Rescues Unwittingly Promoting Designer Breeds/Pockets, etc.

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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Wed Mar 27, '13 1:36pm PST 
I'm honestly... a little shocked. I mean, I've HEARD of this happening before, but have yet to have seen it with a rescue that I normally support. Usually they just state the obvious such as "Lab x" or "Shepherd x", etc and will willingly state they don't know all the breeds of the dog, or if they do, will list both breeds instead of saying "Labradoodle" etc.

But this... bothers me.

A local pit bull rescue has stated on their Facebook page that a 'pocket pit bull' is looking for a home. Pocket. I understand that they're saying she's tiny. But why not just say "tiny pittie", or "small pit bull" or "pit mix" or something else of the sort? Why pocket? To me, that promotes the idea that 'pocket' dogs are a good idea, promotes irresponsible breeding of, and supports the demand for such... Same with designer mixes..

What's your take on these situations? I mean, I get that they want to get their dogs adopted, and I get that they're probably not using it with that thought in mind beyond the fact she's a tiny dog for her breed... But... Aren't there BETTER ways of doing so?

I see the term 'pocket' used with a breed, and instantly, all these so-called 'pocket breeds' flash through my mind that people are irresponsibly breeding.. Pocket Beagles, Pocket Bulldogs, Pocket Rottweilers, etc.

It makes me want to pull my hair out... This is a situation where I feel they should be educating on the fact that she may be small for her breed, but also WHY... It feels like they're not taking that opportunity and are, instead, using it to promote adoption... That scares me... It saddens me..

Thoughts? Am I being too judgmental about this? I just think they should use it as an opportunity to educate and promote RESCUE, rather than the designer breeding practices of irresponsible money-mongers...

Always my angel.
Barked: Wed Mar 27, '13 2:34pm PST 
I guess I don't see how just using these names necessarily promotes irresponsible breeding. If we're going to tell people to rescue these dogs if they want them instead of buy from an irresponsible breeder, wouldn't it make sense for rescues to use these terms?

With designer titles in particular, I actually find them useful since most rescue websites (Petfinder, etc.) won't let you search for a specific cross, or even for more than one breed at once. So if want, say, a Poodle/Cocker cross, you would have to put in either Poodle or Cocker Spaniel and then wade through a ton of results that aren't what you want. If you put in "Cockapoo," though (which is a searchable field on Petfinder), then it's much easier to find the results you want.

I actually think it's fine for rescues to use these kind of marketing words. I don't think the words are evil in and of themselves. Those same rescues should be educating people about poor breeding practices and what these little marketing terms actually mean, though - I'm definitely with you on that. So if they use, say, "Pocket Pit Bull," then they should explain that that's not a standard size variety for the breed, but they're using the term here so you know what they mean. Something like that.
Jake & Sweet- Caroline

Tricolored- Hounds for life!
Barked: Wed Mar 27, '13 2:39pm PST 
I can see your frustration with this issue. I've met a few "pocket" beagles whom were purchased from "pocket beagle breeders". Their owners didn't like that i told them there is no "Pocket" beagle anymore. The breed has gone extinct and the puppy you bought was bred for dwarfism which is a recessive trait in beagles. They tend to get a little put off that they've paid so much money for some "freak" of nature.

But then again I own a very large beagle. But hey he's not from a breeder.smile

I've never seen a resuce itself post using a designer dog name but i would probably call a Labxpoodle cross a Labradoodle if that's indeed what the dog was. Since that's what that mix is often called even though it's not a breed.

Calling mutts by this mixed "breed" name will cause people to see. OH look there's a Labradoodle (a "breed" i was looking for!) let me go get it from t his rescue instead of a breeder. I think that's what the rescue is going for. They may not be thinking as far ahead as people not understanding Labradoodle isn't a breed.

They're using the popular name to get the dogs adopted. Justl ike when you see obvious pit mixes being adopted as "boxer" or "Rottie" mixes or something like that. I think.

I'd be judgemental about it. I tend to be when people try to tell me they got there amazing "non puppy mill dog" from Amish Country or The Midwest or from a Breeder that didn't do health test and didn't have papers. But that might just be me.

I mean i only go to pounds to look for purebreed dogs. I pass over the mixes myself (Or i haven't found one that apparently has caught my eye yet). Which may be judgemental in its own right. But i do see what you're saying and I probably wouldn't support it but I can see why they're doing it.


Trust me...I'm a- beagle
Barked: Wed Mar 27, '13 4:12pm PST 
I used to feel this way, and to an extent still do. Especially since I am asked if Oz is a "pocket beagle" a few times per year.

The way I see it, yes, by using terms such as "pocket" "teacup" and others that are used by poor breeders, it is going to come off as promoting them.

However, it's terms such as these that draw some people that typically may not look to rescue in. Even in this day and age, there's still a lot of negative association with shelter/rescue dogs and mutts.

I feel that as long as the rescue attempts to educate the potential adopter after they are interested, then there's little issue.
"We use the term "pocket" to help draw attention to the dogs and educate potential adopters. While he is a tiny pit bull mix, the term "pocket" is really just a made up word to get people to purchase puppies from bad breeders" Or something along the lines of.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 3:36am PST 
I personally don't like it either. A friend of mine owns a rescue that deals mainly in mill pulls yet he still uses the cutsey names and I find it a bit gross. I don't understand how you can be so against milling and yet promote his rescues as 'breeds' with 'traits'. Sigh.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 9:27am PST 
Count me on the "against," too. Using these names seems to somewhat endorse the myth that these are breeds, not mixes. It has such a link to the BYB mentality. I find it all a bit unnerving to borrow BYB and mill promo techniques to market a dog. I do understand it can be a good marketing strategy, but is so tainted it just seems to "off" to me.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 9:56am PST 
I think it could back-fire in that people will see a rescue using this terms and then see a "breeder" using them and think the terms are "good" because a rescue which is good use them and then think the breeder is also good.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 11:11am PST 
See, on the one hand, I CAN see the side of things where they're getting dogs adopted by people that would otherwise go to a byb. But on the other, I can see it promoting a whole slew of dogs that are being irresponsibly bred... Like Tiller said, it endorses the idea that they're 'breeds', not mixes, and it encourages the naming of such dogs to boot.

Someone commented, asking what the heck a 'pocket' pittie is, and if she's just tiny for her breed, or if she was purposefully bred to be that size... Unfortunately, the rescues response was that "it's just a term used because he's so little compared to most pitties. He could fit in your pocket. It is not a term being used by designer breeders as far as we know."

So... I decided to respond. "Unfortunately, there ARE people out there breeding for various 'pocket breeds' on PURPOSE. Pitbulls included. There are Pocket Beagles, Pocket Bulldogs, Pocket Rottweilers, Pocket Pitbulls, you name it, right now. Irresponsible backyard breeders will use any marketing technique they can to SELL SELL SELL. They are often bred to be small like that on purpose, unless in the instance of an accidental litter. They are not purebred dogs, and are most often crossed with smaller breeds to achieve that tiny stature. I think that if -rescue- is going to use the term, it'll be a good opportunity for them to educate people on irresponsible byb and puppymills and encourage adoption through rescue. I'm personally not a fan of rescues using the terms often used by byb's, but that's a personal preference. I prefer to call it what it is, "Tiny pitbull mix."

I'm hoping I didn't come off judgmental on the rescue, or snarky, but rather, that it came off as more educational and a friendly suggestion...

People regularly think Charlie is either LARGE for a Beagle, or SMALL for a Beagle. When they think large, it's because of all the tiny Beagles they see... When they think small, it's because they often see overweight Beagles all over the place. Charlie is a fit, 25-ish lb Beagle at the age of five, who stands at about 16" at the shoulder. I think he's PERFECT, either way. But I get that all the time too, Oz. People are thrown off when they see a Beagle that's fit, and of good size, lol.

It makes me wonder though... I mean, yeah, there's certain mixes I LIKE, but that doesn't mean I'll go and support them, or their designer names... I just keep my eye out for mixes similar in shelters. That said, there are also those that scare me and I don't think should ever be mixed because of what the breeds are.

I also feel the same as Tiller.. I can understand the point of view of trying to 'adopt' out these dogs based on these techniques, but... It's just not something that I agree with at this point.. I agree with Jewel too.. It could backfire and go the opposite way. "Oh, maybe I'll find a 'good' breeder of this 'breed'."

In the instance of this rescue though, it appears it was simply lack of education on the matter... I don't personally know who runs their Facebook page, but that's how it appears by their response to the lady asking about it.

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Thu Mar 28, '13 12:38pm PST 
You can count me against too.

I do agree with Jewel's point where someone could go "That dog is really cute, I'll go find a breeder of this breed". Definitely the worse part I think.

I think cute pictures serve better than cute names, or cute descriptors and well designed websites are better ways to promote. I know rescues need to promote in all ways possible, but I'm not sure if using those cutesy designer breed or pocket titles is necessarily the right way to go.

As a rescue, would you want a dog to go to a home where the person was looking for a dog of this so called breed anyways? Anyone who actually considers a pocket pit bull a breed or a cockapoo a breed... I do question them. And maybe that's unfair, but anyone who is unhappy calling their mix... a mix or a mutt and just loving them for who they are weirds me out.

Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Sat Apr 13, '13 6:02pm PST 
My grandmother once owned a "cockapoo" (RIP) - If I had thought this dog was such a great and wonderful pet, I could see myself looking for that name of a dog, whether it's a real breed or not. As it happens, this type of dog isn't my cup of tea, but to condemn someone for calling a dog what they've been told the dog is strikes me as a little too judgmental.

I totally disapprove of BYB and a lot of alleged reputable breeders as well. A rescue or shelter will be my first source for any pet. I know Ace is a mix, and I think I know what she's a mix of, but it's not a mix that seems to be popular... probably because near 60 pounds she's iffy for the pocket of the Jolly Green Giant laugh out loudlaugh out loudlaugh out loud The cutesy stuff seems more common for smaller dogs. If I ever call her a Belusky, it doesn't mean I approve of her being the result of irresponsible breeding, it's just shorthand. But it's not a common thing like the doodles and the poos.
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