In China, You Can Have a “Panda” or a “Tiger” of Your Very Own

At first glance, the animals in the photographs do look like pandas and tigers. On second glance, however, it probably looks suspicious to see a pretty woman walking a panda on a leash, and a tiger with its tongue hanging out and teeth that are way too short. That’s because the pandas are actually chow chow dogs, and the tiger is a golden retriever. Welcome to China, where the latest trend in pet dog ownership amongst the more affluent is to have their pets dyed to look like exotic and endangered animals. It is true that China has had a long history of raising dogs for nutritional and medicinal purposes (it’s still used for those purposes in some parts of the country). But attitudes towards owning pets, dogs in particular, have changed dramatically in recent years. At least among Chinese who can afford to keep pets. And this new fad is one new way Chinese dog owners can show pride in both their beloved pets and their nation’s symbolic animals, by making their dogs look like the symbolic animals. It’s both kind of weird and kind of cool, even though we’re pretty sure dyeing a chow chow puppy to look like a panda won’t make it any more inherently fluffy, cuddly and sweet. (Global Post/The Rice Bowl – Pretty Panda Puppies)

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