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What's driving the increasing popularity of Designer Breeds?

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Sandor Fagyal, Jul 3, 2018.


  1. Sandor Fagyal

    Sandor Fagyal PetForums Newbie

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    Hybrid breeds, designer breeds or simply mutts?

    Over the past couple of years there is an every increasing popularity of mixing all sorts of breeds with one another. I cannot see the deeper benefits and purpose to it? There are already over 350 FCI and AKC recognized dog breeds (called purebreds). Why would we need more of these?

    Is it just a marketing "bull-shit" (just mix Bulldog with Shi-Tzu :)?

    Who is driving this trend?
    1. "breeders" - without judging them, but cannot really call them breeders, sorry
    2. innocent dog buyers
    I know that purebred dog breeders are very loud and are against these mixes, but I would like to hear opinions that are not just simply biassed but have real life experience on this topic. Don't be afraid to share your point of view and please respect others' opinions.

    Thanks,
    Sandor
     
  2. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Money is the big one. For some designer crosses you can make more money than the purebred crosses, which makes no sense to me whatsoever but it is what it is.

    Novelty factor. The ‘cute’ names. The idea of owning something ‘unique’ but that also has fashionable status.

    The myth factor. The idea that they are healthier, that they shed less, that they have more balanced temperaments due to the blending of the genes - all false of course.
     
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  3. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    I think lots of people like to believe they have something 'rare' or unusual, so this leads to the breeding of more & more strange and often unsuitable crosses. It's probably the same reason we seem to be seeing lots of different colours of purebreeds these days too.

    And sometimes people just see a dog that they like and want one the same. I don't see anything wrong with that, so long as they do their research and make sure that what they want is suitable for them, and also find a good breeder. We ended up with a cockapoo because my mum knew someone who had one and fell in love with it, years later my sister got a cockapoo because she fell in love with ours, and in the last year or so two of her friends have got cockapoos because they fell in love with hers!
     
    #3 magpie, Jul 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  4. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Yes, I think it is the idea of having something unusual yet fashionable and also, these days, people want a dog that fits their lifestyle and are often not prepared to work round the characteristics of the dog. They want a dog that is quite happy left alone 5 days a week but enjoys family walks at weekends. Non -shedding and great with kids.

    I believe the man responsible for 'inventing' the labradoodle totally regrets crossing the 2 breeds. He was looking to breed a hypoallergenic guide dog. And let a genie out of a bottle.
     
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  5. Northpup

    Northpup PetForums Senior

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    Puppies are cute, people fall in love with the first one they see (its hard not too!!) and they push aside any doubts they may have about the ethics etc as they just adore this pup.
    People should definately do their research and be educated in this before buying a pup but I definately believe greedy and ignorant byb are to blame. You cannot be ethical and grab your pet chihuahua you bought from a random breeder who put her chihuahua together and breed her with your friends Pomeranian and sell puppies for £1000 calling them Chi poms or something of the like and say you are ethical. It’s just untrue.
    The scary thing is it tends to be the cutesy breeds (chihuahua Pom pugs frenchies) etc and these seem to be the breeds that can have most trouble with Whelping etc. You never seem to see lurches, dobermann or my breed vizslas. I suppose it’s because people who impulse buy are more attracted to the tiny fluffy creatures. However I feel wolf look alike dogs eg malamutes and sarloos wolfdogs face a lot of random breeding together so people can sell “wolfdogs”
    However I would say people who breed their purebred but unregistered, untested pets together are almost as bad as these.
    I would prefer people who breed health tested well thought out crosses infrequently to those who breed their pedigree pets constantly.
     
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  6. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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  7. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    They have actually been around for a while - the Cockerpoo since the early 1960s although i think they were actually around in the States in the 1950's. And as I child I knew a guy who bred Springer x Labrador crosses specifically for the combination of those breeds.

    But yes, Conron did regret his part in the phenomenon by creating the Labradoodle. But I actually think it was bound to happen, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    What would i see as the factors present in the rise of popularity of the designed crosses -

    The general sway against Pedigree or Purebred dogs culminating in the TV programme of the 1990's Pedigree Dogs Exposed. There was a terrific downer on buying KC Registered dogs for a long time.

    The belief that crossing the breeds somehow makes them healthier or less prone to inherent diseases. The only reason (some) crossbreeds were healthier back in the day, was that their gene pool was so vast. But you will still hear the "Cavaliers are unhealthy so get a Cavipoo instead" comments.

    The desire for so called hypoallergenic dogs - posters still come on here and want a dog who doesn't moult. The only dog who doesn't loose hair is found in a toy shop.

    I actually don't think the Cockerpoo is a bad cross when bred correctly. They are generally engaging and active little dogs. I'm not so keen on the Labradoodle as i think it amazingly bares no resemblance to the intelligent Labrador from which it takes it's name and some of it's genes. Springadors are actually quite sound in my experience too.

    I don't like crosses that put two opposing (physical or drive) breed types together though. That's when I get cross but that is just bad breeding and education needs to be done to prevent people buying into such things.

    I really don't think that breeders who breed pure bred dogs are automatically 'better' than those who don't though. The Pedigree debate continues over many breeds (Frenchies for example) and there is still a lot of work to be done before any higher moral ground can be claimed.

    J
     
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  8. Silly cats and dogs

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    We have two crossbreeds that are actually registered as a purebred in the USA. They are actually amazing dogs tbh, I’ve never had to pay the vet more than 40€ just for check ups as they have no health problems whatsoever apart from being spayed. They are also very intelligent and great with other people/dogs. I think we got very lucky with them. We paid nothing for them either.
     
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  9. picaresque

    picaresque Mongrelist

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    I am far more concerned about the trend for extreme brachy breeds than I am about doodles.
    A lot of the opposition to them is pure snobbery.
    The relationship between people and dogs has changed, ideas about the perceived 'value' of dogs has changed, there is also the fad factor but like I said the fashion for Frenchies is imo far more damaging to dogs in general and for the individual animals.
     
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  10. Sandor Fagyal

    Sandor Fagyal PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,
    Just out of curiosity, why do you believe it was a mistake to breed those two breeds? They are one of the oldest and most popular hybrid breed
     
  11. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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  12. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Whoops! Mods - i don't think i should have posted that link without permission! Pls remove if needbe
     
  13. ApolloStorm

    ApolloStorm PetForums Junior

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    I agree with this for the most part, its much worse seeing a bulldog who can't breathe than a crossbred dog!
    However, what I do have an issue with is seeing the adverts on facebook for the designer crosses- for instance I saw a " cavapoochon" for £800!!
    And I think cockapoos for stupid money, where they claimed on the advert "hypoallergenic" and were charging in excess of £1000 because the poodle stud had been cleared of PRA. I'm all for health testing but one parent having one test doesn't make it if you ask me!
    But I honestly think its Joe public driving the popularity- they're only charging so much for the puppies because they CAN. I think they're so popular partially because of the distain for pedigree dogs in the media, and partially from a total lack of knowledge and research about existing breeds that would fill in the gap- and probably just as rare!
     
  14. kirksandallchins

    kirksandallchins PetForums VIP

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    Most of the designer dogs make good pets, the majority of the people I know who have got them didn't get them on a whim or because a celebrity owns one.

    The originator of the Labradoodle may be dismayed at the current fad for designer dogs, but I bet the founders of the Kennel Club are looking down and thinking the same. Jack Russell was a KC founder member and bred Fox Terriers and was horrified at the way the show version of the breed had developed. The Parson Russells recognised by the KC look more like the original Fox Terriers than Fox Terriers do.

    A lot of breeds have health problems due to exaggerated features and/or coat. People have jumped on the band waggon with cross breeding, but like the KC it was started to get an improved, fit for purpose dog. Like the show scene, bad breeders looking for cash (and prizes/pride for show breeders) have taken over.
     
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  15. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    It doesn't help that it is SO hard to find good breeders, it is a total minefield and most people just don't know what to look for. I think there is also a perception of some breeders of pure breeds being a bit snobby, and people not wanting to jump through hoops for a puppy when there are an abundance of litters being advertised every day with no or very few questions asked.

    And on the subject of people believing cross breeds are healthier... to the average lay person who sees some unhealthy-looking pure breed winning Crufts every year... the idea that they'd be better off with a cross doesn't seem so far-fetched.
     
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  16. Smalldogs

    Smalldogs PetForums Member

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    I think the main reasons for crossbreed popularity are intensive marketing ("if it costs that much, it must be good!") and the public perception of purebreds (Joe Public has taken on board the fact that some breeds are badly affected by exaggeration, and doesn't distinguish between a sound health-tested pup and a backyard-bred one).

    Having previously owned pedigrees (mostly rescues, so some well-bred and some not), I currently have three crossbreds, purely by chance. The Chihuahua-Pug was bought by a yuppie couple as a fashion item, and rejected as faulty when it turned out the baby puppy widdled in the house while they were at work. She is something of a physical disaster, having a massive Pug body on frail Chihuahua legs, needed two operations for luxating patella, and, despite a longer nose, has some breathing problems. The Yorkie-Poodle-Chihuahua is beautiful, neurotic, and has a heart murmur. The Scottie-Bichon-Poodle is physically and temperamentally perfect, though he has a massive coat which would be a problem to anyone not committed to coat care. All three are good-looking and unusual, and attract a lot of attention from admirers when they go out, so I can see why someone would think, "Ooh, I want one like that!" I should add that we adore all three, and, apart from avoiding Pug crosses in the future (yes, I have met some sound ones), wouldn't be put off crossbreds in the future. Or well-bred pedigrees, if it comes to that.

    To be honest, my favourite breed, which I have loved since the late 1950s, has genuinely been ruined by show breeders. Once athletic, it is now a lurching cripple; its beautiful, easy-care coat is now a fleece so massive as to affect the dog's movement; the beautiful but functional head has become so exaggerated as to be distressing to look at; and few specimens can breathe comfortably. The wonderful character is still there, trapped in a disabled body. Having, sadly, abandoned the breed, I am now thinking that the flood of designer crossbreeds may make it possible for me to find a cross with the breed temperament and a recognisable but unexaggerated body type - but am aware that this may just be a dream.
     
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  17. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Most if not all of the 'pedigree' breeds were designed for various purposes in much the same way as 'designer' crosses are now, a couple of hundred years ago - mostly for work of a type that people no longer have a need for their dogs to do. Most dogs these days have the job of being a pet or companion so the dogs bred for hunting, herding, flock guarding or whatever aren't what people are looking for. Also the closed gene pools within many of the breeds have led to health problems - the horrendous increasing rates of cancer in breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, Rottweillers for instance. Add on to that what's been done in the name of showing - producing massively coated dogs that can't breathe or walk properly and it's hardly surprising that people are looking elsewhere for the sort of dog that fits into their life style. Also the issue of housing - houses used to be bigger and have bigger gardens. With the smaller house/flat sizes, many without gardens, a large dog couldn't fit in so easily.
    Sad that many 'breeders' are cashing in on it.

    My vet says he sees far fewer health problems in cross-breeds or mongrels.
     
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  18. Goblin

    Goblin PetForums VIP

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    Yet at a basic level, the idea of that they are healthier is not a myth. Obviously depends on breeds concerned.

    Depends on the illness in question, what genes are involved and if the dog is going to be bred which could lead to problems down the line. PRA is a good example. 2 different breeds may have problems with PRA. Doesn't mean descendants will as there are different types of PRA and you need two the same type to develop problems. Even one parent being tested could mean the children wouldn't develop it although they could be carriers.

    I will throw out something which hasn't been mentioned previously. The impression that pedigree breeders are snobs and people are rebelling against the snobbery. I say that with my latest dog being a pedigree ;) To further examine the OP's question I would like to ask a simple question, to which I have my own answer. How many of these dogs would be bred and sold if people simply called them a crossbreed or mutt? Things like the advantages of health etc still apply after all. I think if you answer that you find the true answer to the OP's question.
     
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  19. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Which lies the issue ;) the three main breeds that you generally see with these crosses (Cocker/Lab/Cavalier) have lot's of potential issues especially when pet bred, which most of them are.
     
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  20. Goblin

    Goblin PetForums VIP

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    There was a study done a while back (2013 Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs) and maybe you can explain the following..
    1. The incidence of 10 genetic disorders (42%) was significantly greater in purebred dogs.
    2. The incidence of 1 disorder (ruptured cranial cruciate ligament; 4%) was greater in mixed breed dogs.
    3. For the rest of the disorders examined (16 disorders), they found no difference in incidence between mixed and purebred dogs or they failed to find a statistically significant difference,
    That first one means that health cannot be simply dismissed as a myth. There's a reason genetic diversity is encouraged. This is only a limited selection of possible genetic disorders of course and yes, does depend on breeds concerned. My point is not to dismiss the health aspect in general pretending it's a myth as that only makes it appear you are defending pedigrees dismissing the evidence. One of the most damaging things about Pedigree Dogs Exposed was the obvious denial that the problems existed. As a result people switched off listening to those in denial and, more damaging those associated with them. Far better to qualify your point as not necessarily healthier which anyone concerned with pet health can agree with.
     
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