Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Bargain Dog

It occurred to me yesterday when I used the picture of our dog Bo in my last post, that I'd never properly introduced this member of our family.

This is Bo. We got him from the pound, and the pound people could only tell us that he'd been dropped off two days before, he was about a year old, and he was a pug/chihuahua mix.

Whenever I tell anyone that we have a dog that is a pug/chihuahua mix, I can see them trying to process in their head what the dog might look like, and I almost always get a remark ranging from "Ummm." to "Ehhh." As you can see though, he's a cute dog.

We paid $10 for him at the pound. This was $5 per day for boarding, since he'd been there two days. We got him in December of 1999, so we think he's about 10 years old.

Back in the day, we called dogs like these "mutts." Not a pure breed, but a mixture of two or more breeds. I think we got a bargain when we got him for $10.

A few years ago, we were at a puppy store at the mall. We saw, in one of the little windows, a dog called a "Chug", which was described as a chihuahua/pug mix. Suddenly, our little dog was no longer a mutt, but a Chug! He'd been vindicated! Validated!

I rushed home to tell him that he wasn't actually a mutt, like we'd always thought, but a Chug. I also told him that his relatives were being sold at the pet store for $1500.

He snorted, jumped up on the couch, laid down in the exact center of it, and went to sleep.

There are all kinds of these designer dogs now. What we used to call mutts are now coveted, expensive pets. The Chug is an interesting combo though, because the look of the dog can really differ, depending on which body parts are pug, and which are chihuahua. Bo got a chihuahua face, and a pug body, complete with a curly tail.

This guy has a more puggish look to him:

This little guy definitely has a more chihuahua look to him. In fact, on the website I stole the picture from, he was called a "pugwahwa." No, I'm not kidding. So I guess Bo can either be a Chug, or a Pugwahwa...depending on how he's feeling that day.

This little guy is a Labradoodle, or a labrador/poodle mix. I don't even want to know how they accomplished that one. They can also go for around $1500 in the pet store.

This is a Puggle, or a pug/beagle mix. Again, I think we used to call these mutts. Now they're called "pricey."

Here, we have the unfortunately named "Schnoodle." A cross between a poodle and a schnauzer, I'm guessing?

This guy is my favorite. This has got to be the cutest mutt ever. He a cross between a Bichon Frise and a ShihTzu. (Pronounced Shit-zu, in less sophisticated circles) He's called a Shichon. I have no idea how you would pronounce that, but I'm sure they'll tell you at the pet store, for about $2000.

So what I'm saying is that we got a righteous deal on our Chug. Pugwahwa. Mutt. Whatever he is, he is a great dog and a beloved member of our family.

This got me thinking though. When Steve and I first moved in together (yes, we lived in sin, I know you're shocked, get over it), I had a golden retriever named Majerle. For those of you not familiar with former Phoenix Suns player and total hottie, Dan Majerle, it's pronounced "Marley."

Majerle was a female golden retriever. Steve decided he wanted a dog too, so he went out and got a cute chocolate brown and white cocker spaniel. We named him Ziggy. Ziggy, Majerle...get it? Anyway.

Ziggy was a male. Since I was a stupid college kid and had never bothered to have my dog spayed, the inevitable happened after a while. Majerle ended up having five puppies. Four of them were black and white females, and looked like little cocker spaniels. The fifth one was a male, and he was all golden retriever.

Here's the part I regret. We gave these dogs away for free. For free, people! Do you know what I could get for a cocker spaniel/golden retriever mix now, in these days of the designer dog? I even thought of the perfect name: The Cockretriever.


Anonymous said...

I just saw this as a Piece of Flair (buttons) you can add onto Facebook...

"If you mated a Bulldog with a Shitzu would you call it Bullshit?"

I had to come here immediately. ;p

Shelley said...

Alice...Haha! I didn't even think about that one! That's awesome.

LIBSMOM said...

Hey don't forget our dog Bella.. A Chi-a-pom. chihuahua and Pomeranian. She looks like a little fox with furry boots on. Not AKC recognized but I don't care. Your dog is adorable no matter what the mix.

Liz said...

I'm not sure how old this post is, but I ran across it looking for pictures of Chugs to show some prospective puppy buyers at my pet store.
You're very right, these days, "mutts" are now designer hybrids with special names. My mom had a LhasaPoo in the 70's. LhasaPoos, CockAPoos and Labradoodles were the original breeds mixed for a purpose. The Labradoodle came about in Australia in the 1980's as an intentional cross between a Standard Poodle and a Labrador Retriever, resulting in a 60-70lb non-shedding seeing-eye dog for a woman who had severe allergies.
As a kid, my Border Collie had an accidental litter of puppies with the neighbor's Lab. These days, they'd be called Boradors. There's also more interesting combos like Bordoodles (Border Collie x Poodle), Shollie (Shepherd x Collie), Bugg (Boston Terrier x Pug), Sharpeagle (Shar Pei x Beagle), Chiweenie (Chihuahua x Dachshund -weenie dog-), PomChi (Pomeranian x Chihuahua), BullShih (French Bulldog x Shih Tzu), ShihChi (Shih Tzu x Chihuahua), Havachon -have.a.shon- (Havanese x Bichon), Cavachon -cav-a-shon- (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Bichon), Beagador (Beagle x Labrador), Rottadors (Rotti x Labrador), GoldenDoodle (Golden Retriever x Poodle), Cockador (Cocker x Labrador), Schnoodle (Mini Schnauzer x Mini Poodle), Schnorkie (Mini Schnauzer x Yorkie), Schnocker (Mini Schnauzer x Cocker Spaniel), Morkie (Maltese x Yorkie), MorkiePoo (you do the math), etc. Shihchons -shee.shon- are now called Teddybears for their ragdoll appearance and sweet disposition.
There's a website full of mixed breeds and pictures here:

These days, you can mix anything with anything as long as the female is the larger of the pairing so she can pass the pups. We once had Fox Terrier / Saint Bernard mixes. We were told the female had to lie down for the male to mate her, and they happened to be housepets. Ironically, when you mix breeds, the mother's general body structure is what the puppy will take after. Your 'Chug' most likely had a Chihuahua dad and a Pug mom.

Chugs are good sellers in our store, typically only sticking around for up to a week or two. They retail for $600-800 in and around the Pennsylvania area.
For more questions or help decoding your dog, give me a head's up at the url I provided. It's for the puppy specialist store I'm the manager of. You can go onto our website and view our crazy mixes or purebreds, and email the email address on the front page to get in touch with me!
Hope I could shed some light on the 'designer mix' phenomenon!! Don't even get me started on shedding or non-shedding. There are 5 possible coat types for the Labradoodle alone!!!

Lisa Tudoroiu said...

Yes, very cute. BUT I cannot stress the large number of dogs whether purebred, mutts or "designer" that are over flowing in our shelters. Please take time to consider if blowing 600-1,200 on a mutt is right for you or if rescuing a forever friend from a shelter would do better. I love my dog who is a cute mutt but a mutt all the same.

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