Dog Trends: Breeder vs. Adoption Dogs

Ah, mans best friend... the dog!  Since dogs were first domesticated, they have always been an important part of our lives, providing humans with security and protection and offering loving companionship.  Now, they are as integrated into fashion as ones choice of a handbag and being bred as Designer Dogs. Dogs mean different things to different people, and I want to take a look at some of the recent trends, such as dressing ones dog, as well as the longstanding breeder vs. adoption dog trend. A morning show recently did a piece on the Top 10 dog breeds for 2010. The American Kennel Club compiles the list of dogs by the number of registrations it receives in that year for a particular breed.  Breeders of the purebred puppies provide each new dog owner with papers on their dog, which the owner then files with the Club.  The Labrador retriever retains the top spot, Beagles have moved up to the number four position and the bulldog (which has a special place in my heart), also moving up one spot, finds its place at number six.  The split is 60/40 with 6 small/medium-sized breeds and 4 large breeds.  The English Bulldog is traditionally ranked as a medium-sized breed, but I counted them on the smaller side, because of their ability, and desire, to sit in a lap.

While the numbers for the AKC are counted and tabulated, there's a growing interest in dogs that are not registered: adoption dogs.

How many of you tear up when the montage of photographs flash across the screen for the ASPCA commercial? Whenever I hear Sarah Mclachlan's "Angel" I think of the storied eyes of the dogs and cats looking back at me through the TV and it pulls at my heartstrings.

All across the country, dogs and cats are surrendered daily by owners who can no longer care for them. Perhaps some reasons are valid, perhaps some are not, but at the end of the day, it's another animal added to an already overcrowded facility, where room is quickly decreasing.  Kill shelters are common in the South, where an animal that has stayed longer than a set amount of days is euthanized.  Many states, particularly in the North, have no-kill shelters where animals can live in a foster home until a permanent one is found.  There are clandestine organizations that will transport animals from a kill shelters in the South and up the coast, until adopted or placed in a "no-kill" shelter.  "But I want a certain breed" is a familiar argument that many give for purchasing a dog from a breeder in lieu of adopting.  The answer? Organizations such as Petfinder.com, which currently have over 170,000 dogs and 140,000 cats waiting for a permanent home, make finding an adoptable pet, in any breed, easy and available online.

Relating it back to fashion, like any smart, savvy shopper, I love finding a good deal and a great bargain!  Whether you buy a designer shirt from Saks Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom Rack, it's the same shirt. You look beautiful, your credit card is lighter and your husband is happier.  However, in this case, it's not about saving a few dollars, but about saving a life. Dogs as an accessory is a growing trend(more on that tomorrow) but saving a life is always en vogue.