Most pet owners have “great expectations”. Reputable dog breeders consider this and use dogs with positive health clearances and mental soundness - but not always.
KNOW YOUR BREED HISTORY?
E. Katie Gammill, Emeritus AKC Judge
This is NOT SO of dog breeders who create “Golden Doodles” and “Malti-Poos” that have no breed history. All dogs shed (a few shed less) and there is NO “allergy free” canine. You can see how little control you have over genetics by looking at your own family tree.
“The Most Complete Dog Book Ever Published” is an enlightening book. This Canine Lexicon by Andrew DePrisco and James B. Johnson (T.F.H. Publications) is an accumulation of a thousand pages of dogs and breed history. It explains how early dogs evolved into present day breeds.
The dog world is filled with vivid and eccentric colors, shapes, sizes and abilities depending upon the dog’s habitat and the person’s need during that time period. People and dogs were dependent upon each other for food and protection. Dogs were bred to herd, kill boars, guard, and hunt as diverse a quarry as lions and birds.
Breeding pairs were carefully chosen for genetic attributes that best afforded them the stamina and ability to perform. Lesser individuals weren’t bred. Through this early history the predictable “pure bred" dog evolved. Today one can choose size, temperament, care involved, environmental requirements, health, and behavior regarding a specific breed. Thus these pure bred companions meet our expectations and keep dogs out of shelters.
Reputable dog breeders DO NOT sell their dogs to be cross-bred. Less than stellar dogs produce “mutts” of no distinction. Such offspring (often called "Designer Dogs) may be sold at extravagant prices but when inferior “pure breeds” are crossed with another breed, the offspring may inherit the health and behavior problems of all breeds involved. Without knowing the genetics, there is no predictable way to know what the “surprise package” will be at maturity.
Some people DNA their dogs to identify the breeds involved. WHY? Some think mixed breeds live longer but breeders of mixed breeds do NOT document anything so there are no statistics.
Reputable AKC dog breeders certify the health and characteristics of breeding stock. The American Kennel Club and dog fanciers spend large sums of money addressing and eradicating genetic problems. Yet, these breeders and the AKC get a “bum rap” for having the “audacity” to document their findings. Since cross-breeders keep NO records, health and longevity are a moot point. Once the “doodle puppy” is purchased and the check is cashed, those breeders are unresponsive, unapproachable or GONE!
What the AKC considers faults or disqualifications, the mongrel owner often considers “idiosyncrasies” unique, unusual, and desirable. THIS pooch “was created JUST FOR YOU!” Don’t fall for that. This is decoding your dog’s heritage after some unscrupulous person screwed up a good thing to make a buck. You may be told that your dog is scruffy because of a terrier ancestor. Its coloring is a Border collie. The oval paws are the Bearded Collie. The strong curved tail is just like a Cardigan Corgis. These dogs have one thing in common - a strong reproductive system. Those that do not have that "asset" are discarded.
I wanted to make this “doodle dog” article amusing but there is nothing funny about this situation. We are up to our proverbial butts in alligators and the water is rising. We must take a stand for the purebred dogs.
If you desire an unusual breed, there are “Manchester Ruggle Bunds”, Grey Ibezian Slippets, Chiweenies, and Boxshep Bullish, all in full color. These books were at Big Lots. At first, I walked away. Then, being curious, I returned to purchase them. My emotions ran a gauntlet from amazement to shock, anger, and sadness.
Hopefully as older breeders pass on, younger ones will take up the torch. A life without dogs would be dull indeed, but without action, it is our future. Everyone should have the privilege of choosing a dog of choice that fits their lifestyle and of enjoying that bond for years to come.
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