Dogs 101 and Designer Breeds?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Wed Oct 24, '12 3:41pm PST 
Stella writes, "My first dog was mixed and she lived to be 11 which according to the breeds she was mixed with was a full lifespan."

And, exactly how does THIS EXAMPLE show hybrid vigor??? If breed A lives to be 10 - 12 yrs average and breed B lives to be 10 - 12 years average and your dog is a mix of breeds A and B and lives to be 11 years that has absolutely NOTHING to do with hybrid vigor. To associate hybrid vigor with your statement would only work IF your MIXED BREED of A and B lived to be 14 or 15, assuming all other conditions were exactly the same. Doesn't happen, usually the OPPOSITE is true. Dog A has bad hips in their line, Dog B has bad hearts in their line, your mix of A & B ends up with bad hips AND a bad heart.

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Wed Oct 24, '12 4:00pm PST 
Ginger, you wrote, "I meant I wondered if there were any cross breeds or new breeds where they are specifically breeding with the goal of improving health/lifespan. For example by carefully researching the health and longevity of the parents/grandparents and other relations and doing things that will improve health/longevity in the filial generations. Such as outcrossing to breeds that will improve the inbreeding coefficient and to breeds/lines that are not prone to the same genetic health issues, and that type of thing."

You don't need to have a new or mixed breed to be doing this within an existing breed and existing breed pool, though. Sadly, most breeds & breed clubs are not cohesive enough so that the entirety of the existing pool is utilized, planned for and a cooperative effort is made to use AND preserve the existing diversity among multiple breeders. It seems that in most breeds, people are simply breeding to better their own stock without much regard to the state of the narrowing of the genetic base..Almost inadvertently. And open information on health, cause of death, and COI for potential crossings make a lot of breed club uncomfortable and fidgety. :/
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Wed Oct 24, '12 10:59pm PST 
FYI....as the convo went there....

To verify that it is not cat poop! laugh out loud

Originally, there were water spaniels and land spaniels. Of the land spaniels, there were the setting spaniels (from which the English Setter derived) and the springing spaniels, obviously the former would be alerting the hunter to a bird to hunt, while the latter would spring the bird into the air.

Smaller springing spaniels were used to hunt woodcock, and thereby called "Cockers."

From the springing spaniel root trace the Springers, Cockers, and the midsized, oft heavier set spaniel breeds as well.

Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 4:11am PST 
Haha, I used to have mini arguments with my brother about Dogs101 and designer breeds--I'd be like "I hate that show so much!" And my brother'd be like "I like it." And then I'd rant on designer breeds and he'd defend them.
Still not a fan of designer breeds, but I think I've--hopefully--calmed down since then.

Mainly I just think all these new designer breeds are unnecessary--why mix a breed on purpose when you can likely find the same mix at a shelter? Why try to make a new breed without an actual reason? I mean, we already have over 400 breeds as it is.
But, y'know, it's not going to stop just because I don't like it. So...*shrug*

Edited by author Thu Oct 25, '12 4:17am PST


Work? What's- that?
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 4:48am PST 
Hybrid vigor is a term designer millers use to sucker gullible people into believing their dogs are actually healthier. The concept doesn't exist in reality as it does in the public mind. The public has been suckered into believing it means any dog whose parents wasn't a purebred is going to be magically healthy and robust.

The best example of TRUE hybrid vigor is that if you took two purebred dogs of the same breed AT RANDOM, and bred them together - and did the same for two random dogs of ANY, or mixed, or unknown breed - you'd find that, assuming you have enough samples to look at, the dogs from the "random dog" group would produce healthier puppies.

This is because the less related two dogs are, the less likely you are to encounter two recessive genes. On the flip side, however, you're also less likely to "double up" on the genes you DO want present in your dogs. Do you know how to combat recessive genes popping up in your purebred dogs? By having a breeding plan, and lengthy pedigrees/records, and RESEARCHING your dogs before you pair them together.

You don't magically have a healthier dog because their parents were two dogs of separate breeds randomly bred together to make a buck. In fact, you're LESS likely to have a healthy dog that way, since they often suffer from the same sorts of delirious inbreeding and genetic bottlenecks purebred dogs do, WITHOUT having any kind of deliberate plan to avoid or offset genetic diseases.

With purebreds, you CAN know, to an extent, what you are getting with a good responsible breeder. And that is attractive to a lot of people. Designer millers/breeders offer a false hope of that and cannot deliver on that promise. It's a marketing scheme.

You can't know that with most shelter dogs - and that's attractive to a lot of other people, too. Nothing wrong with either desire.

With a designer mix, you're betting against very long odds at getting a healthy puppy. There ARE no responsible designer mix breeders. There are some that play at being responsible, but even on the off chance that they aren't using that (or even lying about it) just to attract gullible buyers, it still can't even hope to approach the kinds of intelligent breeding decisions you're able to make about dogs with a multi-generational pedigree. You can't hope to produce healthy dogs when your goal is to make money, and not improve and/or further your breed. You can't produce the kind of healthy dogs a responsible breeder can when your "vision" is just money. And really, what else could it be? Repeatedly breeding F1 mixes takes you NOWHERE. NOWHERE at all.

I've yet to see a designer mutt breeder who actually had a plan for what they are doing. And like I said - how can you have a plan, when you are only producing F1 mixes? You're coming to the same stopping point with each and every breeding.

Edited by author Thu Oct 25, '12 4:52am PST


Member Since
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 5:03am PST 
I think that hybrid vigor is a load of crap. My dog comes from very long lived stock. One of her great grandmothers recently passed at 17 years old. Her grandfather passed at 15 and her grandmother is 14 and still going strong.

The oldest Cardi on record lived to be 18 years old, which is pretty ancient by anyone's standards. I fail to see how adding another breed would in anyway increase longevity in our case.

Maybe in some breeds outcrossing is the way to go when increasing life expectancy and health, but certainly not in every single case and honestly I don't by it 99% of the time.

I'm a lover!
Barked: Thu Oct 25, '12 5:37am PST 
Tiller- appreciate the history on the cockapoo. Do you think that opened up the door for this designer trend though? I understand the behavioral issues cockers had....but did the creation of the cockapoo make people very amenable to the idea that a cross breed would be a better pet, fertilizing the ground for the designer dog trend?

That idea is now very firmly entrenched in America's psyche....and then add to it the problems some purebreds have had because of bad breeding practices, and the loss of confidence many people had in the benefits of a purebred....and this created a market niche for the "designer dog". It isn't that people woke up one day and decided "I want a chiweenie"..... but the average person looking for a dog could be swayed very easily by false claims and marketing strategies, because of the history. We are very susceptible to hype- after all, this is a country where people line up at midnight in the bitter cold on Black Friday to save fifty bucks on the latest and greatest gadget! thinking

Charlie- I'm not sure you got the point of my post and apologize if the message was not clear. I don't endorse the designer dog trend, and education is key...but I do think it is important to understand how it came to be....which is what I'm struggling to do here. With understanding, we might get an answer to the problem. Yes, education is a piece of it, and an important one, but it is a complex issue.

We all know the end result of this trend is more dogs in the shelters. All my dogs are little fluffy mixes who ARE products of this designer dog trend. Both Misty and Lily very likely were pet store impulse purchases, probably bought for a thousand bucks or more by their original owner. Fast forward less than a year, and they're on a euthanasia list at a high kill shelter. Working in rescue, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, as many of the fosters I have had also fall into this category. We like to throw things away in this country, and need to change that attitude toward our pets. Understanding the roots of it may prevent it from re- occurring. or re- occurring in a different way.

There is something so firmly embedded in the way we look at animals here that allows this type of thing to proliferate. This is a bit off topic, but I think looking at countries that don't have problems with homeless animals might be a good first step, like Germany, Sweden, Switzerland. What do they do differently? Also looking at areas of the US that have better control of this- what were the factors that made it change? I live in the northeast, and the homeless dog problem has greatly improved in the last several decades. Didn't used to be that way... growing up in the 60's- stray dogs used to be common, and there were all sorts of free puppies to be had. Is there more education here, or is it something else? I don't know that answer.

But even the search for this truth backfires in our press. Cesar Milan came back from Germany reporting that they have mandatory sterilization...which is totally not true. He must have misunderstood. He did do a nice report on other things Germany does right. They have virtually no stray dogs, it is against the law to euthanize a healthy dog in a shelter, people pay good money to license their dogs and there is a tax to own a dog, they rescue dogs from other countries... but there is not mandatory sterilization...unless something has changed very recently that I am not aware of. I think dogs that are adopted from shelters have to be sterilized- which is probably where he got confused. Germany actually has a very relaxed attitude toward sterilizing pets...but not the problems with homeless dogs.

So-what's up with that???? Touting mandatory spaying and neutering as the answer does not address the real problem, but speaks to our desire for a "quick fix". We have to be careful of that. Many European countries do have BSL- so things aren't perfect over there either....and I am deviating too much from the topic. But my point is- fix the underlying attitudes and many of the issues we have will go away. How to do that is the question...and probably a topic for another post! big grin

Edited by author Thu Oct 25, '12 5:55am PST

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