Designer Dogs

Over the past few weeks I have read several internet articles, all commenting on the "fad" of Designer Dogs. I'm sure that for long term owners of "doodles" these articles are nothing new, but having only been the owner of  Cockapoo's for 18 months, I was somewhat surprised.

The more I read,  the more I sensed that some pedigree dog owners frowned upon those of us that chose to think out of the box. Each article attracted comments that came back to the suggestion, doodle owners would be better off rescuing a mongrel, rather than promoting the creation of another.

Mongrel, Crossbreed, Cur, Mutt, Hybrid or Designer dog. Call my dogs what you will, personally I call them Jessie and Max. Having said that you can call my dogs what you want, but I don't think its fair to criticize my choice.

Unlike other Poodle cross breeds, the accepted name for a Poodle / Cocker Spaniel, does not contain the word "doodle" That would be silly, who would use the name Cocker Doodle, except perhaps the owner of a rooster ! So we describe them as a Cockapoo if asked, which only raises smiles amongst those with an obsession for toilet humour. Interestingly when we started our search for a Cockapoo, my Brother-in-law who owns a Cocker Spaniel un-helpfully suggested he had lots of Cocker Poo in his yard !!

Molly the Cocker Spaniel
Our choice of breed was influenced by the aforementioned Cocker Spaniel, I loved everything about her, accept the fact she made me sneeze. Yes I am one of those dog owners that chose a dog described as hypoallergenic. (Please be cautious and spend time with a pup before assuming you will not be affected. Many are fine but a few still cause reactions)

We could have got a pedigree Poodle, but they didn't have that special cocker something about them. My continued interest in Spaniels, has led me to join the Facebook Group Cocker Crazy. Cockers are generally as lively and mad as a bag of frogs, and they seem to keep a level of puppy charm into adulthood.

I know why I chose the breed I did, but struggle to understand why some people take objection to it?
Here are some of the objections I have read.

Buying a Cross breed leads to Puppy farms.
This seems a flawed argument, if Poodles become popular overnight, some unscrupulous breeders will capitalise on that. Men trying to make money is common across all breeds surely. The same checks and balances apply when choosing a crossbreed over a pedigree.

There are plenty of unwanted mongrels that need rescuing.
This is true, but me buying a crossbreed is no worse than me buying a Kennel club pure bred.

You don't know what you are getting if you buy a cross breed.
This one baffles me, because in the same sentence the advice is often to go rescue a crossbreed instead...  I would certainly have no way of knowing what I was getting if I pick up a dog that needs rescuing. Not to mention that the parents of both our Cockapoos are pedigree dogs with all the relevant health checks.

Breeders of Crossbreeds are only in it for the money
Well not wishing to offend, the breeder of any dog, if they sell at a profit, could be accused of "only being in it for the money"

Crossbreeds are sold as Hypoallergenic and they are not.
Basically untrue, I have quite severe allergic reactions to most dogs, My two sleep on our bed, one of them is often sharing my pillow when I wake up.... No allergic reaction. Yes it depends on how the mix turns out, but breeders often are keen for you to "try before you buy" We visited Max 4 times before taking him home. In fact I have not met a Cockapoo that I have had a reaction too.

Doodles are bred as designer dogs for their favourable traits
This one doesn't really warrant an answer, the kennel club has been promoting this among pure breeds for decades.

Your dogs are just Mongrels
Definition: "Like mongrels/mixed breeds, crossbred dogs belong to no one recognized breed. Unlike mixed-breeds, however, crossbred dogs are the product of artificial selection - intentionally created by humans, whereas the term "mongrel" specifically refers to dogs that develop by natural selection, without planned intervention of humans."

So for those that think I have paid over the top for a pair of fashionable designer dogs, I'm sorry but I disagree. We love that our dogs have a "mixed heritage" they both have strong and unique personalities. We enjoy spotting traits from their parents. For example Jessie has the build of a Poodle. She loves to walk on her back legs, like a stereotypical circus poodle, but take her on the moors and she will find and chase pheasants like a true working Cocker.

So do you have any thoughts, for or against "doodles"

Update 21/02/2014 an interesting article that suggests cross breeds are in the top 10 healthy dogs

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't be doing with this pedigree snobbery. A dogs a dog, as long as you love it, look after it, walk it and keep it healthy that's all that matters.