There’s a new breed of dog in town…and another…and another…and another. Dubbed puggles, goldendoodles, cockapoos — even shih-poos, these new breeds have generated quite a following among those who wish to have more input into the traits that make up their new pets.
Discussed in a recent Wall Street Journal story is the fact that people who desire certain characteristics in their pets have turned their gaze to the growing industry of designer dogs. A designer dog is simply the cross-breeding of two purebred dogs in an attempt to create something, well… different. A puggle, for example, is a combination of pug and beagle. A shorkie tzu is half-shihtzu and half-Yorkshire terrier. Beagles, a favorite it seems, are kept busy. Featured on the front of the WSJ article is a peagle, the cross between beagle and pekinese.
Most people have heard of the American Kennel Club; they serve, among other things, as a repository of registration information for purebred dogs. Not to be outdone, these hybrid dogs, as they’re officially known, sport their own club: the American Canine Hybrid Club, located in Arkansas. On their website, you can find a list of their ‘approved’ hybrids like the skip-shzu, pugshire, torkie, toy poxer, and many many more.
Lots of people, it seems, have certain traits they want in their pets and a list of those that they don’t. Working with breeders, they strive to create dogs that have only the most-favored traits while minimizing those traits that are less than desirable. Mix a little of this with a little of that, and voila, the pet of your dreams.
There is, of course, some concern with the practice of cross breeding, including the genetic predisposition some breeds of dogs have to certain types of maladies and ailments. Some hybrid pet breeders, in acknowledgement of this concern, have their animals tested before breeding them to make sure that they don’t carry affected genes.
This is an expensive step to take and, as you might expect, adds greatly to the asking price for those dogs. Unfortunately, there are no regulations that require this type of pre-testing.
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Photographer: copyright Lisa Batty, agency photoxpress.com
Photo: copyright Ivonne Wierink, agency photoxpress.com
Illustration: Paty Cullen, agency photoxpress.com