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Chinese love to 'Panda' their dogs
Wednesday May 14th 2014
China has gone nuts for 'Panda Dogs' and pet shops in the country can't produce enough of the black and white pooches to satisfy the demand.
Although they are becoming something of a phenomenon, the fluffy dogs are cosmetically altered Chows and not a new breed.
China's middle classes are keen to have Panda Dogs as pets, particularly in Chengdu in Sichaun province.
According to a pet shop owner in the city, Hsin Ch'en, Chinese people were more interested in eating dogs that keeping them a decade ago. Now they are now more likely to keep them as pets like westerners do, he said. They spend lots of money on the dogs and it has meant a boom for pet stores like his and Pet Insurance firms in China.
He said the Panda Dog has overtaken the likes of Labradors and French bulldogs as the most sought-after breeds.
Hsin Ch'en says he is one of the best at making a Chow look like a Panda. He claims he can groom and colour one in two hours.
He said it is not cruel, he doesn't use chemicals and the effect lasts for about six weeks. Owners regularly bring them back to have it done again, he said.
He said people don't mind paying for it as having a Panda Dog is something of a status symbol in China.
Copyright Press Association 2014