I was reading the local free ad newspaper on the train to London the other day and was intrigued by the Pets section.
I’d never realised the extent to which dog owners are now interbreeding their pets to create monstrous new varieties. I’d heard of the Jug (cross between a Jack Russell and a Pug) because I’d met one in a pub. I’ve also met the love child of a French Bulldog and a Pug – not sure what it was called though – a Frug maybe?
It all seems a bit strange, this desire to create new species just because you can. I mean, aren’t Jack Russells or Weimaraners or Dalmations or whatever nice enough as they are, without having to cross them with something else? After decades of creating a pure, distinct variety, owners are now deliberately watering down the individuality of their pets by crossing them with something else. I can’t work out if the owners of these peculiar half-breeds do it because they want to create a silly new dog or just a silly new word.
Here are some of the daft breeds you can get nowadays – the parentage is fairly obvious from the words.
I’m not making any of those up – they are all readily available through the pages of the Reigate Friday Ad – and elsewhere, I’m sure.
It got me thinking, if breeders are going to muck about with nature by creating new breeds just for a laugh, why can’t they make ones that are really worth looking at? What if I had too much time on my hands and easy access to horny canines of various breeds, what would I create?
I’d love to try an Akitahuahua. The combination between a Chihuahua and an Akita fighting dog – fits in your handbag but takes your hand off when you try to get your keys out.
Or how about a Graschund (Great Dane and Dachshund)? Ten stone of muscle barely supported on four-inch legs.
Or a Newdle (a Newfoundland crossed with a miniature poodle). A muscular ball of black curls on dainty feet with a propensity to leap into puddles looking for people to rescue.
Maybe a mixture of a special needs Doberman and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier – a Daffy.
Or cross a Dogue de Bordeaux with a poodle and you’d have a Dogpoo!
Mating a Shih Tzu with a Jack Russell would be fun too, because a few months later (or is it weeks – my knowledge of canine biology is rusty), you’d have a Jackshiht – geddit?!!
Even better, bring a bulldog into the Shih Tzu equation and you’d have Bullshiht.
But my favourite fantasy cross-breeding exercise would be a dog crossed with a cat – something you could take for a muddy country walk that would have the intelligence to find its own way home if you lost it, could let itself in through the catflap, would daintily clean itself, scare off intruders but wouldn’t howl the house down if it was left alone while you went to the pub.