August 2017 – Observer Today Article

Designer breeds: Are they for me?

By Dr. Rebekah Frost

Golden-Doodle, Labradoodle, Pomapoo, Puggle, Schnoodle, Chorkie, Chiweenie, Pomsky, and Cockapoo: these are just a few of the up and coming “designer” dog breeds that have become so popular in our society. Many people are now jumping on the bandwagon to purchase one of these designer breeds. Owners want the personality traits of one breed mixed with the physical traits of another breed. Many of these breeds are mixed with poodles to produce a non-shedding breed. These dogs are very cute but unfortunately they are just mixed breed mutts! Keep this in the back of your mind when shopping for one of these puppies. Below are some common misconceptions about these designer breed dogs:

By purchasing a “designer” breed dog there will be less chance of health issues. Mixed breed dogs can still have underlying health issues. By crossing breeds you can sometimes compound health issues that both breeds may be predisposed to. For example, crossing a Standard Poodle with a Golden Retriever can compound common conditions like hip dysplasia or seizures. When shopping for any of these puppies, be sure to meet the parents. Get a good history on the parents and the grandparents. Have any related dogs had seizures or arthritis issues? Are the parents hip certified? If two small breed dogs are being crossed, ask for health certificates on the parents from the breeders’ veterinarian. Have the parents both had bad teeth? Do the parents have luxating knee caps? These are common conditions in small breed dogs. Do your research and pick reputable breeders. Choose breeders that will do the same health certification tests as a reputable purebred breeder would do.

By purchasing a “designer” breed dog, I am buying a hypoallergenic non- shedding dog. Unfortunately when you mix two purebred dogs, you will end up with multiple combinations in their offspring. Some puppies may have more characteristics of one parent over the other parent. I have seen many a Golden Doodle that still shed! Besides this, hypoallergenic dogs are a common misconception. The allergic component actually comes from a protein in the dog’s saliva or urine that attaches to the dander shed by your dog. Hair from your dog is not the culprit.

Because I am spending more on this “designer” breed dog it must be good quality.

Unfortunately this is just not true. Because these breeds are so popular right now, they are being over bred. They can be found in puppy mills and pet stores. The majority of these puppies are not coming from good quality purebred parents.

Am I saying not to adopt one of these puppies? I am not, as I myself own a Golden Doodle named Crazy Maizy. This dog is a huge part of our family. She is a big goofy crazy dog who is full of love and life.

Unfortunately, however, she was poorly bred. I adopted her from a friend of my parents that couldn’t handle her. At 7 years of age I diagnosed her with hip dysplasia. She is already in a lot of pain at such a young age. It is not fair to some of these dogs that these traits are being bred into them.

I will also say that your local shelter has many of these mixed breed dogs available for adoption. In fact the Lakeshore Humane society just seized quite a few “Morkies” from a local breeder that couldn’t care for them. These dogs are already spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped. At hundreds of dollars less you can find your own “designer” breed in one of these shelters. And always, if you have questions about adopting a specific dog or breed of dog, feel free to call our clinic any time for advice!

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