Posts Tagged ‘mutts’

What the heck breed is a Teddy Bear dog anyways?

April 3, 2014 27 comments

Teddy Bear

That is the question I posted on my Facebook page last night. I asked the question after seeing a posting for a missing dog that listed the breed of dog as Teddy Bear. Ummmm… What?

Two thoughts immediately ran through my mind when I read that posting:

  1. What the heck is a Teddy Bear?
  2. Who the heck is going to know what a Teddy Bear is so they know what to look for?

I can reassure you that the dog has since been found (thank goodness), but it led me to ask the question of my friends “What kind of breed is a Teddy Bear dog?”

Here are some of the answers I received:

  • A pom mix?
  • Never heard of it.
  • Shichon or cross between a shih tzu and bichon.
  • Also called a Zuchon.
  • Bichon and Pom and Shitzu (I think).
  • It can be any mix usually toy anything that will sell.

I Googled it and came up with this:

Hybrid Parentage

Teddy bears are “designer dogs,” hybrids of two or more breeds. Most commonly, their parents are Shih Tzus and bichon frises or bichon-poodle mixes, although breeders continue to experiment with adding other dogs, such as schnauzers, to the gene pool. Because of their small size and sweet nature, teddy bears can be perfect pets whether you live in an apartment or a large house.

Apparently, according to this page, they are also great therapy dogs, perfect for people with allergies (yeah, right), and smart and easy to train. 13_8_2012_12_30_44_SAMYOAD-233x300

The most likely reality is they are also mutts (yes mutts) with a cute name and numerous health issues that cost thousands of dollars and were raised by puppy millers looking for another quick buck. I can’t wait for the new waves of puppy mill breeding dogs soon to be headed to your local shelter (after a raid of a breeding facility).

To steal a phrase from a friend (Thanks Marie!): “Good Grief. People will do anything to say they have a “rare or special” dog breed won’t they?”

Yes. And, people will pay anything for a dog with a cute name.

National Mutt Census: What breeds make up a mutt?

May 20, 2012 14 comments

Do you know what mix your mutt is?

More than half of the dogs in the U.S. are mutts, and yet, many of us can only guess at what breeds are in their make up. A story ( First mutt census reveals strong dog DNA trends, ) first published last year on the Today Show may provide us some clues as to what breeds are more common in today’s mixed-breed dogs.

According to the story, Mars Veterinary, a division of Mars, Incorporated, conducted the first ever National Mutt Census to find out what breeds make up today’s mutts. Using an online survey, they collected information from pet owners from across the United States regarding  their dog’s size, weight, place of origin, feeding and exercise habits, and health. In addition, they collected DNA samples from over 36,000 dogs to see what breeds would be most prevalent.

The results shared in the story were fascinating.

The dog most commonly found at the grandparent or great-grandparent level is the Chow Chow

American Staffordshire terrier mixes are becoming much more common

Large breeds (over 80 lbs.) were less likely to appear in mixed-breed dogs ( only 11%)

German Shepherds are a popular breed found in many mutts and are also a popular AKC breed

The 10 most popular breeds found in mixed dogs are:

1) German Shepherds

2) Labrador Retriever

3) Chow Chow

4) Boxer

5) Rottweiler

6) Poodle

7) American Staffordshire Terrier

8) Golden Retriever

9) Cocker Spaniel

10) Siberian Husky

The Today Show also reported that Mars had discovered:

Most mixed-breed dogs are adopted from a shelter (46%)

Most people feed their dogs kibble (65%)

48% of us let our dogs sleep on our beds with us

89% of mutts are spayed or neutered

I encourage you to read the full story, and even though the National Mutt census is over (it was conducted in 2010), you can find out more about the survey and the at, including what breeds are most common in the mixed-breed dogs in your state.

In Minnesota, the following breeds were more frequently detected in our mutts:

Labrador Retriever: 19.6%
German Shepherd Dog: 16.1%
Golden Retriever: 12.9%
Siberian Husky: 8.4%
Rottweiler: 7.1%

What breeds are most common in yours?

Magical Mystery Mutt Tour

February 5, 2011 31 comments

I wasn’t going to participate in this round of blog hops since both of my current dogs (although shelter dogs) are full-breeds, but I was having so much fun guessing other’s people’s dog breed mixes that I decided to submit Aspen. Thanks to fellow bloggers Peggy Frezon, Pup Fan and Edie Jarolim, for starting this new blog hop: The Magical Mystery Mutt Tour. I am having a blast guessing the breeds.

Want to participate? Post your pictures of your mutt, add your blog to the linky tool list and ask readers to guess their make up!


Aspen was my last dog. I only had her a year but she was the most awesome dog ever! I adopted her at 9 years old and lost her at 10. She was a vibrant, fun, sweet and lovable girl. She had a nose for smells (that’s likely a hint) and loved to run (thus the need to always be in an enclosed space before she could be let off leash!) In fact, Aspen escaped my house many times when someone opened the front door, but she always came back for food. She loved attention, loved other dogs and was great with kids. She was about the most even-tempered and happiest dog I have ever had.

I have had my guesses about her mix, but I will leave you to see if you can come up with just the right combination!

Once you are done guessing, make sure to check out the other participating blogs! There are a lot of awesome canines out there waiting for you.

When an Animal Shelter Closes

December 3, 2010 40 comments

It seems ironic (or at the very least a sad coincidence) that today on National Adopt a Mutt Day there would be such sad news to report on the adoptable mutts in my very own community.

I had been hearing rumors for days now that the shelter I have volunteered at for the past 8 years was in trouble and would be closing, but I had been hoping and praying it would not true. It was not to be, today the Minnesota Valley Humane Society (MVHS) announced it would be closing it’s doors on December 31, 2010.

To say this is a sad event is an understatement. This one small humane society has been operating on its own since 1981. Despite many people’s mistaken belief, MVHS has never been affiliated with the larger Animal Humane Society (AHS) in Golden Valley, Woodbury, St. Paul, etc. It did not receive money from the the Humane Society of the United States (by the way, MOST Humane Societies DON’T receive money from HSUS). It operated on a tight budget, with a small staff, and had to raise all of it’s money on its own – and it had a high adoption rate (perhaps that’s because it didn’t put a timeline on an animal’s life like other humane societies do or maybe it’s because of the awesome staff and volunteers who promoted the animals and tried to help animals find homes).

It is the only animal shelter servicing the South Metro area and soon it will be gone.

So what is the impact when a shelter closes?

Other shelters and rescue groups end up taking up the slack. Most small shelters and rescue groups operate on a shoestring budget already, so when a shelter closes they not only take on additional animals they had not planned for, they also take on the extra costs associated with it. It can make or break a shelter or rescue group, financially.

Staff and Volunteers feel set adrift. Many volunteers work at animal shelters because they deeply care for the animals, but in many cases, there is also a sense of commaraderie that develops between the staff and volunteers. Friendships are formed. There is a feeling that you are all united in a common cause – saving animals

The animals that remain suffer undue additional stress. Animals that have not been adopted out feel the additional stress from the staff and volunteers, who are stressed out themselves, but their daily routine and lives change too. Suddenly, they are shipped off to some other location, maybe to a place where conditions are worse than where they came from (or more stressful) or they may have a limit on the number of days they can remain before they are euthanized.

The community suffers. Shelters provide a lot of services that the community often does not often recognize – educational programs, veterinary services, dog training, personal support after adoption, spaying and neutering, pet supplies for your newly adopted pet and informational resources. MVHS even offered people a list of apartments and townhomes that allowed pets.

What can you do?

Give money to your local animal shelters and rescue groups. Now. Call your local animal shelter and ask them if they are affiliated with a larger organization or if they operate on their own small budget, and then give. Contact a rescue organization and ask what you can do to help. Most of them need money, but many of them also need foster homes for the animals they already have.

Adopt. Normally I would be encouraging people to not to adopt during the holiday season, but this year I am asking people to adopt the remaining dogs, cats, birds, etc. that remain at MVHS. If you have the space, the time and want to make a difference, please adopt. And, if you are not local and living in MN, please adopt from your own shelter or rescue organizations. So many of the dogs, cats and other animals that end up at a shelter are not there because they were bad or did something to deserve it. In fact, some of the most common reasons animals are surrendered are because: someone lost a job, someone died, a family situation has changed (e.g., divorce) or the family had to move to a smaller location, like an apartment that doesn’t take pets. People that want a purebreed dog or cat often don’t realize that a lot of purebreed dogs and cats end up in shelters every single day (I should know I have two of my own – a Lab and a Sheltie). Many rescues and shelters have purebred dogs and cats, and often rescues are geared towards a particular breed. If that’s what you are looking for, please check with a shelter or rescue group first. Please.

Volunteer. I have had so many people tell me that they could never volunteer at a shelter because it would break their heart. I’m not going to lie, some days your heart does break, but most of the time you feel good knowing you have given a dog or cat a little extra attention and love that day. Every single interaction of love and kindness matters to them. It is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. And did I mention the friendships you develop? Trust me. It is SO worth it.

It’s never easy when an animal shelter closes, but sometimes it can bring change. I hope you will be a part of that change.

Please Note: If you are coming here to read this because sent you here, please note that this shelter DID NOT close because of anything HSUS did or did not do and I completely disavow their misrepresentation of this fact in order to push their agenda to smear HSUS or any other group that supports caring for animals in a humane way.

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