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So you want a pocket sized dog!

March 28th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Sad but true :sad:

How Many Chihuahuas Have to Die For You To Get a Small One?
by Tracie Hotchner
The AKC just announced that the Yorkshire Terrier's popularity has sky-rocketed: the breed has just set a record by becoming the second most popular breed in the country (after Labradors). In New York, Yorkies have become the number one most desired pooch. But let this be a warning to you: as much as we all love little dogs and our hearts may melt at the sight of the smallest little pooches, if we keep asking for ever-smaller pocket dogs we may wind up like the Japanese: potentially causing misery and death for the rest of that litter.

According to this article (Japan, Home of the Cute and Inbred Dog) from the New York Times, they reported that the frenzied fad in Japan for ever-smaller "pocket dogs" (or tiny breeds with unusual colors like a blue-hued long-haired Chihuahua) has resulted in the birth and death of their defective littermates. In order for toy breeds like Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers and miniature Dachshunds to be on the smallest end of their normal weight, it means that unscrupulous breeders have to mate the runt of a litter with other unnaturally small examples of the breed. For example, the normal weight range for a show-quality Chihuahua is 2 to 6 lbs, but dogs under 3 lbs. generally cannot be healthy. The approved weight for a show-quality Yorkie is 3 to 7 lbs - for a miniature Dachshund it is 8 to 11 lbs., but by requesting dogs on the lowest end of the weight scale you are asking for trouble. In Japan, the demand for "micro-toy" dogs has resulted in litters of puppies born missing parts of their faces or paws, with bones that disintegrate or mental instability that results in madness. This genetic devastation is avoidable, since it is driven by consumer demand for dogs no bigger than the palm of your hand, and the greed of those "back-yard breeders" who produce the tiniest dogs with the largest profit margin.

In Japan, as reported in the New York Times article, murder-at-birth has become standard operating procedure for most of the birth-defective puppies in a litter - just in order to get one teeny surviving puppy for that high-demand waiting list. Economics drives the immoral breeders who would do this: that little puppy in Japan brings in upwards of $10,000.

Let us guard against falling into this pattern of faddism in our own country. We'd like to think that we would not indulge our craving for the tiniest possible dog if we knew it meant the destruction of the rest of his littermates - but let's not kid ourselves, people are people and Americans are as capable as anyone else of justifying what we want at any price - be it monetary or moral - and the consequences be damned. It's not like we have to actually see those birth-defective littermates born too small to survive or deaf, blind, pawless, spineless, and mentally crazed. That's just the price of doing business, right? Those teeny toy pups look so cute and vulnerable, who can resist them? And they fit in our shoulder bags so easily and weigh so little we can take them with us everywhere, tucked under our armpits.

Dr. Phillip Padrid, an internationally renowned veterinarian with the Family Pet Animal Hospital in Chicago, was recently speaking on "Dog Talk," the NPR radio show of which he is the official vet, about the medical crises that can afflict these tiny dogs. "I had a 2 lb. Yorkie come in with pneumonia and I could not access her breathing tube even with the human pediatric surgical tools I have," he said. "Her trachea was so tiny it was more like that of a bird. I feel terrible not be able to do more for my clients with these little dogs they love so much, but they are so unnaturally small that they have more medical problems - and as vets we are often at a loss as to how to treat them."

So the next time you see a small breed dog described as a "pocket" dog, rather than saying "Aww, how adorable," now you'll stop to think about how much suffering might have gone into producing such a tiny little pooch. If you want a very small breed of dog to carry with you everywhere, one way to make sure you are dealing with a scrupulous breeder is to be on the lookout for the giveaway word "teacup." There is no such thing as a "teacup" in the dog-breeding world: only an unknowledgeable breeder or one trying to take advantage of you would brag about that.

March 28th, 2007, 05:15 PM
What a shockingly sad state of affairs this is, Terri!:sick: :sad: :sick:
Supply, demand... greed.:sick:

If there was "ever" a case where the end doesnt justify the means... this is surely it.:evil:

The so-called pocket dogs and teacups have not only major health issues, but a short expected life span too.

My dog Percy is six pounds, small for a toy poodle. ( an adopted 5-yr old rescue when I got him) I was actually looking for a mixed breed adult dog
of about 20 pounds, but he became available and I fell in love.:lovestruck:
But he's delicate to some degree due to his size..I wish he was a bit larger.:shrug:

It gripes me no end when people ask me if he's a teacup, and I am compelled to tell them there IS no such category... and even if there were.. I would run a mile from them. :sad:

March 28th, 2007, 09:47 PM
My dog Percy is six pounds, small for a toy poodle. ( an adopted 5-yr old rescue when I got him) I was actually looking for a mixed breed adult dog
of about 20 pounds, but he became available and I fell in love.:lovestruck:
But he's delicate to some degree due to his size..I wish he was a bit larger.:shrug:

Wow, I didn't realize he was quite that small, even your cats are bigger then him :eek: .

March 28th, 2007, 10:07 PM
You know what's pocket sized? Gerbils. Hamsters. Rats. Birds. Guinea pigs.

If you want a tiny pet you can get one thats supposed to be small.:shrug:

And I do have a small breed dog. But he's well within the normal weight range for his breed. He was teeny when I brought him home but if he tripled his present size I would still be crazy about him. And I'm pretty certain the next dog we add to the household will be large.

We're looking to take care of some doggies---we're not accessorizing.:shrug:

March 28th, 2007, 10:12 PM
Teri, yes.. people often comment to me... "Wow, I have a cat bigger than that! "To which I always reply.. "Yes...I have three.";)

March 29th, 2007, 01:12 AM
Yeah, a friend of mine has a teacup... Not on purpose though. The breeder was pretty bad, and the dogs came out smaller than expected... She's 4lbs...

But she's way too fragile and has to be taken care of.. Definitely not a size to strive for, IMO.:sad:

March 29th, 2007, 01:17 AM
OMG, I had to laugh at the picture. Poor Boo looks terrified that he is gonna step on the other dog :laughing: .

March 29th, 2007, 01:20 AM
Yeah, that was pretty much it. He lifted his legs up high when he walked around her. He tried so hard not to hurt her.. Poor bugger. And there she was, trying to dominate him every chance she got. :rolleyes: :D

Oh, wait! This one was the best one:

March 29th, 2007, 01:25 AM
What a great pic :lovestruck: :D . That doggie looks pretty fragile though :sad: .

March 29th, 2007, 01:34 AM
She totally is. She is loved inspite of her size, not for her size.:o

March 29th, 2007, 02:23 AM
omg... what a pic of contrasts!:D
Excellent pics.. that last one is priceless Prin!

She is a sweetie for sure :cloud9: Delicate as a flower she looks, though..

March 29th, 2007, 03:42 AM
For me, this differentiates dogs from "playthings".

March 29th, 2007, 08:08 AM
Wow, that is one tiny Minpin. Ours is about six pounds, maybe a tad more, and fragile as it is...we are always on the lookout for her as she is underfoot most of the time. I can't imagine ours being any tinier, those little bones look so breakable, you almost need a bell on them! I agree though, breeding for "pocket dogs" is a sick practice, has nothing to do with the well being of the animal, and everything to do with greed and vanity. Good article though.

March 29th, 2007, 11:42 AM
BYB are having so much fun with this :mad: All you can see on kijiji are adds to sell these poor tiny dogs :sad:

Loves Labs
March 29th, 2007, 01:11 PM
How very sad :mad: I think people are forgetting these are actual living and breathing animals...not the a toy or for some...even a purse. :mad:

Great pics Prin - I can't believe how tiny that pup is next to yours! :eek:

March 29th, 2007, 01:13 PM
Yeah, and Jemma's our "little girl"...:o Too tiny for me. I like a dog I can clumsily fall on without killing. :o

March 29th, 2007, 01:44 PM
Yeah Cassie is a "little" dog, but she is so much more like a big dog. That is why I like beagles, they are not fragile at all.

March 29th, 2007, 01:50 PM
I know MinPin's and I guarantee this much........ dyno-mite! those little ones are full of fire, and certainly don't think of themself as 'fragile' OR 'tiny'

I had to add my version of that pic.... it was just too tempting! :)

March 29th, 2007, 01:53 PM
lol wjranch! :D

Normal minpins aren't tiny and fragile, but this 4lber is...:o Her legs are like pencils...:o

March 29th, 2007, 04:27 PM
Our Emmy is normal size for a Minpin, but I beg to differ that they aren't fragile...physically anyway. These are big dominant feisty dogs in a small package, and they're not true to the breed temperament unless they're like a little fire-cracker! I'm more used to the Great Dane/Bullmastiff size dog, and when we introduced our little girl to the family, I realized just how careful you have to be around these guys. Yes, her legs are like twigs...and her constitution seems pretty low as she makes a huge deal out of every tiny bump or boo-boo, limping pathetically from the most minor infraction! Definately not a breed for active toddlers IMO....big dog mentality, but not much substance to back it up. Wouldn't have them any other way either! ;)

March 30th, 2007, 07:58 PM
Yeah, I think Jacks are build more robustly, but they come with their own set of issues.:D

March 31st, 2007, 01:37 PM
Aww poor tiny dogs. Well at least some of these underweight guys from the board went to homes where they won't be bred to death like the article. I know a woman who bought her 'teacup' chihuahua as her first dog, before she really knew there were such things as BYBs and brokers, she still feels horrible hers is from such a place and underweight for the breed standards.

TeriM - thanks so much for sharing this article!