Much Ado About Poo
a very informative article about "designer breeds" - a must-read for all :)
[QUOTE]Much Ado About Poo
[B]Are Cock-a-poo's, Peke-a-poo's and the other poo dogs real breeds?[/B]
“Rare!” “Exotic!” “One of a Kind!” “Luxury on a Leash!” proclaim the ads in the Sunday pet classifieds. “Get the best of both worlds!” “Registered New Breed!” “Special Price - this week only - $599!”
Curious? Who wouldn't be? Almost everyone wants something different, unusual, something new and exciting, something no one else has. What are these unique, exciting dogs with funny names and high price tags?
Meet the Poo's: Yorkie-Poo's, Cock-a-Poo's, Lhasa-Poo's, Beag-A-Poo's, Peke-A-Poo's, Pom-Poo's, Doxie-Poo's and Terri-Poo's, just to name a few. Meet their cousins, the Cocker-Chons and the Bi-Tzu. This large and incredibly diverse family of dogs includes such “breeds” as Cock-a-Shels and Malt-oodles; everything from the imposing Rott-a-Dor down to the diminutive Peke-A-Pom and Yorki-Huahua. What do these dogs with the whimsical breed names have in common? The fact that they're not real breeds at all. They're mongrels — mixed breeds — masquerading as something glamorous, valuable and highly desirable. Yorkie-Poo's are simply Yorkshire Terriers crossed with Poodles. A Bi-Tzu is a Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix. Cock-a-Shels result when Cocker Spaniels are bred to Shelties (Shetland Sheepdogs) and Rott-A-Dors occur when a Rottweiler and a Labrador Retriever join forces. New breeds? Hardly. Behind the hype and the clever name is a common mutt.
Have you ever looked at a Basset Hound and a Poodle or a similarly mis-matched combination and wondered what the puppies would look like if the two were mated? Lots of us have. It makes for an entertaining exercise in imagination. But the people deliberately breeding “Peke-A-Poms” (a cross between a Pekingese and a Pomeranian) and other such fanciful mixes have taken the “what if?” game a step further. Rather than playing games with their imagination, they're playing games with living creatures, charging big prices for their results and telling some pretty tall tales to justify it. Here are some of them:
[B]“We're making a new breed. The AKC is going to recognize the Cocker-Poo real soon now.” [/B]The process of creating a new breed and achieving AKC recognition is long and involved, requiring many years and many generations. A “breed” is a genetically similar strain of dogs that resemble each other in appearance and temperament. Bred together, two dogs of the same breed will produce puppies that are also similar in appearance to the parents and will develop in a predictable fashion.
The first step in creating a new breed involves a definite vision of what the breed will look like and the writing of a breed standard to describe it. For example, what characteristics must a Yorkie-Poo have in order for it to be considered a Yorkie-Poo? What is a Cocker-Chon or a Peke-A-Pom supposed to look and act like? To date, no breeders of these “new” breeds have even taken that first step.(see note) There has been no agreement among breeders even as to what a Yorkie-Poo is supposed to be other than a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Poodle. After years of mixing these breeds, no two Yorkie-Poos look anything alike; neither are any Peke-A-Poms or Cocker-Chons similar to one another. There has not been any serious effort at all to create a distinct breed that the AKC would recognize.
[B]“We're combining the best of both breeds into one! Shelties shed but Poodles don't. A Shelti-Poo will look like a Sheltie but not shed.” [/B]
Not exactly. Genetics doesn't work that way. Some Shelti-Poos might fit this description but many won't. A breeder can't pick and choose what features will be passed on from each breed — it's strictly a matter of luck because the genetic combinations involved in the crossing of breeds is random and unpredictable. There is just as much of a chance that the puppy will grow up to have the worst characteristics of both breeds! The selection of certain traits is achieved only by generations of careful breeding, discarding dogs that don't have the desired qualities and narrowing the gene pool until the right combinations occur with regularity.
[B]“These Beag-A-Poos are registered with the 'Dogs International Kennel Club'.” [/B]
The word “registered” has a magical effect on people. They seem to think something that's “registered” must be legitimate and valuable. Not so! “Registered” is no more an indication that a dog's breed is legitimate any more than it implies the dog has quality or value. “Registered” simply means “recorded.” Someone has a paid a fee to an agency to record his dog's name in a book and the agency has sent him a certificate saying they did so. There are many canine registries in business today that will register any kind of dog whether it's purebred, mixed breed or even of unknown origin.
The two most long-standing and reputable canine registries are the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. Neither registers mixed breed dogs or dogs of unknown parentage. AMBOR, the American Mixed Breed Obedience Registry, is a reputable organization that registers mixed breeds but only for the purpose of competing in the obedience trials it sponsors.
[B]“The price is so high because they're one of a kind.” [/B]
One of a kind — yes, that's certainly true! Every mixed breed dog, whether bred deliberately or by accident, is one of a kind because its genetic makeup is an unpredictable jumble of characteristics. No two are alike. Does this factor alone justify a high price, higher than what's charged by many reputable breeders of quality purebreds? No way. If “one of a kind” made a dog valuable, every mixed breed dog at the pound would be worth a fortune!
[B]“We have been responsible breeders of Bass-A-Poos for four years.” [/B]The term “responsible” is getting a lot of mileage these days. Almost every breeder claims to be “responsible.” The dictionary defines responsible as “trustworthy and dependable.” How dependable is a breeder who plays imaginative “what if?” games with his dogs and expects the public to pay for his experiments? How trustworthy is a breeder who deliberately misleads people about the value of a mutt? I think you can answer that question for yourself.
Truly responsible breeders are honest and knowledgeable with a strict code of personal ethics. They care about the puppies they produce and the people who'll buy them. Would a responsible breeder deliberately cross a Basset Hound and a Poodle — dogs with completely different and potentially incompatible physical structures and temperaments? Would they deliberately mix any breeds? No, not when they know the results will be completely unpredictable and that there are already thousands of accidentally-bred mixed breed dogs in need of good homes.
Does this mean that all producers of “Poos” and other mixes are unscrupulous and deceitful? No, many of them are simply ignorant of responsible breeding practices and unaware of what they're really doing. Both the deceitful and the ignorant, though, prey on the ignorance of the public — as long as people don't know the truth about these exotic-sounding dogs, they'll continue to buy them and support this unethical and unnecessary practice.
There's no doubt that mixed breeds like Yorkie-Poos, Malt-oodles, and Bi-Tzus can make wonderful pets. Thousands of people own and love mixed breed dogs of every description. But are these unusual mixes really valuable, unique, “designer dogs”? No, not any more so than the many wonderful mixed breeds available for adoption at the local animal shelter.
[B]Don't be fooled by the whimsical names, the intriguing descriptions, and the high prices! It's just a lot of poo. You can find “designer dogs” of every size, shape, color and personality as close as your local humane society or rescue service and at a far more reasonable cost. Why not visit there first and save a life? You'll be glad you did![/B]
Excellent article TD. :thumbs up
:D I wonder how far the jaws of all those doodle and poo people would drop if upon being introduced to their "XYZ-doodle/poo" dawgy we responded with,"Ohhhhh a MUTT, I love MUTTS, MUTTS are the best, which shelter did you adopt her/him from?":D
well it's my reaction anyways when i see mixes, whether the mix was intentional or not :D
[QUOTE=mummummum]:D I wonder how far the jaws of all those doodle and poo people would drop if upon being introduced to their "XYZ-doodle/poo" dawgy we responded with,"Ohhhhh a MUTT, I love MUTTS, MUTTS are the best, which shelter did you adopt her/him from?":D[/QUOTE]
I've done that... "ohh what a beautiful dog, what breed is it?" "it's a labradoodle" "ooooooohhh aren't mutts the best? my dog's a mutt too. in fact she's also a lab cross just like your girl!" "no no, I said a LABRADOODLE" "yeah, I know, a lab-poodle cross. Did you get her at the pound? I adopted mine from a rescue" "No, I payed $2000 for her. She's not a mutt, she's a LABRADOODLE!!!" "$2000? WOW! I saw a dog that looked just like her at the SPCA last week, he was still a puppy too, but what a cutie!"
(True conversation, possibly affected slightly by memory, but same overall proceeding)
puppyluv, :highfive: !!! me too, i've become a crazed warrior on that front now :evil:
haha TD, I thought for just a moment, that this thread was about something other than what it turned out to be! It's interesting, here in the DC area, the labradoodles are really taking off, and Puppyluv, I've had a similar conversation at the vet's office. The lady was adamant that because she paid a lot of money, that meant her dog wasn't a mutt. I wonder when money became the determining factor for a breed standard :shrug:
I cant wait to have that kind of convo! Must be SOOO discouraging for the fools who think just because they paid REDICULOUS money for a pup its a purebred.
I am a firm believer that if every mutt had an adorable catchy name in the shelter they would be empty. ( or close to it)
But there is no need for EVERYONE to stoop to that level.
Its a fad, sadly there will be millions of them who are homeless and in shelters when it ends.
[QUOTE]every mixed breed dog at the pound would be worth a fortune[/QUOTE]
They are aren't they, my Riley's PRICELESS and no amount of money will make me part with him OR be able to buy another (his bloodline stopped at the vets :thumbs up )
Guess I could call Den-Den and Corky purebred "Poo-Poos"!
Doodle Dog & Misinformed Owners
I've read many articles about the designer dogs and do completely agree with them .....but now I'm having a problem that I'm not sure how to deal with, on the flip side of the coin. I'm an avid dog lover, always have been and always will be. I've had your garden variety Heinz 57 dog to extremely high-cost show dogs. So I'm no snob about the more you pay, the better quality.
But I now have two "doodle" dogs -- why? because I frankly like the "weird" look of them. And I wanted to get away from teh large breed that I've raised (and loved) for many, many years, to something smaller ....but not TOO small. So I started looking around at mid-sized dogs and stumbled across these poodle mixes.
We only have 2 rescue groups here in the small town that I live in and both of those are VERY strange organizations. Their policies are so strict, that I can't see how they are benefitting the animals. Many people in this town feel this way, but both groups have a monopoly and many people have gotten disenchanted with their missions. As an example, they rarely let someone, who has other animals, adopt one of their animals. Another issue is that they make you feel like a criminal if you say you work during the day, etc. .....that kind of thing. In any case, I've found a way around their stupid rules (although well-meaning), but I've never found a dog like the kind that I wanted from their facilities. Size and looks-wise, that is. I just like shaggy, strange looking dogs, so I did find a breeder who had some goldendoodles. Now, I didn't pay a huge fortune for either of my poodle mix dogs (and I was SHOCKED at what I found, when starting to look for a "doodle" mix dog===absolutely SHOCKED at the prices being asked for these mixed breed dogs). People sure are suckers, is all I can say!
Anyway, I now have these two and I love them dearly, but I feel like I should be ashamed if someone asks me what kind of dog they are -- I feel like I have to apologize if I say "labradoodle" or "goldendoodle", so I figured out that I didn't feel so badly if I said a poodle mix (thats my story and I'm sticking to it). I just don't like feeling guilty because I got these two puppies who are very near & dear to my heart -- I just like it that they're so cuddly & cute. I've had (and still do) have large, large dogs (St. Bernards) and while I was showing in conformation, I had extremely smaller dogs (Havanese) ....both breeds being extremely expensive ....and I never felt more important or prestigous with either of those or felt guilty about them, so why am I feeling like I have to apologize for these two?
I'm wondering if others who have doodle mix dogs feel the same way -- like we're criminals because we chose these type of dogs? Mind you, I've been "taken" by crooks in the show dog world (at almost every turn) and I don't feel that way by this woman asking a small amount for what she put into the litter. Nothing more. The local dog rescue groups asks almost the same thing as what I paid for one of these dogs, so price has nothing to do with it.
I'm having a hard time making sense of all of this -- and I can see both sides of the coin too -- but I don't agree with any breeder making money off their animals. And while the elitist show dog people like to pretend that money is not their highest priority, it definitely is with the majority that I met and dealt with. And I'm not naive about breeds and believe anything told to me, I've researched certain breeds for years & years, asked around, met dozens of breeders, got recommendations from others, etc. and still ....the bottom line was the "bottom line" and thats very disheartening.
Hmm, I guess I'm just venting out loud, but I would be interested in talking to other doodle-owners if they might have experienced some of these things that I mention.
The thing with "doodle" names is that they're creations of the unethical breeders for marketing purposes. Nobody called them doodle anythings before- they were just mutts or poodle mixes or lab mixes. :shrug:
Buying from an unethical breeder is not something to be proud of, but caring for two healthy, well-loved dogs is.:)
I know a couple of people who bought from unethical breeders and have since learned more about it. They don't tell anybody what breeder they got their dog from (they don't want other people to be duped either) but they won't hesitate to brag about who the dog has become.:)
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