Dear Daisy Dog
I live in Michigan, where a local woman advertises small, mixed-breed dogs called “Daisy Dogs.” Do you know of any medical or behavioral problems with this breed? What questions should I ask to ensure that I get a healthy, friendly pup?
The Daisy Dogs who have written this column over the years are all large-breed dogs. Nevertheless, we’re delighted to learn that a breeder is using our name for the small-breed, shaggy, non-shedding dogs she sells.
While she refuses to disclose which breeds comprise her mixed-breed dogs, the photos on her Web site, www.daisydogs.com, give the impression of a Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso or similar dog. If you buy a pup and are interested in tracing its ancestry, DNA testing can help.
Small-breed dogs like the Daisy Dogs sometimes suffer from these problems: heart disease, dislocating kneecaps, eye problems of various kinds, kidney and bladder disease, impacted anal sacs and difficulty with house training. Dogs that don’t shed often mat, so they require regular grooming, usually by a professional.
To learn more about the health problems in the Daisy Dog line of mixed-breed dogs, ask the breeder to let you talk with her veterinarian and buyers who have lived with her dogs for many years.
If the breeder is unwilling to share this information, recognize that you may pay a pure-bred price for a mixed-breed dog of undocumented lineage and medical background -– qualities you’ll encounter at an animal shelter, where the adoption fee is lower.