their eye and irritate it i would love for my dog to look like a panda except for that reason

Samantha Quinones on July 29, 2010:

I think this pandadog is cute.

Ashamed on July 27, 2010:

Im ashamed and disgusted at myself for spending my tym reading your comments and in turn commenting bt iv spent time here i feel i owe it to myself to say something. All this nonsense over a dog that is halfway across the world. Probably thinking abt mating. Oh the dogs feelings. Boo hoo. When i was a kid my mum says cut your hair its cut. I had no feelings then? The next day id have long forgotten. All the dog thinks abt all day is food. Have u seen documentaries where cubs get killed n they just watch it happen? Thats nature. If this dog's feelings were hurt because of some stupid black die spots then dalmatians would be commiting suicide left right n centre. The dog doesn't care go spend ur sympathy on something that matters.

Selphie on July 22, 2010:

The dog is cute.

The dye is non-toxic and safe. Also temporary.

The dye was used to cover up his tear stained fur(NOT FOR FASHION), the result of abuse from his previous owner.

Dogs don't care what they look like, as long as they're happy.

Columbo is clearly happy.

It's a great story. (:

cali on July 13, 2010:

they ARE really adorable.and my opinion is that if it doesn't hurt the dog,it really doesn't matter if dye it or not.but if the dye was permanent or it hurt the dog in any way,i'd be TOTALLY against it

Genius on July 12, 2010:

Hmmm. A dog is naturally a pack animal that spends all of its time exploring, hunting, traveling, and playing with its family. You take its natural habitat and habits and stick it in a backyard (or let's say you're a "good" owner and you let it in the house), you've now for no reason other than your own pleasure, taken this creature and placed it into captivity (a.k.a. slavery). Oh, but it's not an accessory is it? You're not getting this dog because it's cute, because you want it, because you want to play with it like a child would a toy. You're "saving" it from itself. If you don't think the simple fact that you OWN a dog is cruel, you shouldn't be arguing that breeding, euthanizing, or dying its freaking hair is cruel! Do you think people are evil for having their own children? There are a LOT of orphan babies out there with no homes, but you aren't campaigning for people to stop breeding. Are you saying that dogs, animals capable of surviving on their own if you throw them outside with no provisions, are more important than human children? We should never buy a bred puppy but let all the foster kids rot. As for "if they wanted a dog to look like a panda they should have found a breed that looks like a panda"... how about because their ISN'T a dog that looks like a panda? So you've never cut your own hair? You've never worn makeup, shaved, or worn clothes? All of those things change how you look and how you're perceived by others. Should we all "appreciate" each other for how we are on the inside without making any changes? Because, quite frankly, I don't think I could handle seeing everyone naked and being forced to enjoy it because it's "who they are." Morons. Think through your arguments before you post them for the world to dissect.

not cruel on July 08, 2010:

Take in a dog from a shelter that otherwise would be killed. Think it would be cute to give the dog a completely safe hair dye. How is it cruel?

azgr on July 03, 2010:

Cruel

jelly belly on July 01, 2010:

I think its quit sad and they should be appreciated for how they look and they shouldn’t change that every dog has its own look and personality and changing it is like changing everything and why do people do that if they wanted a dog to look like a panda they should have found a breed that looks like a panda … a may be cute but its not them and I honestly think that a dog likes the way they look and wouldn’t want to be changed so if people want something to look like a panda they should have changed themselves than there dogs

yrtfvbnmi on June 30, 2010:

Its JUST a dog safe DYE! Dogs arent like people. They dont feel predjudce!

spongebrooke on June 30, 2010:

My mistake, I misread the article. I thought SHE removed the teeth because he was aggressive. I'll go get some coffee now.

I don't think dying is any more cruel than general grooming is. As long as the dog isn't stressed I don't see the harm in it.

spongebrooke on June 30, 2010:

I think it's cruel to remove a dog's teeth to make its bites less damaging (and making it 'ok' for it to exhibit aggression) instead of actually addressing aggression issues.

Hannah on June 29, 2010:

Actualy... "doggy safe dye" contains cancerigenous chemicals and veterinary authorities in Beijing are outraged by all this...

and 420bound, that is not the case of most "panda-dogs", there is a colouring craze in China to create panda dogs.

420bound on June 27, 2010:

not sure if this has been posted, but the pandog isnt colored Bears and dogs have a similar genetic makeup which allows the geneticist to extract the genes which provide the color of the panda and place it into a dog...simple as that and its mostly found in china.

Pisha on June 18, 2010:

I have to think that the people calling this "cruel" haven't really thought through their position...

I've spent a lot of time around dogs. Some dogs, like some humans, can be quite extraordinary - police dogs, for instance, or service dogs. They dedicate themselves to something that doesn't immediately benefit them in any way, something that by all rights they shouldn't be able to understand. Even regular dogs can have their moments of greatness - I've seen the dumbest mutts out there suddenly turn into Lassie when a poisonous snake enters their family's yard.

But in general? Dogs are simple creatures with simple desires. Anything that increases playtime, petting time, or food is good. Anything that decreases the above is bad. Anything with no effect on the above is indifferent. In general, then, a dog having its fur dyed - to look like a panda or anything else - ranges between indifferent and good. At the absolute worst (assuming the owner is using a safe dye that won't harm them), the dog is not going to care one way or the other. At best, it gets them more positive attention, which most dogs enjoy. (Not all, but hopefully the owner of a shy or previously abused dog will know enough not to draw more attention from strangers to their pet. It doesn't make the dye job intrinsically cruel, it just means dog owners need to be sensitive enough to guess whether the extra attention will be welcome.)

As for the dog not having a choice - know what else a dog doesn't have a choice about? The color collar it wears. The kind of food it eats. How often and where its owner walks it. Who its owner is. Where it lives. What kind of music and tv shows play in its home. Humans expect to have a choice over all these things (or the human equivalent of these things.) Dogs don't. So you can't judge something like this by saying "You wouldn't like it if someone dyed your hair without permission!" It's an irrelevant comparison. Sovereignty over the color of its fur is not something a dog expects to have. Therefore it's not going to be hurt or upset if the color is changed unexpectedly.

In short? Dogs aren't people. It's great that you're so concerned about their feelings, but to actually understand what a dog feels about something you have to stop expecting them to act like humans.

Sam on June 14, 2010:

To the above comment -

What you said was a total contradiction. There was a time when dogs weren't bred at all, actually. They used to be wild animals. Humans took them in and made them domestic - no doubt at first as a "fashion accessory". Breeding dogs is as much a fashion statement as dying them to look like a panda.

You coud argue that they weren't BORN to be fashion accessories but then again if you do that you would have to amdit that they weren't born to be domestic animals either.

Basically - anyone arguing against this whole doggy dying craze (as pointless as it is) needs to get off their high horse :)

o u o on June 13, 2010:

I want one. ?

Alida on June 10, 2010:

ok.

1. this dog is adorable. with or without panda dye.

2. making your dog look like a panda is not cruel because: the dye is safe and non toxic, you are not actually crossbreeding, and the dog does not give a shit - dogs don't have vanity

3. this dog's publicity promotes the adoption of 'rescue dogs' - dogs that have been abused and left to die. the panda coat helps promote this cause

4. its true that dogs should not be treated as accessories, but this man and this video aren't promoting that. you can't control what other people will take away from media. people who are getting a dog as an accessory are just as likely to get a freaking chihuahua or something.

jetskier on June 09, 2010:

It is better than them eating the dog as some countries do.

Raya on June 09, 2010:

Hm... I wonder if my mother will let me dye our Shih Tzu's brown fur black? :3 (He's already cute enough, though.)

I found the article informative! And the dog is so cute! :D As an animal lover, I'm so glad this man took in a poor dog, helped him, and his trying to help others using the dog's story! :)

ur mom on June 08, 2010:

Wow these r really cute ^_^ make sure Michael Vick doesn't get a hold of one

lol on June 08, 2010:

Where in the article does it say this takes place in "cruel puppy mills?" We get bored with doing the same old fetch game. Why not mix things up a bit? As long as it doesnt do physical harm, I dont see anything wrong here.