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Puggles and Peagles and Poogles, Oh My!

Puggles and Peagles and Poogles, Oh My!

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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Photo is compilation of works by the following:
Photographer: copyright Lisa Batty, agency photoxpress.com

Photo: copyright Ivonne Wierink, agency photoxpress.com

Illustration: Paty Cullen, agency photoxpress.com

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128 comments

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7:42AM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

Really? People need to realize that a dog, no matter what breed, is a unique living being. We don't "design" our children, so we shouldn't be "designing" dogs either. I understand it happened in the past, but in this day and age there isn't a need. Not to mention the millions of homeless animals in shelters. What? People can't pick from the thousands breeds that are already in existence? Btw, or those who think they need to breed put unwanted traits, they shouldn't be pet owners anyway. It's called training and caretaking people.

7:56PM PDT on May 2, 2011

thank you.

4:02AM PDT on May 2, 2011

There are too many dogs & cats in shelters looking for homes. Why create "new" breeds when they can find a loving pet at their local shelter.

9:27PM PDT on May 1, 2011

thanks.

8:03PM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

Well I had a LAB-CHOW for 16 yrs and she was the BEST DOG that I had ever had. I ADOPTED HER from the SAN MATEO HUMANE SOCIETY/SPCA, which is my local SPCA. I think that more people should ADOPT than going to PURCHASE these "DESIGNER DOGS". There are more DOGS&CATS that need good homes TOO! Just remember that!

7:54PM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

If you have thousands of pounds to buy a dog, can't you adopt one from a shelter and use the rest of the money to donate to an animal charity?

11:50AM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

This article opens up several avenues of discussion, primarily the animals that are euthanized every day in shelters across the country. First, animals die in shelters because of either human irresponsibility, or unexpected changes in a human's life. Rather than assailing those who wish to purchase from responsible breeders (yes they exist - widely in fact) in order to ensure they bring home a wanted pet with predictable traits, instead focus on owners who fail to desex their pets. Male pets should be neutered, female pets should be spayed, there is no acceptable reason for not doing it save the rare medical exception. If you cannot afford the procedure even at your local spay-neuter clinic, you cannot afford to be a responsible pet owner; get your fur fix by volunteering at the shelter.
In my younger days I questioned the need to desex pets, so I educated myself on euthanasia statistics and the health implications of keeping a pet intact (not spayed or neutered). Do your local spay-neuter clinic a favor, donate the cost of one procedure once a year - you can prevent the unwanted birth of dozens of kittens and puppies in the case of intact females, and hundreds in the case of intact males.
Responsible breeders test for known problems in the breed prior to using animals in breeding programs, ensure prospective buyers fully understand proper care of their new pet, and INSIST on spaying/neutering or have it done themselves prior to placement in a new home.

11:25AM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

signed

8:53AM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

3 Cheers for Dorothy K's comments! Ironically, was discussing this story-line with my Vet last week. Sadly, they see far too many of these 'designer' dogs with greatly defective qualities. Ignorant people jump on the band wagon and pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a 'designer' breed. I guess they feel better about themselves by PURCHASING a 'mutt' for big $$, than by adopting from a rescue/shelter. Humans ....... go figure.

8:50PM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

Umm..this is how all breeds were created..from wolves..humans bred together thier favorites (for whatever reason..smaller, faster, longer hair, calmer disposition)

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