Designer Dogs: What's your opinion?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by tx_cowgirl, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Designer dog breeding is a big controversy with dog-lovers today. Some people think of it as unethical. Some people think that it is only contributing to the mass overpopulation of pups in pounds. Some people like that these breeders are trying to develop new dogs. What's your take?

    Personally, I'm kind of neutral. I think that it is very ridiculous that people are selling mixed breed puppies for hundreds of dollars. The "breed" is not yet established, therefore right now most if not all of them are simply mutts. $300 for a "Puggle" is very outlandish to me.

    However...
    Name me one modern breed that does not have at least two other breeds mixed with it to combine the ancestors of that breed. Not one single modern breed has consistently been the exact same type of dog from today all the way back to hundreds and thousands of years ago. Years ago, people crossed their best or favorite dogs to develop a better dog. If they liked the result, then they continued to breed to try and develop a new breed of dog. They had a goal--for the dalmations, they wanted the perfect family/carriage dog. For the border collie, they wanted the perfect stock dog. For the sheperds, they wanted the perfect stock, guard, and family dog. So they took their best guard dog for instance, and bred it to their best stock dog. And eventually, a breed was developed. This is how a breed starts.
    I have a couple of breeds that I would like to develop. They are not simply experiments to see what this and this would produce. They have a purpose. Homes would be carefully selected, and population and breeding would be carefully monitored. There would not be an issue of overbreeding or unwanted pups. In the early stages of these new breeds, they would not be sold for outlandish amounts of money as a "purebred whatever." They would be placed in carefully selected homes, for a low fee if any fee at all, with the understanding that the dog would be returned if a problem arose. True, I would end up with many dogs, but I don't exactly see a good reason to explain my life plans...lol. That would take a while. Anyway, my point is, your corgi didn't come from six hundred purebred corgis. Somewhere down the line two separate breeds, or quite possibly two separate mixes, were bred to produce the beginnings of corgis.
    I do not support the sale and mass production of these "designer dogs." But I am not close-minded to the development of a new breed...as long as the breeder is in it for the longrun, not just until they get bored with it.
    So anyway, what's your view?

  2. bigboytex New Member

    I agree with you one some things but not all oof them. See im trying to breed hunting dogs but they are a long term breed and envolve many different types of breeds. While I am not against selling the dogs that I breed before I reach the "target" breed Im not gona make a name and call them prue breds I dont think that that is right and even after I reach my goal its still not an established breed. I really dont like the Idea of designer dogs but I dont plan on getting one anyway but its all about personal opion in it all.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Well, I don't really have anything against selling the dogs...but there is such a thing as too much. However, look at sledding dogs. True sled teams are rarely Huskies, Malamutes, Greenlands, or any other dog Hollywood has projected as a sled dog. Most sled teams consist of mix-breed dogs, sometimes with one or two purebreds. Many breeds develop because someone wanted the perfect dog for a certain task.
  4. bipa New Member

    I can understand what you're saying, and in essence I agree with you. There's nothing wrong in breeding for a particular trait. The problem starts when silly people choose the WRONG traits!

    Unfortunately, North Americans have chosen to mostly breed GSD for appearance, resulting in dogs with increased chances of hip dysplasia and other genetic problems. Most North American police forces and search & rescue teams now import their dogs from Europe. Breeders here in Germany have mostly concentrated on strength, endurance and intelligence, with appearance playing only a secondary role. Thus there is now a division between German Shepherd "show dogs" and "working dogs". The working line German Shepherds are usually excluded from the show ring because they don't conform to the official breed standard for physical appearance.

    Pretty silly in the end, isn't it? Reducing the capability of a dog to be able to do its job, simply to make it look "prettier". And that's where I get a little upset with breeders. I have nothing against breeding to improve mental and physical ability, but to limit those characteristics in favour of superficial appearance seems not only unethical, but downright stupid. But that's just my opinion.
  5. CollieMan Experienced Member

    I pretty much agree with bipa. I've been deeply saddened to see the GSD largely ruined through reckless breeding. Certainly in England, it's getting harder and harder to find solid GSDs with sound temperaments. And in America, they look less and less like GSDs each year. But what about cross-breeding? I have very mixed feelings.

    Look at the Labradoodle - a mix of Labrador Retriever and Poodle, first bred in 1989.

    From Wikipedia:
    Certainly in England, it's been quite a successful breed, with a good reputation on the whole, though it's still very much a work in progress - with various unpredictable facets to it, such as the hair length. But it's temperament is supposed to be excellent.

    Given that, clearly cross-breeding can have a positive aspect if done with the right motive in mind. Sadly, I think having the right motive is the exception these days, and not the rule. For too many it's a chance to get a rare and unique, maybe even quirky looking dog, and that can never be right. Sometimes, it can be as petty as aiming for a dog that is easier to carry around.

    I do think it important that people continue to ask the "what if I cross x with y" question, as this has given us such a diverse and useful variety of breeds today. But the question must be asked with a serious and valid purpose at the end.
  6. bigboytex New Member

    It really is sad that people can ruin a breed for little things like color or body lines, working dogs are working dogs for a reason most arnt ment to be in the show ring.:dogclosedeyes:
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    You are all very right. I can't really speak for other countries, but I know America is overrun with backyard breeders and accidental breedings. It is nearly impossible to find a true example of what a certain breed was originally meant to be here. The Australian Cattle Dog has been absolutely ruined here in Texas. There are so many variations of what we here call the "red/blue heeler" that the true Australian Cattle Dog is virtually nonexistant here. All over America, the heeler has a wide variety of strains. To my understanding, the original Australian Cattle Dog was bred to be relatively small, determined, hardy, and agile. In Texas, the closest thing to the original is built very similar to the original, and is definitely determined. However, the mindset varies. Hyperactivity is common is stock dogs because they need a job....but a lot of Texas-bred heelers are border-line insane. They can be extremely difficult to train, and must be carefully socialized. In Texas, heelers are very popular, and because of this our state is overrun with heeler backyard breeders. Another strain of the Texas heeler has a sleeker head and longer muzzle, a slightly lighter build, and size varies. The determination sometimes gets taken down a few notches in this strain. In South Dakota, heelers tend to be much, much larger. All the ones that I have seen are like a true Australian Cattle Dog in extra-large on steroids. It's not uncommon at all to find a heeler the size of a German Sheperd there, and built every bit as stocky if not stockier. I really like this variation, despite the fact that it strays from the true breed...however, for a stock dog this is not always ideal.
    Horses are much the same. The Paint Horse breed was developed to have an all-around horse with color. Now all over the world there are "Paints" that are of solid color. This is not what the breed was meant to be. Many, many mustangs sported the paint coat pattern, but the actual breed was meant to be built much like a Quarter Horse, but with more eye-appeal. They were meant to be a versatile, calm, and trusted animal. (NO, I don't hate solid paints....I just don't like that the original breed has strayed so far.)
    The Fresian has two different strains: modern and baroque. The modern strain has been turned into a show horse, rather than a war and carriage horse. The baroque strain is more what the breed was developed for: thicker, and with a few other small differences. These types resemble a small, slightly lighter draft breed horse. The modern type is much leaner, and used mainly for show, sometimes jumping...a variety of things other than carriages.
    As far as dogs go, most stock dogs are usually considered to be conformationally correct---and they are the closest to what was originally meant for the breed to be. The show dogs are not...
    I certainly understand careful breeding to attain a dog with a purpose, for certain qualities. But for appearance, or just on a whim? This is just toying with nature. These are living beings...to pick and choose what you want them to be simply to "see what it would be like" is ridiculous.
  8. drivingtenacity New Member

    I also agree with Bipa. The poor breeding of GSDs has been a detriment to the breed as a whole, and is damaging to the concept of what a shepherd is. People thought there was something 'wrong' with my former Shepherd, who was well-bred from solid German lines, and I've had people question whether my current dog was a Shepherd at all, just because neither dog had/has the expected markings or exaggerated slope of the hips.
    Both were/are pure Shepherd, but come from European or working lines, which is my preferance. Who cares if Zena's tail is 'too short' or her chest 'too broad'? She embodies the important qualities of the GSD.
    It's too easy to get side tracked by the surface and forget what's important.
    Are the breeders of these designer dogs more concerned with cuteness or good health and temperment? I think in most cases, it's the former, sadly.
  9. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Indeed. Today, finding a breeder who is trying to develop a certain breed that has the right motives in mind are few and far between. Most of today's "designer dogs" were bred on a whim because someone thought, "Hmm, wonder what this would look like?" It's a shame. And Sheperds are extremely varied everywhere in the US...finding a good, "true" GSD is nearly impossible. Really, if you ask me finding a true example of anything in America is difficult.
  10. l_l_a New Member

    As a GSD owner (in america) I agree with the sad state of the breed in general here. Even my dog, who has sound hips and "better" temperament than most (according to the vets and groomers who all tell me he is so friendly!!), he still has fear-aggressive tendencies that we have had to overcome (and still are always working to overcome) he also has chronic digestive problems. Part of the problem is that the GSD gene pool here has been so tarnished that it is really hard for even the sincere and responsible breeders to find good dogs that match all the requirements of the breed standard. Though since my dog is a White GSD, and the white dogs have undergone much less overbreeding, thus I should consider myself lucky!


    Designer dogs - I don't know much about the issue, but I do see them everywhere - labradoodles, goldendoodles, puggles...the ones I've seen have been fine and healthy and with good temperaments. But my experience is very limited. I don't know if these new designer dogs are bred mostly by "serious" breeders working to establish a new breed along with a breed standard. If so I think that's OK, because serious breeders work to improve the health and temperaments of the dogs they breed, and are serious about which homes they will allow their pups to go to.

    But are these designer dogs coming out of puppy mills or backyard breeders looking to make a quick buck?? I don't know...??

    It's also troubling that many hollywood celebrities own and flaunt their designer dogs too, so that makes the designer dogs popular and thus can be enabling to puppy mills and backyard breeders....
  11. mopar53190 Well-Known Member

    I will leave breeding to the experts and leave the decision of making the "Designer breeds" a pure breed dog to the experts too. I am not in favor of puppy mills or people breeding to make a buck. I can say that some of my best dogs were mix breeds though. I had a irish setter / golden retreiver mix that was an outstanding dog. This was a breeding accident by the owner and not planned. Thus is why I bought the pup for the expense of the vet bills.
  12. daniii New Member

    I agree with mopar, some of the best dogs are from mixed breeds. For example, in my aunt's farm we've got only mutts and mixed breeds, and they are all awesome.
    One of them is a mix between a not-pure-german-shepherd-thing and a big black dog that lives close. He is a -huge-, atheletic dog with an amazing temperament. He is nice with cattle, protective, but not agressive at all. I must admit, you don't see a lot of purebreeds in that part of the country, but you don't get "bad" mixes there.
  13. mopar53190 Well-Known Member

    tx cowgirl you made a reference to corgis this is an article that I believe corgis came about...

    Queen Nab clapped her hands. "I'm bored," she cried "let's take our steeds and go for a ride."
    Instantly before the fairy queen appeared a small red-and-white dogwearing a gold collar and bell. On his back was a tiny saddlemade of the finest leather and chased in silver. Similar dogs appeared to the other members of the fairy court. They each mounted their enchanted dogs, and led Queen Mab and her huntsman, Dark Edrick, they rode out of the hollow hills. By the light of the moon, they flew through the forest of Wales.
    Suddenly, one of the fairies gave a cry. His steed had brushed against a trap set by poachers. Made of iron, its touch was deadly to fairy folk, and both the courtier and his little dog were laid low by its power. The other faries gathered round, yet keeping their distance lest they too be struck down by the cold bite of iron. "What should we do?" said Queen Mabb. "We cannot leave them here to die."
    A small, hesitant voice broke the silience tha followed her question. A human boy peered from behind a tree, his frightened sister at his side. "If you please, your majesty, I can move the trap away so it wont be touching them anymore," he said. "And my sister knows herbs. She may be able to ease their pain."
    "What are you doing out at this time of night, boy?" the queen demanded. "Do you not know that the night holds many dangers for mortals?"
    "My father is a shepard," the bor replied. "our best ewe is lost, and without her we shall surely starve."
    "Heal my friends," the queen said "and I shall repay you many times over."
    The boy and his sister tugged at the heavy trapuntil it was far enough away to do no harm. Then the girl gathered white oak bark and blackberry leaves, Wetting them in the stream, she made a soothing compress. With their rapid healing powers, the fairy and his dog steed were soon well again.
    "I promised you a reward, boy" Queen Mab said. Twice she rang the golden bell that hung around her dogs neck. Two red and wite puppies appeared. They were low setstrong and sturdy, with dark eyes that gleamed with intellegence "These are fairy dogs," Queen Mab said. "They are swift and clever and true, and they can herd cattle as well as sheep. Treat them well, and you shall never lose your livestock again." Then she clapped her hands and the entire fairy court disappeared leaving only the two pups.
    The shepard's family prospered, and the fairy dogs gave birth to puppies. The Corgis as they became known-from the words cor meaning "dwarf" and gi meaning "dog" - were highly prized throughout the land for their herding ability. As marked of their fairy seed orgin, the all bore saddle or harness marks behind their shoulders. And on Midsummer's Day, if the dogs were a little tired for once - as they so rarely were - the shepards simply nodded their heads wisely. They knew that every Midsummer's Eve, the fairies returned to ride the Corgis so they would never forget where they came from.
  14. mopar53190 Well-Known Member

    The Pembroke Welsh Corgi began to develop as a type almost a thousand years ago in the Welsh county of Pembroheshire. Cynologists (dog experts) have two theories about their origin but no one is sure which is right.
    1. Vikings briught spitz-type dogs with them to Wales, where they interbreed with local hearding dogs
    2. Flemish weavers who settled in western Wales in 1107 brought their spitz-type dogs with them, which interbreed with local herding dogs.

    NONE THE LESS I like the fairy tale version as if nothing else makes a good bed time story for my children!!! :)
  15. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Very interesting Mopar. ^^ I like the corgi breed although I have no experience with them. I know someone who breeds them for ranch work though. =)
  16. l_l_a New Member

    That's a great story Mopar!! it made me smile.

    The other day I was at an art gallery and saw a lady with a service dog (dogs are not normally allowed in art galleries! my dog would be like a bull in a china shop!) Her service dog was a corgi. It was so well-behaved and well mannered, following her around, patiently waiting when she stopped to look at stuff, and not getting distracted or phazed by anything. I just wanted to go over and ask if I could pet the cute little thing, but I know you're not supposed to distract service dogs from their work so I just watched the little dog out of the corner of my eye! :)
  17. xsara New Member

    I think the problem is these breeds get very popular before they have the time to get registered so they try to produce many puppies, even with dogs that aren't suitable for parenting (health problems, ecc). In Slovenia you would need a permission to breed two different breeds if parents have pedigrees.
  18. CollieMan Experienced Member

    From whom would the permission be sought?
  19. xsara New Member

    As I understand from Slovenian Kennel Club. But I don't think they ever gave such a permission to anyone, at least I've never heard of it. This doesn't apply to mixed dogs, only dogs with papers. I can't find the regulations on their page, but I read somewhere that they cancel the dog's pedigree if you have litters without papers. However they don't really go around and control what you do with your dog, so I guess it could still be done. We do also have irresponsible breeders and people who sell dogs from puppy mills (as far as I know we don't have puppy mills, but people bring puppies from puppy mills abroad and sell them here). So they're not really as strict as they appear on paper. If you're interested I can look it up more precisely.
  20. CollieMan Experienced Member

    No, don't go out of your way to find out. I was just curious to see how differently things operate in Slovenia. I guess like all countries, it can only be as good as the policing can be, and that is usually the weakest link.

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