The Birds and The Bees…. And Dogs

I think my son is definitely too young to be having that conversation about ‘the birds and the bees’ . But he did ask me about that subject while we were out walking the other day.

He has developed an interest in dogs. Mostly about the fact that there are so many different breeds. He asked what dogs we had when I was younger and I told him that mostly the dogs we had (and most others had) were cross breeds (aka ‘mongrel’ dogs). So I had to explain what that meant. Including that some dogs were such a mix of breeds that it was hard to tell which pure breeds they came from. But it wasn’t long before he came back with questions.

“So if you if you cross a German shepherd with a greyhound you get a fast dog that’s good for training.” He said as the penny dropped.
“Yes, that’s more or less it.”
“But how are there dogs from lots of different breeds?”
“Well if you cross that German shepherd/greyhound mixed breed with another that is a labrador crossed with a dalmation, what would you get?”
“Ah, yeah. It would be like part greyhound, part dalmation, part German shepherd and part labrador. I get it now.”
“Yes. And so on and so on. Eventually they can be so totally mixed up that you probably wouldn’t be able to tell what breeds they came from.”

Great, I thought. Now he understands the concept of cross bred dogs and mongrel mutts he will be happy with that for a while.


He continued talking about it for a while safe in the knowledge that he fully understood it all (as they tend to do at that age). Then he asked the real question.

“Dad. How do you breed dogs?”
“Well, you put a dog and a bitch together and they just get on with it.” There was a short pause…
“But how do you make them breed? What do they do?”
“I think they just know what to do. They just do it. Nobody has to show them.”

That should be enough I thought. But he was clearly still thinking about it.

Eventually he did that ‘lightbulb moment’ thing. “Ah! I get it.”

Oh, here we go, I thought.
“They breed” he said nodding. Pause. Then, “I get it.”

I think he convinced himself that he knew. He changed the subject – slightly – to what a dog would be like if you crossed breed A with breed B (you know the kind of way that goes right?)

Well, I am not sure he does ‘get it’, but I managed to dodge that one. For the moment. Actually I think when it finally comes around, that particular one will be easier than the Santa conversation. Even easier than the WWE (wrestling is fake) conversation…

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