I could go on forever naming the various breeds that have recently become all the rage and are considered to be members of the newly named category, Designer Breeds.
Now, we all know that dogs are wonderful pets. It doesn’t matter if they are full blooded or mixed breeds. In fact, some folks would prefer to go to the local shelter and adopt a mixed breed dog, saving its life from death row, rather than paying for a high dollar dog simply because it comes from a champion bloodline or so they can tell all their friends that they have “a full blooded something or other”. That is not to say that full blooded dogs do not make good pets; they do. Every dog has potential and can make a wonderful pet with proper upbringing, training, and understanding. When you get down to it, as long as a dog is loyal, obedient and a functioning member of the family, it doesn’t matter if his parents looked alike or if they were completely different all together.
That being said, I want to reflect on these new breeds. I suppose the nature of the coat of the Poodle is what has led to this mix-breeding infatuation. Dog breeders want to offer a “new line” of dogs featuring desirable traits. These may range from the non-shedding coat of a poodle, the happy personality of the Golden Retriever, the cute smashed in face of a pug, or the tiny size of the Yorki. When these types of dogs are produced, dollar signs flash before the breeder’s very eyes. These dogs are sold at high prices, often more than what a pure blooded dog would sell for.
Now, let’s think about this. Let’s say you are a potential puppy buyer, looking for a registered Labrador retriever and you see an ad in the local classifieds that may say something like this: “NEW! Labradoodles – Non-shedding loyal dogs! Both parents registered!” You may think to yourself that it sounds like a pretty neat thing to check out. After all, it’s kind of a Labrador, but it won’t shed. What makes it even better is that the parents are AKC registered.
I won’t tell you that the puppies aren’t cute; after all, all puppies are cute. Perhaps you even do what potential buyers are supposed to do; ask the breeder lots of questions, ask to see records indicating vaccination records and heartworm status, and even perhaps x-ray certification on the hip joints of the parents. You are even shown the AKC paperwork proving that the parents are registered dogs. The pups may be a little more than what you originally intended to pay but hey, you’re there, the pups are cute, why not pay a little extra for a non shedding coat?
This may sound like an odd situation to some, but believe it or not, that is how most puppies are bought. However, with these new “designer breeds” extensive research needs to be done! If you are the person in our little story here, you will soon realize that just because the father was a registered Labrador and the mother was a registered Standard Poodle doesn’t mean you can register your little labradoodle. This is what it comes down too: you’ve just paid a very high price for a mixed breed dog. It’s as simple as that. The AKC does not and never will, recognize or register a mixed breed dog no matter what its desirable traits are or where its bloodlines come from. It doesn’t matter if it’s parent’s are champions and have won the blue ribbon as Best in Show a hundred times; it’s a mixed breed. It’s no different than any dog found in the shelter.
I do want to express that it’s not the dog’s fault it’s a mutt and its breeder charged its owner an arm and a leg knowing that the dog is indeed a mixed breed. The dog may still grow up to be a great pet. The point I’m trying to make here is that if you could just stop and think about the name of the dog you are looking to adopt. Is it two names mixed together? Is it a name you’ve never heard of? If it is indeed something you’ve not heard of before and the breeder is telling you it’s a “new breed”, then chances are, it’s a mixed breed. If you are unsure, simply visit the American Kennel Club website. If the dog isn’t listed there, then it’s not something that they recognize. Ask the breeder lots of questions before visiting their kennel. Find out exactly what you are getting yourself into. These dogs are mixed together to get desirable traits, however, as will all mixed breed dogs, you can never plan on each and every puppy turning out the same way. Every pup in the same litter can come out looking and acting completely differently. If puggles are bred for the curly tail of a pug, and the hunting ability of the beagle, it’s very possible that it might pop out looking just like beagle but having the personality of a pug. The Goldendoodle may be bred for the non shedding coat of the poodle but the loyalty of a Golden Retriever but puppies may have the long flowing, shedding coat of the Golden and the hyper personality of the poodle. You just never know and you can’t plan on something coming out the way you want it to without having a very strong background and genetics.
Good and admirable dog breeders of full blooded dogs breed dogs for one reason; to better the breed. They breed only the dogs that resemble the breed standard in size and personality to produce puppies that will make the breed stronger. These types of breeders are not the types who breed dogs for the cutesy names and the income. They breed them for the love of the breed.
Just be aware of what you are buying. The high priced “designer breeds” are no different than any other dog found in a shelter. And besides, when you rescue a dog from a shelter, that is really what you are doing; rescuing it, even if it is a “No Kill” shelter. When you pay the inflated prices simply because a breeder has given a mixed breed dog a cute name, the practice is only recognized and encouraged that much more. Instead, support a shelter and help out a dog in need. Go to a local shelter if you’re looking for a mixed breed dog. You may even find full blooded dogs there as well, if that’s what you are going for.
My message is simple. The “Designer Dog Breed” fad has gotten out of control. There are too many dogs sitting in shelters that are in need of homes without these mixed breeds being produced and sold to unknowing buyers. Buying a full blooded dog, you pretty much know what you are getting into as far as size, personality, trainability, etc. If we go mixing in other breeds, we have no idea what we are going for. If you are into that sort of element of surprise, just adopt from a shelter and put what money you would have spent on a designer breed toward more stuff and care for your new saved puppy or dog.
So just think about that. Think about what you really want and where you really want your money to go. Spend it all on a Puggle because it’s got a cute name, or spend a fraction of it and save a sweet little pug-beagle mix at the local shelter and get him lots of extra goodies and all the vet care he can handle and give yourself peace of mind for helping a shelter instead of supporting this frowned upon act of mixing dogs for profit.
Do your research before buying any pet! Never forget that the shelters are there and they are always full of pets needing homes! We all know dogs make great pets, right? It doesn’t matter if they are full blooded or mixed breed. Love your dog no matter what it is, but don’t expect a pup sold as a “designer breed” to be the most perfect dog on earth as your breeder may have told you. After all, they are the ones selling you the pup. That says a lot in itself.