It’s become standard for anyone wanting a glamorous aura to pick out their dogs like they pick out their shoes. “Ooh – I’ll have that darling one in the corner, great color – matches my handbag too! ”
And they’re easy to find – anyone with enough money can pick out the doglet of their dreams.
Perhaps even scarier than the free availability of ‘designer dogs‘ is the fact that almost anyone can create a new breed of dog. The sudden increase in dogs as fashion statements has meant that there are many unscrupulous breeders trying to make a quick buck from expensive dogs with cute names.
Unfortunately there are so many risks with these kinds of breeding practices. Anybody can mix any combination of dogs but few can master doing it in a way that is good for the dogs, and the humans who live with them. It’s about much more than genetics. Why create a dog that is very likely to have a painful future?
Imagine that your cute Yorki-poo puppy has a very expensive medical future before them. Or try to imagine that this adorable Puggle that you’ve just brought home might have to have his eyes popped back into their sockets at regular intervals!
Amateur breeders are unleashing all kinds of dangerous conditions upon dogs who are being bred to fit in with our lifestyles.
It can be argued that all dogs came to be as a result of interbreeding. Not only are all purebreds a result of mixing but in fact every single dog today has some history of crossbreeding in their past.
There is a well deserved stigma surrounding these new so called ‘designer mutts’.
Various Pug and Pekingese breeds have very sensitive eyes. Pugs are known to have problematic eyes as are Pekingese. You could end up with a dog whose eyes come out of their sockets. And fixing it could require expensive and painful corrective surgery.
Sounds like something from a horror movie rather than a happy family dog!
What about the mixing of some larger dogs? It can be just as harmful if two genetically inferior specimens are used. You could end up crossing dogs that are plagued by hip dysplasia and land up with a crippled dog.
It’s the lack of predictability that makes these dogs such a risk. You never know what you are getting. And while the odds might be in your favor – nobody can guarantee the health of your designer puppy.
The American Kennel Club is considering allowing some of the more established breeds into the list of accepted and recognized breeds. But this process requires some organization on the part of breeders.
In order to be officially recognized there needs to be evidence that the dogs have at least a three generation pedigree. The dog must also be widely spread across the United States – across at least 20 states.
Labradoodles are the most well known of the designer dog clubs. Labradoodles are also at the forefront of acceptance into the American Kennel Club. There are some breeders who have at least 15 generations of Labradoodles and claim they can predict with great certainty the look and temperament of the dog. There is much debate in the canine world about whether or not many of these new hybrids will be
Only time will tell whether these dogs will be accepted into the mainstream. Many people are enjoying the benefits of dogs designed to fit in a handbag or dogs designed to live in small spaces.
It’s important to remember that whatever you are looking for in a dog – you are looking for in the puppy’s parents too. With these expensive puppies you might be shelling out allot of money for a great disappointment.
Check as much as you can about the mix you are most interested in. Rather leave combinations that you can see might have similar weaknesses. Don’t buy puppies from people who seem to be more interested in your money than the wellbeing of their puppies.
At the end of the day – good puppies come from good homes. Knowledge about genetic disorders is as important as warmth and love when it comes to making great pets.
Until designer dogs become more widely recognized – it’s best to stick to the more traditional mixes. At least you will know what you are getting.
If a purebred puppy doesn’t really appeal to you – why not rather think about buying an adult dog from a shelter. At least this way you can have a bit more certainty about the dog’s temperament and looks.
At the end of the day your designer mutt might end up costing you more. If your dog has some suspect heritage you will need many tests to screen for a range of possible ailments. If your dog is your fashion accessory – you will be able to enjoy the added advantage of all kinds of colorful accessories for you little mutt.
Whatever you decide – giving them a happy home is more important above all else no matter what may come your dog’s way.