The Fad of the Designer Mutt
Jake Gyllenhaal has a puggle, and it is sooooo cute! Look at him holding it like a baby while he checks his cell phone! Puggles must be the hot new breed! I want to buy one!
Now don't get me wrong. I love Jake Gyllenhaal as much as the next girl, but this picture makes me want to smack him. A puggle, Jake? Really? I thought better of you.
If you are planning on investing in one of these breeds (the goldendoodle, the cockapoo, really any of the -doodles or the -poos), I guess that's your prerogative, but please just hear me out first.
What is This New Fad?
If, somehow, you have missed it, there's a new trend in celebrity dog ownership: strang, unnatural crosses of unhealthy dogs that people pay thousands of dollars to own. They call them "designer dogs."
Look at these Amazon links to the left! There are books now about these popular dog "breeds," describing their temperaments and how to raise them. Again with the wanting to smack people. These animals are not a new breed; they are mutts! Accidents!
Now, I'm all for the owning of mutts. I, myself, have never had anything else. But to breed (that is, intentionally) is to choose two champion animals with a high quality of various traits and to test the parents for congenital diseases. Puggle, labradoodle, pekepoo, or any other cutesie-named dog breeders are not doing this. They are picking cute animals and forcing them to breed beyond their capacity. They are not breeding to "improve the breed." They are breeding solely to make money, and that poses problems for the animals and for their owners.
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So Why Not Get One?
Well, sure, they're cute! They're dogs, and these specific ones are designed to be cute! But they're also a fad, and if you've ever given in to one, you know that they don't last. When you get a dog, you are committing to him for life, not for however long you happen to want him around.
And even if you want to carry your dog around like our friend Jake does, the dog is not a child either. In fact, I recommend the hub entitled Is a Dog Human? for more on that. The answer is, basically, no, and if you expect this designer breed to act as a human in your family, you will only disappointed. These dogs are not special or exempt from that rule because they are "designer."
What is to be Done?
Still think you need one of these "designer hybrids"? Think you can't even deal with adopting a brand new, accidental "hybrid" from the pound? First just take this quiz and prove to yourself that you can tell the difference.
Basically, all that can be done to overcome this destructive fad is to keep a level head. If you want a pug/beagle mix, I almost guarantee there is one at your local shelter. But if you buy a "puggle," you are encouraging backyard breeders to breed more trendy dogs who will not necessarily be healthy.
Pet overpopulation is enough of a problem in this country. Please don't add to the problem.
For a more detailed article about the ups and downs of "designer dogs," please check out Designer Dogs: super-mixes or mixed blessings.
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