True or new: there is room for a few

Fido… Come… Sit
By Yvonne Passmore

It’s the age of “designer” dog breeds. Years ago, any dog that wasn’t a purebred was considered a mutt. Now mutts are developed on purpose and called designer breeds.
Breeders that deal solely with producing true purebred dogs are flailing their arms and frothing over the way purebreds are being mixed to produce new types of dogs. Conscientious purebred breeders are breeding dogs for the betterment of their breed, striving to produce the perfect dog. In that quest to produce that perfect dog, many purebred dogs are developing inherent and genetic defects. I’m sure most of you are aware of German Shepherds, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers and many other large breed dogs that are prone to hip dysplasia, bloat, heart defects, blood diseases, skin conditions and the list goes on.
Breeders of the new designer breeds are capitalizing on this sad situation to find a sound dog by breeding two purebred dogs together and claiming their dogs are healthier because of ‘hybrid vigor’. Hybrid vigor advocates claim that breeding two purebred dogs together helps eliminate, or at least lessen, the woes of current purebred dogs.
It’s a great sales pitch, but absolutely not true. When breeding dogs (bitch and/or sire) with any genetic faults, there is a strong chance that the puppy or puppies will inherit those faults. This applies to purebred and mixed breeds.

Intended benefits
The nice thing about designer breeds is the development of something new. All purebred dogs have evolved from an assortment of breeds. Different types and breeds of dogs were mixed together to create a dog to fill a special niche or perform a certain type of job. The same is true for a variety of designer breeds. The most popular are the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle. The Labradoodle was originally bred in Australia with the intention of enabling blind children with allergic reactions to dogs the chance to have a service dog that shed little to none. Since Retrievers have been the dog of choice for this purpose for many years, it seemed to make perfect sense to combine that type of dog with the intelligent and affectionate Standard Poodle. This combination helped to open a huge new world for people in need.

A good breeder makes a difference
There is plenty of room in this world to let us have it all when it comes to choices for a pet dog. Our priority should be taking the time to find breeders that only breed mentally and physically sound dogs. Good breeders should have no problems showing you the documentation to back that up. 
Whether you are considering a ‘true’ breed or a ‘new’ breed you must consider the original purpose of that breed(s) and the type of dog to make sure that dog and you will fit well together.

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