Dog breeding is a fun business.

An ad in a newspaper reveals the price people are willing to pay for a puppy – wow! It makes you think. You love dogs, outdoors and money. That’s a start. You can work from home, be with your family and produce an extended canine family. You create the miracle of life for living, you make people happy, and you are happy and wealthy yourself. That’s the perfect job! Let’s set up a puppy mill.

Sure, there is government. Restrictions, regulations, rules, taxes, pain in the rear. But business is business. You need to obey, honor and share.

There are also vets, shots, fleas and ticks, prenatal care, postpartum depression, sick puppies, ADHD puppies and more… But this is family and you take care of your family.

And, yes, there are customers. These people are so finicky. They want a purebred, they want the best of kin, they want their pet to succeed in dog shows. Fine, you can now title yourself a ‘pedigree champion breeder’. Let’s go for the purest breed, DNA tests are available. It takes work – the breed type definition is very strict. A Saint Bernard is a Saint Bernard only if his parents, grandparents and great grandparents were Saint Bernards. (So much easier with people – one Jewish mother would be enough). Why people are so obsessed with purebreds? They think, it will guarantee them some breed-specific features, like, Labradors and Retrievers are great with kids, and German Shepherds make excellent guards. That may be a total mistake: dogs are individuals and your best shot for a guard can be a Chihuahua.

What about mixing the breeds? This is fun, and you can call yourself a ‘Genetic architect’. Or a ‘Dog designer’. Let’s mix the smartest dog with the fastest one, and we’ll create… God knows what. Some risk involved. The nature selects a random genes combination, we can only hope… Still, whatever comes out is our family and it is exciting.

It seems like people are unusually fascinated with Poodle mixes. Why is that? Nobody knows. Maybe because poodles are very intelligent and don’t shed. Anyway, there are more Poodle hybrids than any other breeds. Virtually, Poodles left their mark on every dog kind known. Some breed names are self-explanatory: Doodleman Pinscher, Bassetoodle, Bolonoodle, Boxerdoodle, Broodle Griffon, Foxhoodle, Chinese Crestepoo, Jack-A-Poo, Labradoodle, Malti-Poo etc.

But do you know that Daisy Dog is a combination of Poodle, Bichon and Shih-Tzu? Or Escapoo is a result of Poodle intervention into American Eskimo Dog? And Peek-a-poo is a Poodle and Pekingese love puppy? And Poochon’s non-Poodle parent is Bichon Frise?

And don’t confuse an Irish Doodle, who is an Irish Setter heir with an Irish Troodle, who comes from Irish Terrier. Dog designers went even further with Poodle invasion and now we have a Double Doodle, who is a Goldendoodle and Labradoodle mix. So, the poodle can be the mascot of Yankee Doodle, eating noodles and stroodles, drawing doodles and playing peek-a-boo.

Okay, dear Customer. You finally decided on purebred vs. hybrid. You choose the size, shape, eyes, ears, hairstyle – the total exterior. What are looking for now? They all are cute, cuter, cutest, the epidemy of cuteness. But you keep looking, seeking the right temperament, attitude, personality. What is it exactly? Maybe, you are subconsciously looking for a dog resembling yourself?

We often notice that dogs look like their owners. If this is indeed true, do dogs grow to mimic their master, or do owners choose a dog in their own image? Apparently, people are attracted to looks and temperaments that reflect themselves or how they perceive themselves.

Thus, are you looking for a pop-eyed, pointy-eared, pug-nosed French Bulldog, or a goofy-smiling shaggy-haired Golden Retriever? Is it how you see yourself?

Some dog owners will deny that they look like their pet, just as some married couples deny that they grow to look like each other. After all, each of us wants to think we’re different and unique. Even if we believe we have a doppelganger running around we don’t want it to be a Chihuahua, Terrier, or Schnauzer.

But some people will agree that their adorable tail-wagging buddy is a mirror image of their human self.

Pick a dog, Customer. A pedigree champion, or a guard, a guide, a kid-sitter, a duck-chaser… Or just a friend.