« Which do you hate more: HSUS, or puppy mills? | Main | Three things people say about puppies that just aren ' t true »

03 May 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Eric Goebelbecker

Thank you, thank you for pointing this out. Hearing people complain about designer breeders only being in it for the money, implying that a puppy mill "purebred" is somehow better, or even less of a problem, makes me want to claw my eyes out.


Did they provide an accompanying photo showing a purebred bitch hanging her head in shame behind her litter of mixed breed pups? The Scarlet M.

Chris Stewart

I think we should be saving the animals that are locked up in shelters awaiting the worst possible fate. I have always thought that a mixed breed is truly one of a kind. Once you have one you know there will never be another just like that one. If you have a mix celebrate their unique blend and personality.


I always find it fascinating when people claim bitches are 'forced' to mate and have puppies. Anyone who's been around unaltered dogs knows that in reality, it's the other way around -- you need to 'force' them NOT to.

Christie Keith

Chris, please help me understand. There are around 3-4 million dogs and cats who are killed in shelters every year because they have no homes. 23.5 million people will get a new dog or cat every year. So what you're basically saying is that around 20 million people should not get pets?


I read the "Australian" article. Laughed so hard I had to put down my iced tea when I read about those poor humiliated bitches forced to bear children by some backstreet dog.

But now for some seriousness: I've rescued mutts and I've bought (yes, bought--gasp!) purebreds. Let me add that those were from real breeders, who were breeding working dogs. I celebrate the distinctiveness of mutts. But sometimes you want/need to know how a dog will turn out. You need something with specific characteristics for a specific purpose.

I once got flamed for saying that anyone (and here comes the important phrase)who was purchasing a puppy should go to a reputable breeder. The writer went on a "how dare you suggest people buy a puppy" rant.

We dog lovers need to get over the squabbles between us and get to work on the real enemy: the true puppy mills. PETA tactics just won't get it.

H. Houlahan

I suspect some of the sources' points suffered, shall we say, loss of nuance from the reporting?

There's a legitimate point to be made about bitches used to produce crossbred litters. It did not come out in this article, but it may well have been what the source meant, and even said in as many words.

For example, I am in favor of crossbreeding to engender working dogs that are F1 crosses. But I would not use a bitch of a rare breed to produce such crosses. If she's breeding quality, she should be mothering purebred pups to secure the future of the rare breed. A *male* of the rarer breed, OTOH, does not lose reproductive opportunities by making puppies with a bitch of the more common breed.

So if I was moved to cross English shepherds with GSDs for their SAR and farm potential, say, I'd use an ES male on a GSD bitch.

Similarly, with genetic rescue plans, it's probably best to cross out males onto females of the breed being brought in.

So if the flatcoat folks got serious about doing something about their cancer rates, I'd suggest crossing an old, healthy flatcoat stud of good type to a mature bitch (Labrador? golden? Irish setter?), then continue crossing good old flatcoat males to the daughters of those crosses until the project met its type and/or percentage goals to fold the crosses into the general gene pool.

Not defending the article -- though frankly, I've seen worse -- but just thinking that what people said wasn't necessarily what got printed.


Doodles don't bother me.

It's just they have to bred as carefully as you'd breed a pure retriever or poodle.


Every time I suggest doing what Heather Houlahan just suggested, you should see what I get in the comments section on my blog.


Too bad, retrieverman. Years ago, the registries for some of the European warmblood horses were open to approved Arabian horses for a time. The athletic prowess of the resulting sport horses was stunning.

Maybe I'm too skeptical, but I doubt the breeders of "designer" dogs have very much interest in restoring the health and vigor of a breed. Gullible public = quick $$$


I agree Melanie. The labradoodle folks are just breeding to create hypoallergenic dogs, which don't exist. But I nearly fell out of my chair over the quotes. I am sure I will have horrible nightmares about the poor purebred bitches producing mongrel pups, lol. Never mind my purebred rottie bitch backed her ass up to the bed trying to get the 12 pound (and NEUTERED I might add)toy poodle to take care of her needs. Oy.


I'll admit that part of my issue with doodles is selfish.

I wish more people knew what a standard poodle was like, becuase they are such a versatile dog, although not right for every home.

When people who don't actaully know poodles want a cross to get the poodle coat with the golden or lab personality, it seems kind of silly when they don't even know what the poodle personality generally is like. Standards aren't the prissy, frilly dogs many people seem to think they are.I was actaully able to convince a hunter with allergies to look into getting a poodle from working lines. He's now on a waiting list.

Of course, I don't actaully have a problem with crosses done right, just like I don't have one with purebreds done right.


Um. Debra.

"hypoallergenic" means "less allergenic." The reason people are breeding poodles to other breeds to produce pets for people who have allergies is because poodles (and a number of other breeds) are significantly less likely to cause problems for people with allergies.

In other words, they are hypoallergenic.

What doesn't exist is a nonallergenic dog.

And no, no purpose is advanced by abusing the language instead of explaining to people in clear, simple terms that some breeds are more likely to be a good choice if you have allergies, but there are no guarantees, because anybody can be allergic to anything.

Gina Spadafori

I don’t actually have a problem with crosses done right, just like I don’t have one with purebreds done right.

Comment by thetroubleis — May 4, 2010

Same here. It just seems like the "designers" attract some awful people to "the business."

Have talked to a couple of Labradoodle breeders who seem to have their motives and methods right -- parents screened for health and temperament, puppies raised in the home and well-socialized -- but mostly the production of on-purpose mixes doesn't meet any gold standard for breeding a good family pet, which is also true in purebreds dogs, of course, especially when a breed is trendy.


Same here. It just seems like the “designers” attract some awful people to “the business.”

Yeah I've noticed. When Figaro, my poodle, was unaltered, I had many, many people who wanted me to let him mate with their dogs. It was annoying, to say the least. One of these people didn't even realize he was a standard poodle at first, she just noticed the curly coat.

Where ever there is money to be made, selfish people will be there.

One of the ways I'm a bit conflicted with a lot of purposeful crosses is the names. IMO, just smooshing two names together doesn't inspire people to take your hard work of breeding right seriously, but at the same time, it's the practices that matter.


Oh, and before I forget.

It seems that there are larger portion of Labradoodle breeders doing it right compared to other crosses. I don't think I could count on finding an ethical Puggle breeder the way I could find someone breeding Labradoodles.

Gina Spadafori

That's really odd: I almost made the same point, with Puggles as the example of the other end of the spectrum.


If I had one of the crosses, I'd have to tell anybody who asked that it was a mutt. Not sure I could bring myself to say I had a Labradoodle or Puggle. Shallow much, I know...hehe. And by the way, Goldendoodle is wrong, namewise.


That’s really odd: I almost made the same point, with Puggles as the example of the other end of the spectrum.

Comment by Gina Spadafori — May 4, 2010 @ 11:27 am

Great minds and all that jazz?

Nah, I think it's that Puggles are one of the more baffling crosses out there considering the parent breeds and it almost seems like it only exists for the cutesy name.


All breeds were originally created from mixes. Our problems started when we stopped selecting for health and working ability and started focusing on appearance and retail value.


Puggles...shudder. Not as cute as a pug, not as cute as a beagle...what was the point? A loud pug?

While I definitely prefer some breeds over others, I like almost all dogs. But a dun colored, slightly lumpy, nondescript dog that never shuts up - and you want how much for it? Pass!

The comments to this entry are closed.