Designer Dogs – Mutts or a New Breed?

What’s the difference? “Breeders” with a superiority complex often use these terms wrongly, without really understanding what they mean. Then, their ignorance spreads like a cancer, via websites and gossip, and you the public end up being misled. The resulting individual dog looks the same, or almost the same, right? The difference actually isn’t in what the resulting puppy/dog looks like. It’s in the underlying health of the animal. It’s in the practices of the breeder.

Designer Dog~ If I were to go to an online puppy market or the newspaper, and just get the cheapest “purebreds” of different breeds, stick them together and charge amazing prices for the cute offspring… that is a designer dog and nothing more. It may not have health problems, but then it might have big, expensive problems when it’s older. Like diabetes, that needs expensive insulin. You might even have to give the dog prozac, or other medications to control messed up behaviors.

Mutt~ Two dogs, purebred or mixed parentage, hook up with or without help… that’s a mutt. Unknown parentage, unknown behavior.

New breed~ Both parents are of a “recognized” breed that has bred true (consistent) for generations. Both parents were chosen for health BEFORE considering price, they have both been tested for the one or two most prevalent genetic diseases within their prospective breeds (all “breeds” have problems, don’t let the person trying to sell you a dog tell you any different!) The breeder has at least a rudimentary understanding of genetics and has considered the parents carefully for all dominant and recessive traits within the parent’s backgrounds, and choses matings carefully based on the probable results. The breeder produces the first generation litter, and if pleasing, retains a puppy for a second generation breeding with another unrelated hybrid of this particular cross. On this second generation, the breeder, if competent, notices an increase of conformity within his/her litter. This second generation is then taken and bred appropriately to either a hybrid or a “purebred” of the original breeds. This continues until 100% uniformity of litters is achieved. It is then a “breed”, and can apply for breed status if that is the goal.

All “breeds” started off as hybrids. I don’t know if these early pioneers in breed development encountered the snottiness and superiority complex of today’s breeders of “purebreds”… especially those that belong to the big commercial registry that claims to care about the “intergrity” of the breeds and the health of the dogs. (nothing could be further from the truth!) Having been a show breeder that developed my own memorable line within only six years, I can attest to the lying, back biting and cheating of these so called ‘elite’ breeders. Not to mention the ‘elite’ registry, that when it comes down to it, cares far more for their bottom line and shareholders then the dogs, registering anything with four legs even if it has faked papers or genetic disorders, which happens far more often then you think. Do you suppose when a dog passes away that those ‘elite ABC’ papers are thrown away in all cases? Especially if that dog was a champion whose puppies are worth a lot of money? I saw so much cheating in this world of “purebreds” it made me sick.