Please note: I have NOTHING against crossbred dogs. I own one myself. What I am opposed to is the intentional breeding of crosses and selling them to the general public who may not be as educated to things like this for the SOLE purpose of making money. People will take two breeds, cross them and call them a new breed when in actuality, it is not. It takes a LONG time and lots of work to create a strain of dogs that breeds true to type when bred to another of that type (a purebred). Sadly, there are several registries that are given false credibility to those who want to basically scam the general public and use dogs to make a living. The most common of the crosses sold as purebred are the Poo-dogs (anything crossed with poodles).Cock-a-poos, Snoodles, Sheltipoos, Labradoodles, Maltipoos, Shihpoos, Pooshihs, Bassadoodles, Shihchons, The list goes on... What is a "Poo dog?" Simple, any dog crossed with a poodle and given a funky name they also fall under the heading "Designer Mutt." What is a designer mutt? Any crossbred dogs being sold as if it were purebred or something special.
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The sole purpose is to sell puppies to the unsuspecting and undereducated buyer. It is not uncommon to find outrageous price tags in the range of $1000 - $2000 on some designer mutts. Whether the puppy is from a mill or from a person just breeding them for the heck of it, there are many sad myths and misconceptions of these dogs. Some people state they are trying to create the "ideal dog for..." However, with over 400 recognized breeds woldwide, there is pretty much a breed for every activity. One argument Designer Mutt Breeders use is that they are breeding for companion dogs. Honestly, there are hundreds of breeds, common and rare, bred solely for companionship. Is there a need to breed more crosses basically just to make money? No. A good breeder of "companion" breeds will place their pet puppies with the same care and concern for health as the pups they intend to use for show and future breeding. Fewer "show" breeders are in this for the money. They are in breeding for the love and betterment of the breed in form, function and health. A good breeder is lucky to break even with breeding and may even lose money on a litter when all is said and done.
Let's get a few things cleared up before going to the "heavy stuff."
1) These are NOT breeds. No matter what anyone says, they are CROSSES, MUTTS, MONGRELS - whatever name you decide to call them. It take many, many generations of careful breeding to develop a strain that breeds true when bred to another of its type and then more work to prove it is a pure breeding type and may be able to be recognized by a legitimate registry as a breed. Every time you add in a new dog to the mix that is not of the strain you are trying to develop, you set back that breeding program and have to work out the undesired traits brought in while trying to maintain the desired traits established.. Simply, three, four or even five generations of breeding say a Sheltiepoo to other Sheltiepoos without bringing in any other pure Shelties or Poodles will NOT create a new breed. It may take decades of dedicated breeding to even get a strain to breed true to desired type.
2) They are NOT hypoallergenic. No dog is. There are many proteins associated with a dog that we can be allergic to. Yes, some dogs that shed less may cause fewer problems in some people, but if the allergy is severe enough, ANY dog will cause a reaction.
3) They are not noshed. All dogs loose hair to some extent. Some breeds like Poodles are lower shed than others. But with lower shedding comes other grooming issues as well.
4) There is NO SUCH THING AS HYBRID VIGOR IN DOGS. Dogs are all the same species and a crossbred is at no less risk of health issues than a purebred. Many health issues are found in many breeds. Hip Dysplasia, for example, is found in just about every breed of dog - large or small. In the OFA database is a Cockapoo listed with a hip rating of FAIR. This rating is on the LOW end of the acceptable ratings. Below is the text from the OFA database in regards to what a FAIR rating is:
"Fair (Figure 3): Assigned where minor irregularities in the hip joint exist. The hip joint is wider than a good hip phenotype. This is due to the ball slightly slipping out of the socket causing a minor degree of joint incongruency. There may also be slight inward deviation of the weight-bearing surface of the socket (dorsal acetabular rim) causing the socket to appear slightly shallow (Figure 4)." (from http://www.offa.org/hipgrade.html)
The following are random notes I threw together when I was confronted on-line by someone insisting Cock-a-poos were a breed. With the exception of the information specific to the cross, the general information holds true for any breed crossed with Poodle - it is NOT a breed no matter what anyone says! And further, the same concept holds true for ANY designer mutt.