Dog Lady discusses names of trendy mixed-breed dogs, and how not to worry about waking up your dog in the morning.

Dear Dog Lady,

I have Lassie love. I am dying to get a dog. Whenever I see a cute one on the street, I follow the dog and its human to try to get all the info about the type of dog, its name, breed, temperament, etc. I usually find dog people are very chatty.

The other day, I saw the most adorable dog. When I asked the woman holding the leash what kind of dog and she said something that can’t be printed in a family newspaper. When I looked surprised, she said, “It’s a mix of Shih-tzu and poodle. Don’t blame me. That’s what they’re called.” Why not shih-doodle?

Felice

Dear Felice,

It’s not literally an expletive. The mangled name for the mixed breed pup just sounds weird. You might feel better to know the correct title for this mixed breed is actually “Shih-poo.”

Breeders who first concocted the Shih-tzu/poodle mix could have thrown in an “oodle,” considering all the other mixed breed “oodles,” such as Labradoodle (labrador-poodle), Shnoodle (schnauzer-poodle) and goldendoodle (golden retriever-poodle). These mixes are actually very trendy and highly desirable. Mixed poodle puppies fetch oodles of dollars, which is somewhat amusing since the dogs are actually mixed-breed mutts – once considered a lower caste in the canine world.

Most prized about these poodle mix dogs is their low allergen quality. Poodles have hair instead of fur. They do not shed much and people with allergies can live under the same roof with them and pet them without congestive regret.

Poodles not only have good looks but smarts. Reputedly, they are the nerds of the dog world and are admired for their brains. Of course, they still do dumb things, which is why we love dogs.

Dear Dog Lady,

We've trained our new puppy Samson to sleep in a crate at night ever since bringing him home six months ago. His crate is in our finished basement, along with our oldest daughter's bedroom.

Before we brought Samson home I was exercising at 4 a.m. in my workshop, which is located in the basement. I have not exercised since, but I plan on starting up again soon. I'm concerned that when he hears me he will begin barking and expect to be taken out. Samson's wake-up time is normally between 7:30 and 8 a.m. My daughter says that when she gets up at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for school, the dog doesn't bark when he hears her. Am I worrying about a problem that isn't real?

Marty

Dear Marty,

Yes, you’re worried about a problem you shouldn’t make happen. Kudos on your plan to exercise at 4 a.m. You should just do it, as they say, and don’t worry about Samson. Totally ignore his presence.

By now, your dog has learned the inner rhythms and rituals of your house. He knows the sounds of the day, when he is walked and fed, and the rumble as your daughter gets ready for school. Please note: Samson ignores your daughter because she ignores him. Your exercising should not cause undue alarm as long as you let sleeping Samson lie.

Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Her Web site is www.askdoglady.com. Contact her at askdoglady@gmail.com.