- Pets and Animals
Designer Dogs; the purebred lie
Because I work with animals and their humans, I often hear people bragging about their new designer breed dog, touting that it is some rare and special type of dog that is better than other people's mutts. I find it hilarious and can hardly stifle a giggle when they tell me what they paid for such a special dog. I have news for you! You have been ripped off! Financially at least.
There are 157 AKC (American Kennel Club) recognized breeds here in the United States. None of them are named Shihpoo, Yorkiepoo, Goldendoodle, Pekehuahua or any other such nonsense! If your new puppy, or one you are considering buying, has two different breeds of "purebred" parents, your puppy is a good old fashioned mutt. Period. Mixing two breeds may get you a designer dog, but the puppy is truly a purebred nothing. It is a purebred, bona fide mutt.
I agree that they are really cute. I even agree that these designer dogs often have the best of both breeds that they are a mix of. Changing up the bloodlines of purebred dogs by mixing in blood from a different breed is a creative way of helping to diminish undesirable traits and bring in traits that you like. Personality, longevity, health factors, body type and structure, all these things are greatly affected, many times for the good. But doing this does not make it a new breed of purebred dog. Purebred dogs are achieved over decades of intentional cross-breeding to specifically selected animals in order to create a specific, new and distinct breed of dog that can be replicated exactly. Breed guidelines must be established and breeders must be able to replicate the standard consistently, not to mention that a national breed club must be established. The AKC must be petitioned to accept the new breed, with proof of the standardization of the breed. Then the AKC will put the breed on a list called Miscellaneous Class. Finally, after much time and consideration, the AKC and it board of directors must accept the new breed and add it to their official roles. This does not happen every day. In fact, it is very far and few between that a new breed is officially recognized. Here is a link to the AKC's official list. www.akc.org/breeds/complete_breed_list.cfm You can scroll down and see the Miscellaneous Class also.
There are several mixed breeds that have been around for a long time that you are probably even familiar with that are not AKC recognized yet. Ever heard of Cockapoos and Labradoodles? Although widely accepted it is important to note that even these are not officially registered breeds. Now it is true that these are some of the breeds further along in development and may even be considered "purebred" by the people who breed them. But the term "purebred" should be reserved for AKC recognized breeds for several reasons. Purebred dogs come with papers, (which are validated by the AKC) that will show their lineage to all the other purebred dogs in their past. A purebred dog has a specific set of characteristics that don't change from generation to generation. A purebred can be shown in AKC shows and competitions. Obviously, expensive, fancy mutts cannot be shown, and do not have papers, and may change dramatically in appearance in just one breeding.
Ironically, the designer dogs of today are being sold for outrageous prices as rare and special. The truth is that they really should be worth half or less the price of a true purebred dog because they aren't AKC registrable. These "breeders" are just people looking to make a quick buck by combining cute and lovable traits into one dog that they can sell for a profit. So buyer beware. Don't get taken in by the purebred mutt. If you think it is cute, by all means buy it! But don't pay too much for something that is not what it seems to be. And don't get caught calling it a "purebred". You'll make me giggle.