Designer DogsPublished July 28, 2008
I don't know about you, but from where I sit, the growing popularity of designer dogs demonstrates the lure of the unique. With the abundance of pedigreed purebred dogs available for sale through reputable breeders, or adoption through purebred rescue groups, isn't enough, enough?
What about the huge number of dogs languishing in shelters, longing for forever loving homes. Aren’t most of them hybrids already? While they may have a couple of extra genes mixed into their lineage, as most of these dogs are the result from an” accidental" breeding of two dogs of mixed ancestry. Isn't a rose by any other name a rose?
I am having a problem getting my brain wrapped around the idea that purposely breeding two purebred dogs to form a hybrid makes any sense. The American Hybrid Club is an organization whose mission is to keep track of the parentage and ancestry of hybrid dogs. While innovative cat breeders have carefully bred two breeds with the goal of creating an exciting new breed, it doesn't appear to me, at any rate that is a major goal of canine hybrid breeders. However, if you want to track your hybrids’ lineage, now a company will perform DNA tests for this purpose.
The Puggles, Labradoodles, Maltepoos and Afadors are becoming more common. Unscrupulous backdoor breeders and puppy mills will more than likely jump on the bandwagon to make an easy buck. The price tag for these hybrids runs from $600.00 to over $2.000. Additionally, since the dog is not purebred, appearance, size and temperament are big unknowns. Hybrid breeders often taut their mixed breeds' fur as hypoallergenic According to the HSUS,.A "hypoallergenic" dog does not exist. Allergies are caused by dander, not fur. This seems misleading to an uneducated buyer.
The HSUS is also concerned that people who purchase hybrids based on their looks alone, are often disappointed, and are often surrendered when the dog doesn't live up to their expectations or display behaviors that are not acceptable. They suggest, "Before buying a dog, visit your local animal shelter. One of four shelter dogs is a purebred, and the rest are hybrids in their own right — mixes of two or more breeds. If you want a true one-in-a-million dog, you will find one at a shelter — and you will save hundreds to thousands of dollars and save a life."
When we make a commitment to a dog or cat, we are saying "yes" to a fur companion. We have promised them protection and care for an average of 10-15 years or more. With so many homeless pets roaming our streets, I think that hybrid designer dogs are overkill.
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