Barrie Kennel & Obedience Club
The popularity of puggles and other designer dogs, such as labradoodles and schnoodles, has become a contentious topic among communities of dog owners. The variations that breeders are coming up with are increasingly strange. Your little mix breed could undoubtedly be tiny, cute and a loving companion, but what about all the various health risks that will become exaggerated with a cross? Some argue the mixed breeds aren't breeds at all, but simply overblown, overpriced mutts, while others decry popularizing specially bred dogs when thousands of dogs languish in shelters.
The problem with designer dogs is people might think they're trendy and that's not a good reason to buy a dog. People who buy these designer dogs are often told these dogs have a genetic make-up that cannot produce problems. You can be guaranteed that your dog is unique, so unique that he probably won't even resemble his parents or litter mates.
Before you put down, say $1,500 to $2000 for a labradoodle or puggle, you should look first in a shelter because you can probably find the same type of dog there. Shelters often house mixes and other unique blends of dogs. They may not carry the designer dog label, but the mutts are just as cute as any pooch that has been featured lately in the media.
The wide range of health problems your new designer dog might experience later in life will also be unique. Your Veterinarian won't have any prior list to consult when trying to diagnose your dog. If you buy a dog from an established breed you can be assured that your vet will have a long list of possible diseases that are common in the breed.
There has not been any scientific study demonstrating that mixed breed dogs are any healthier than purebreds.
Most designer dog breeders do no "test" on their breeding stock. Since 50% of the genes come from each parent, the pups will carry faults from either parent including: eye problems, hip problems and even shedding to a certain degree.
We would say 'buyer beware' to people who believe designer dogs are the best of both worlds.
With a purebred, you know what kind of coat quality and what kind of temperament you're getting. All of this is documented and guaranteed. You'll get generation after generation of health cleared parents and a written guarantee. With designer dogs, there is no guarantee how the puppies will turn out. One bad gene somewhere along the line and your dog might have picked up some aggression or other equally feared qualities.
By all means, don’t let media trends tell you what to buy. They don't have to pay the bills and live with the problems. These crossbreds are a deliberate attempt to mislead the public with the idea that there is an advantage to these designer dogs. The crossbred dogs are prone to all of the genetic disease of both breeds and offer none of the advantages that owning a purebred dog has to offer.
Save a life, go to your local shelter and find your own unique dog. Or find an experience breeder that will be there to help you choose the right breed for you.
From the article "Oodles of Doodles" by Naomi Kane (as printed in Dogs in Canada, February 2009)