Just because your Affenpoo, Foxy Russell, Labradinger, or Pomeagle has a fancy sounding name does not mean he is a purebred dog. In fact, nothing could be far from the truth. A designer dog is not a purebred and charging $1000 or more for a mutt with a fancy name borders on fraud and damages the entire world of purebred dog breeding.
The American heritage Dictionary defines a purebred dog as:
“Of or belonging to a recognized strain established by breeding individuals of unmixed lineage over many generations.”
These are dogs that come from a line of breeding stock that is registered with a recognized kennel club and that fit to the breed ‘ideal’. The breed ideal is a list of typical and specific characteristics listed for a breed including a detailed description of both its physical appearance and temperament.
Wikipedia defines crossbred dogs as:
“Crossbred dogs (first generation crosses of two purebred dogs, also called dog hybrids) are not breeds and are not considered purebred, although crossbreds from the same two breeds of purebreds can have ‘identical qualities’, similar to what would be expected from breeding two purebreds, but with more genetic variation.”
“However, crossbreds do not breed true (meaning that progeny will show consistent, replicable and predictable characteristics), and can only be reproduced by returning to the two purebred breeds.”
For a new breed to be considered for registration by a reputable kennel club such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) or Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), the progeny of must breed true for at least five generations, often more.
What is a Designer Dog?
Designer dogs are crosses between two purebred dogs. They are unregistered with a kennel club and rarely come with a health or temperament guarantee from the breeder. Rarely are hereditary markers or temperament issues balanced when specific breeds are picked and little goes into health screening of the dog or bitch.
Reputable breeders of registered, purebred dogs do it for the love and betterment of a breed. They usually have a background in confirmation shows and/or dog sports and while their dogs have established a reputation of upholding their breed characteristics as well as being a good examples of their specific breed. The breeding stock is health screened and thought is put into pedigrees and whether ‘line breeding’ or ‘out breeding’ is best for the progeny.
Breeders and the media have not helped the ‘designer dog’ phenomenon. The double-barreled ‘cutesy’ names have attracted the purse dog crowd, causing an even greater pet overpopulation problem. The truth is that people breeding these dogs are selling what would be called a mutt less then a decade ago without considering the ramifications of their actions.
Designer Dog Owners Beware!
There are many disreputable purebred registries that will register the designer breeds and provide what looks like a pedigree for a litter. This usually comes with a bigger price tag per pup, as it is a buyer ‘option’. However, breeders are not allowed to charge extra for a registered puppy then an unregistered puppy. Organizations such as the AKC or CKC will fine breeders for this extra charge.
Also, because of the lack of a governing body, there is a question about what it is you are actually bringing home. The Foxy Russell puppy you brought home could in fact be a Fox terrier bred by the Pointer down the road. What should be an apartment sized, under 15 pound adult dog grows to be a tall, lanky sporting dog. No contract, no guarantee, no compensation for your heartache when your choice is to move or find a new home for you pet.
Bottom line? Your designer dog is not a purebred. A purebred dog is a dog registered with a reputable kennel club with proof of parentage and, normally, a contract and guarantee. Anything less and you are contributing to the pet overpopulation crisis and puppy mills.
Instead of buying an overpriced mutt, visit your local shelter and adopt a dog in need. Don’t be part of the problem. Make a difference.