So, a farm in Arizona mutated their way to a brand-new designer dog by mixing three legit breeds and giving the offspring a silly-sounding name, and now everyone wants one. This is serious business: a geneticist and a reproductive veterinarian were consulted on the quest to create a "smart, healthy and hypoallergenic" new breed of tiny dog/fashion accessory — oh, and one that will (supposedly) always resemble a puppy, never making the shift into looking like a fully-grown dog. So now, we have the baby-faced, curly 10-pound cava-poo-choon, named as such because it's triple-bred with a bit of cavalier, poodle and bichon frise.
So far, the dog has been so popular that 58 families have returned to to get a second puppy. Breeders Linda and Steve Rogers, who invented the cava-poo-choon in Pine, Arizona, have proudly announced that 12 of these have been certified to work in nursing homes and hospitals as therapy dogs. They're also apparently great as household pets: Take it from cava-poo-choon owner and Austin resident Amy Wolf, for example.
Never have we had a more loving, sweet dog. She wants to say hello to everyone. We've met tons of people while walking her. We feel much more connected with this neighborhood than the previous one, all because of her. She makes us more approachable, and we feel a lot safer. I can't tell you the number of times a day I look at her and say, "You are so cute".
So what makes this superhero dog so special? The biggest difference between the cava-poo-chon and your average mutt might be the price tag: between $2,000 to $3,500. One cava-poo-choon breeder justified it: "There's no reason they can't live for 20 years." Except no cava-poo-choon has ever lived that long, so that's, um, not really based in anything but a desire for more dolla.
Meanwhile, the American Kennel Club does not recognize the cava-poo-choon as an official breed, which seems fair enough. And we should point out that this is not, actually, the world's first designer dog (remember the puggle? The chiweenie?) and nor is it likely to be the last. According to author and certified animal behavior consultant Darlene Arden of Massachusetts, there has been a number of similar breeds over the years — "with cutesy names that end in '-oodle,' '-uddle' or '-poo' that come with thousand-dollar price tags" — which she refers to as a "gimmick" used by breeders to attract buyers.
Also, I might get a lot of haters for saying this, but the cava-poo-choon kinda looks like just a dog. Or at least not more like a puppy than other dogs. In fact, I challenge you to distinguish between the various double-and-triple cross-breeds at Timshell Farm.
That said, even though they actually do look different when they grow up, which sort of feels like a scam, the puppies are still kinda adorable.
D'aw. OK, scam, sure. But look at its little face!
Images: Timshell Farm