Q: Dogs and fashion seems to be quite an unusual title for an article, don't you think? I mean, why write or read about the connection between dogs and fashion when the two are clearly unrelated to each other.
A: There is more in it than meets the eye at first glance. Let me explain why.
Dogs have always been subject to fashion in a way that breeds come and go depending on the taste people have at a certain time. A breed which is subjected to fashion is said to go down very quickly. When there is a great demand for a certain kind of dog serious breeders as well as puppy farms tend to produce more specimen of that particular breed which in turn means a loss of quality due to over breeding.
A breed which has been unfortunate enough to become very popular pays for this with health and temperament problems.
Q: So by fashion you mean popularity of a breed, is that right?
A: Yes that is one aspect. But it is not the only one.
The next step down the line are certain popular "fashionable" training methods. Once an idea has become mainstream countless dogs are being subjected to training following the lines of that idea. If the idea is a good one based on knowledge and understanding of a dog's nature and soul the dogs trained will benefit - if the idea is unsound and not in agreement with the true nature of canines it's application will cause dogs to suffer.
Q: So what you are saying is "beware of popular training methods"?
A: Not quite. What I am saying is that a training method is not good just because it is popular and a training method which seems to be outdated or individual is not necessarily bad. You need to be critical before you buy into any kind of training philosophy.
Q. So it seems that you are using the word fashion in a very broad sense. Most people would associate clothing and accessories when they hear the word fashion. Do you also spy a connection between dogs and fashion in that sense?
A: Yes! There is a trend to use a dog as an accessory as well as buying dog collars, leads and hair clips which match the dress of the owner.
But getting sweet looking collars and leads for your dog is nice and completely harmless. Dressing a dog up like a barbie doll isn't. Putting nail varnish on your dogs claws isn't either because of the smell and the chemicals which are in no way really safe.
Putting coats on dogs disturbs their thermo-regulation and interferes with their coat shedding cycles. It is a threat to your dog's health in the long run because it interferes with his natural and healthy programming.
Dogs have all they need to be a happy species. They don't need clothing or dressing up like humans do. Their coats are meant to withstand any weather condition, provided they are healthy. Dogs without coats are a different matter of course. But the normal kind of dog surely profits if it's natural properties are not interfered with.