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What is your opinion on mixing breeds/designer dogs

This is a discussion on What is your opinion on mixing breeds/designer dogs within the General Dog Discussion forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; On the whole, there are exceptions, I HATE seeing people advertising crosses, as some cute new breed. Nearly all of those breeders are either backyard ...

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Old 12-22-2014, 01:07 PM
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On the whole, there are exceptions, I HATE seeing people advertising crosses, as some cute new breed. Nearly all of those breeders are either backyard breeders or puppymills. Nearly none of which are trying to create a new breed, they are just pumping out crosses which they in turn sell for double or more the cost one would pay if the buyer had went to a reputable breeder of an actual breed. 99% of those breeders have not done any type of genetic health testing on the breeding stock, meaning the parents could be riddled with genetic diseases that they pass on to their offspring.

I own a Chihuahua x Dachshund (he was given to me I didn't set out to get a Chi x dach), I've yet to see another of that cross that looks anything like him.

Pick out the Chiweenie
https://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-...3/#post2289521
Pick out the dachshund
https://www.google.com/search?q=dach...2&ved=0CB0QsAQ
Pick out the Chihuahua
https://www.google.com/search?q=chih...2&ved=0CB0QsAQ

My point with that is the cross is a mixed bag of looks because they have no breed standard, the pure breeds look very similar in body structure.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE mutts, they're my favorite, there's just something about the uniqueness, but they have no business being purposely bred. Neither do the crosses, and to me the crosses are even worse because most people who breed them are only after money, they don't care what happens to that puppy once it leaves the home, and many of those puppies are dumped at shelters, once they are no longer cute.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:19 PM
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My point with that is the cross is a mixed bag of looks because they have no breed standard, the pure breeds look very similar in body structure.
The cross is a mixed bag of looks because they are mostly first generation (F1) crosses of two different breeds. You can't get the (relative) uniformity in looks and temperament without several generations of selection + backcrossing. I think the breeders who are serious about developing these 'designer breeds' have all gone beyond F1 crosses to multiple generations of selection and so their dogs are more similar - approaching a breed standard. i.e. they are actually doing some designing of the breeds. Versus the backyard breeders who are all selling F1 crosses of random dogs.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:55 PM
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The cross is a mixed bag of looks because they are mostly first generation (F1) crosses of two different breeds. You can't get the (relative) uniformity in looks and temperament without several generations of selection + backcrossing. I think the breeders who are serious about developing these 'designer breeds' have all gone beyond F1 crosses to multiple generations of selection and so their dogs are more similar - approaching a breed standard. i.e. they are actually doing some designing of the breeds. Versus the backyard breeders who are all selling F1 crosses of random dogs.

Yes, I know all of that, but can you point out some breeders who are trying to really develop a Chiweenie, a Puggle, some of the doodles, etc?

I've tried finding those breed standards but I cannot, here's what i got on the Chiweenie... Chiweenie - Dog Breed Standards That same site has breed standard info on the Chihuahua and the dachshund.
Puggle breed standard Puggle - Dog Breed Standards again there's no set standard, yet the mix has been around for at least 20 years. In all that time no one set up a real breeding program.
Labradoodle Labradoodle - Dog Breed Standards at least they are trying to come up with a standard with that one, but still in all these years there's no set one. Cockapoos Cockapoo - Dog Breed Standards again, some are trying to set up a standard but there's yet to be one.

Here's a page on a Alaskan Klee Kai's history, it's a relatively new breed. It's founder had a set goal in mind, how she wanted the dog to look, etc, she didn't just take 2 dog breeds and mate them, to produce a cross, then helter skelter breed the off spring together. Alaskan Klee Kai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I see very few of that designer breeders doing what she did.

If no ones set a standard for a designer breed, and is actively trying to achieve it, then the looks are always going to be random, and most of the crosses are going to be F1 and F2.
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:14 PM
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Actually a lot of F1 crosses (in general, not just dogs) are very consistent. But when you get to F2s you end up with a mixed bag where a lot of offspring revert back to the parent breed. That's why a lot of times in performance animals and also in livestock they tend to stick to just breeding F1 animals and not going on to create a breed.

As someone who loves borderstaffies (and borderjacks) the ones I see are pretty uniform. I don't really see a need to refine them into a breed.

Another good example would be lurchers and longdogs. Not a breed but consistent enough cross that has been around for a long time.
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:16 PM
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I was thinking mostly about the Australian labradoodles. There is a standard, though not a universally recognized one. I actually don't think there needs to be a universal standard, as long as there is a group of breeders working towards a similar goal, so they know what they want and people know what they're getting.

I'm also working under the assumption that these are pet/companion/service type dogs, so they'd be bred more like working dogs rather than show dogs (in that perfect physical conformation may not be as important/well defined, but temperament and key desired characteristics e.g. coat and shedding are selected to be consistent)
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:57 PM
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Nothing irritates me more than when someone tells me they paid $3k for their "designer maltipoo" or some purse dog and tells me how well-bred they are. I then roll my eyes because me telling them they likely got scammed by a BYB into buying a mutt will fall onto deaf ears.

I have no problem with mutts. They end up being some of the most ADORABLE dogs I've ever seen. One of Sam's best friends is a corgi-terrier mix and the cutest freaking thing. I die. Calling her "designer" is just arrogant and annoying. Almost as bad as "teacup".
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:31 AM
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There are a ton of variants and variables.

1. Going to the pound and getting a mutt as a companion animal = Great!

2. Having an oops breeding between your dog and the neighbors dog? After the pups are born get your dog fixed, but in the meantime, raise them right then get them good homes with any sort of cash exchange being very minimal and not the purpose of the whole endeavor = Great!

3. Having your neighbor's dog and your dog mate to make puppies so you can sell them = BAD

4. Getting a dog of specific breed A and another dog of specific breed B to make puppies so you can sell them under a catchy nick-name and claim all sorts of falsehoods like 'they'll be healthier because they are mixes!' = VERY VERY BAD

5. Have working dogs, and select the best two dogs at doing a job and mate them hoping the pups will be even better, but disregarding breed when doing this (something commonly done in working hounds, racing sled dogs, terriers that are actively going into burrows etc) = No Problem.

6. Having a need for a dog with specific traits FOR WORKING PURPOSES and mixing various breeds to get the hybrid you need (Example, hog hunters who want a 1st generation Pit x Hound for the hound's better nose and scenthunting instincts and a pit for it's strength and endurance holding a hog....or a Staghound where stag or now more likely coyote hunters mix greyhound in for speed and Irish deerhound in for warm coat, strong feet, endurance) = No Problem.

7. Someone attempting to create a new breed who meticulously plans out what features, traits, abilities, they have for their target, who have the finances to undertake such an endeavor, have the time and have the commitment to work on this for at least 20 years if not the rest of their life, and who goes about it with measurements, a critical eye, compassion, a sense of reality, health and temperament tests, and keeps great records = No problem.

8. Someone who is attempting to create a new breed with only a rough goal, a plan to use discretionary funds (buying more dogs to mix in as they can afford it rather than as indicated on their 10 year plan) vs a dedicated budget, a handful of parent dogs, lacking the lifetime commitment a breed creator needs, and the mix of compassion and realism = bad
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Old 12-25-2014, 04:52 PM
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These are my exact views as well. ^
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:30 PM
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Some hybrids like labradoodles had good intentions, or well, an actual purpose aside from "Haven't you ever wondered what a X dog and Y dog would look like mixed? It'll be sooooo cute!" But as some previous posters said, even those good intentions turned out not to work. Dogs are bred too pure, be they actual purebreds or hybrids. So many purebreds now share health problems that mixing them for a hybrid hardly prevents many health issues. In my opinion hybrid dogs are just a scam to get people to pay high prices for a mutt bred in a puppy mill when they could get a similar dog for cheap at the local shelter. Dog breeding now is so unethical and almost always just for looks, and not for any purpose. For the most part I'm against it.
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