'Designer Dogs'-mix breeds with a BIG pricetag

nova_gwNovember 26, 2006

I live in an area with many "Backyard Breeders" and they have come up with a new disturbing practice. Namely "designer dogs". These are mixed breed puppies with fancy names, such as Chi-poos [chihuahua/poodle], Corkies [chihuahua/yorkie], Porkie [pom/yorkie] and my favorite, Dorkies [dauchund/yorkie]. What really disturbs me, I guess, is the prices they are getting for these mix breeds - $300 to $500 each! Don't people relize there are many mix breed pets available at any shelter for far less? Is there really a need for breeding more mix breeds? I just don't get it but maybe someone here will explain it to me. Thanks nova

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One thing you have to remember-- many of the "pure breeds" that we know today are actually the result of exactly what you're talking about here-- mixing breeds to get the best traits of two for a certain purpose bred into one dog. Many of the herding and sporting group dogs would be included in this.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 12:14PM
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I might be wrong. I'm sure someone will let me know if I am. :-)
The people who are breeding these designer breeds are in it for the money, not to produce a new "purebred."
If they were looking to breed a new breed of dog, they would not continue to breed one purebred dog to another purebred dog. They would eventually start breeding a Chi-poo to another chi-poo for example. To my knowledge, they are not doing this.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 2:19PM
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One thing you have to remember-- many of the "pure breeds" that we know today are actually the result of exactly what you're talking about here-- mixing breeds to get the best traits of two for a certain purpose bred into one dog.

You are exactly right -- that's how today's purebreds came to be, over time. But that's NOT what is happening with these designer mutts. These dogs are being bred for one purpose -- to make money. The people making them are not looking to make the next best herding dog, or the next best rat hunter. And as beeanne points out, they aren't trying to make a new breed, they're just breeding two current breeds together...again, to make money. I can't believe that there are people out there buying into this stupidity.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 2:36PM
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Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Puggles etc. They are in my local newspaper for $500-$1500.

Yes, they are flat out fad "breeds" for fast money.

Reputable breeders are not doing this. Some of these dogs may be great combinations as far as pets go but the same combinations are in shelters all over the country.

I think it is a terrible fad and very sad, anything that encourages people to breed more dogs, especially people with no stake in the good of the breed is a very bad thing

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 2:39PM
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I wasn't aware that this was something that widespread. This is actually the first I've heard of it.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 4:36PM
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Yes, this designer dog fad is a sore point amongst some of these forum members. I think it is bad in that the breeders are only in it for the money. And they tag the "designer" label on it to add cachet.

The money pet shops are charging for these breeds is ridiculous. As is the amount that most pet shops charge in general usually. You can get a full pedigreed from a reputable breeder for about the same amount of money.

You may have to wait for a litter though.

I had read somewhere that these designer breeds are disasters waiting to happen. The source said that first generation they may be alright, but second and third generations, the problems are all going to start coming out. And reputable breeders interested in actually creating a new breed will work on these problems, through testings, and act to get the problems out of the breed. But you know the puppy millers will not do this. No way, They are in it for the money only.

There are too many "mutts" in shelters that really need homes, I would not support the profiteers by buying their designer mutts.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 5:06PM
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In genetics, it is inbreeding that causes the problems because recessive genes (that only create problems when you inherit one from both of your parents) become concentrated. If backyard breeders keep breeding family members to family members, it will be a problem, just like it is for current purebred dogs.

The reason that problem recessive genes are more of a problem than problem dominant genes is that the dominant traits occur in the animal EVERY time it is inherited. So if you had a problem gene that made purple polka-dots on a dog, you just have to stop breeding the puppies that have purple polka-dots and get rid of this trait if it is dominant.

With problem recessive genes, you can get one recessive gene for purple polka-dots from your mom, and a nice solid color gene from your dad and you can look solid colored. But each of your puppies will have a 50/50 chance of having the problem purple polka-dot gene - no matter what they look like. The only puppies who will have purple polka-dots are the ones that get the purple polka-dot gene from both their mother and their father. But half of their siblings may have the hidden purple polka-dot gene to pass along. So by breeding any related animals together, you get a higher chance that their hidden bad genes will produce puppies with the problem.

This is why purebred animals who come from a small gene pool can have more inheirited problems than other dogs. If someone decides that the traditional Squirrel-Herding dogs of Outer Slobovia deserve to be preserved as a breed and there only ten of them left, those ten dogs will be the parents of all further dogs of that breed. Any recessive traits that the ten dogs have can become concentrated and purebred crosses will be more likely to have the genetic problem. When you have a larger gene pool, you can chose to cross animals who don't have any of the problem genes in their ancestry and avoid the problem altogether. This is why folks on this forum are always promoting "responsible breeding." If you are breeding purebred dogs, knowing what problems the puppies of many generations of the mother and the father dogs have had can help you to chose which dogs to breed to each other. It also helps you to concentrate desireable traits and get puppies that more closely represent "the breed."

Genetically speaking, the crosses least likely to create puppies with inherited problems are of dogs entirely unrelated to each other - otherwise known as Mutts.

People are attracted to purebred dogs because over generations of breed creation, people have been able to influence the presence of desirable traits. They get dogs who are more predictable in looks, behavior, and temperament. With mutts, you don't get that.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 7:01PM
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Sheah they're a lot more than that.
What I find the most appalling is that many rescue groups are capitalizing on the designer dog thing and when they get one in, they gouge ya!
But hey, that's capitalism!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 7:34PM
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Sheah they're a lot more than that.
What I find the most appalling is that many rescue groups are capitalizing on the designer dog thing and when they get one in, they gouge ya!
But hey, that's capitalism!
Not much of a "rescue" group if they are charging different adoption fees for "designer" dogs.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 8:45PM
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I agree 100%.
Little story for ya.
A while back I noticed a golden doodle was listed on petfinder on a wednesday. I called up and the woman who was very nice answered as many questions as she could but said the dog will be available to look at that saturday at petsmart at 10am. I showed up 10 mins early and there was already a line there of people waiting to see this dog and there were signs all over the crate, "look at this Designer dog!" They kept using that word... designer. Anyway they had a stack of applications and said it would take them a couple of weeks do decide who's going to get the dog. The adoption fee on that dog was $500. It was a 5 month old puppy. Very shaggy and cute. Every other dog they had there was around $125 if my memory serves me. What also annoyed me was they continued to show the dog the next day even though they already had more than enough applications.

I suggested to them as politely as I could that instead of emphasizing that it's a designer dog, how about telling people about the exercise and grooming needs the dog will have and that it may be a cute shaggy, conveniently-sized puppy right now but it could grow into a hyper 90lb beast.

A month or so later there was a thing on the news about the designer dogs and they went into the humane society shelter and showed a pen full of puppies they said were poodle/golden mixes and they were the same thing that people are paying over a thousand bucks for. True, they don't last long and people are definitely on the prowl for these dogs, especially rescue groups (Ah! makes me want to scream) that will nab them from shelters within hours.

The doodle dogs are annoyingly well-marketed. I also noticed some breeders charge a lot more for a goldendoodle than a cockapoo they also bred. People are willing to pay these prices and it's a way for the rescue groups to get more money even if they will have no problem homing the dog.

Take a look at petfinder. Unless it's a county shelter or humane society, the designer dogs will have higher adoption fees.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 11:38AM
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That is just sad Quirky. I'm sure the higher fee goes to help other animals, but it sure is sending the wrong message.
Breeders can charge whatever they can get, but it's just wrong IMO for a rescue to do that.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 2:37PM
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A mutt is a mutt to me and I sure wouldn't pay for one!LOL
We ran into a man in PetSmart a couple of weeks ago with the cutest little puppy.We asked what it was and he said it was a JRT and was for sale.Told him we weren't interested,just thought it was cute.He gave us his card and said he had other breeds too.When we got to the car I looked at the card and it had several different breeds and "Designer" dogs.I wish I had known that when we were talking to him I would have asked more questions.I'm sure he is getting quite a price for them since the JRT was $500.!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 4:05PM
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I think that definitly sends the wrong message!

(rescues charging more for or promoting "designer" dogs)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 10:42PM
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They're being purchased primarily by well-to-do trendy folks. There was a thread in the doodle forum where people were posting pictures of their dogs in the car. And most of the cars were luxury cars. Sort of how people will 90% of the time, buy a trendy BMW because of how they feel about themselves by owning one, they will also do the same with dogs. And just how a BMW is not really that great of a car, they are very expensive to maintain (Think $1000 to replace the battery) and overpriced given their performance and standard features (fake leather seats in the 3 series), these mixes of dog breeds is not necessarily the right dog for the buyer either. This is what disturbs me the most since I have a breed where most owners implore first time dog owners to NOT get our breed or to really think about the needs this dog will have prior to buying one.

More emphasis is placed on color selection and how they are "the perfect dog" for everyone being that they don't shed (yeah right), don't smell (pffft mmmkay) and about their hybrid vigor (hehehe) and that they are cute (at least until they are no longer puppies) and that they are so smart because they are half poodle (dry heave).

There was a woman there in the petsmart with her brats. She said all of her neighbors have a doodle and this was the color they really wanted. (it was white-- big surprise, eh)

Not saying doodles are bad dogs... I once tried to get one myself. I'm just saying don't buy one for your brats and don't buy one because all your neighbors have one and don't buy one because it matches your pocketbook or decor. This is the problem with calling something a "designer _____" Don't buy one because they don't shed or smell because yours will.

Instead buy one to be your jogging partner, or to be your obedience champion, or to play fetch with and take to the park. If you want a dog to wheel around Saks 5th Avenue in a stroller get something else. If you want to feel like a somebody in your neighborhood, please don't buy a dog for this sole purpose.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 12:57PM
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Well I beg to differ on the designer doodle dogs being bought only by the wealthier folk. The Petland near me sells them by the bushel with low monthly payments. Oh and you have to fill out a questionaire to see if you're suitable, obviously not having enough cash upfront to even buy the thing isn't a problem.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 11:03PM
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pkguy wrote:

"The Petland near me sells them by the bushel with low monthly payments. Oh and you have to fill out a questionaire to see if you're suitable, obviously not having enough cash upfront to even buy the thing isn't a problem"

Are you f-ing kidding me. Re-read wht you just wrote. The questionnaire is a credit application. Petland is one of the worst offenders of selling puppymill dogs. Of course they will offer you a low payment plan. Don't you get it? They will do anything to keep the dogs moving in and out of their stores. The are proliferating the poor dogs that are bread every heat for puppies.

If you were to get a dog from a reputable, responsible breeder, do you think you have the option of a payment plan? No. If you need a payment plan there's a thing called a savings account. I suggest anyone who needs to get some sort of payment plan going to buy at pet, save their money and get a suitable, healthy, certified pet from a proper responsible breeder - not from a puppy mill pusher.

Just my $.02.

Are you new to the forum? I suggest you read some of the threads describing Petland's practices. Please don't buy anything from Petland, it is the only way to put places like that out of business for good.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 3:01PM
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Been away for a week but have enjoyed reading thru your comments to my orginal post. I feel better knowing that I am not alone in my horror of the growing market for highly priced mutts and the rate at which they are being bred. I work in the local vets office and we probably do 20 to 30 health certificates [required in my state for any puppy being sold] a week! And of these maybe 20% are for purebreeds, the rest are mixes. The big outlet for these puppies is the local Flea Market where on the weekend you can walk by booth after booth of puppies with $300 plus price tags! Then there are the "brokers" who frequent the market and will buy entire litters to ship on to "bigger retail outlets". This, of course, encourages the "breeders" to breed more! It breaks my heart to see this going on while perfectly good dogs are being euthanized daily at our local animal control for lack of a home! nova

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 8:53AM
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Funny about the petland comment, assuming (and hoping) it was a joke. I didn't say everyone that gets one is wealthy but there's definitely a niche for these.

I've been criticized for my comments regarding doodle marketing before and I'm sure it won't be the last time either. To sum up my feelings in one sentence so there's no confusion, here's a quote. "I feel the way these dogs are marketed, it's attracting a certain type of buyer in many (not all) cases resulting in an impulsive decision rather than an informed decision."

I was at the vet yesterday and there was a labradoodle... huge! Pulling her owner all over the office and barking loudly. About a 9 on the out-of-control scale. Completely shaved down too- I can only imagine why. There's no doubt in my mind a lab/poodle mix would be highly receptive to training but I have yet to see one that wasn't hyper and jumping up and down and all around. They are big strong dogs and I can see how things would turn out horribly for these dogs if they were led a pampered life similar to the toy breeds that used to be the in-thing with this target buyer.

Who's to blame:
I'm not pointing my finger at the buyer. They're only doing what comes naturally and don't know any better. Instead I'm pointing my finger at every breeder & rescuer of these dogs that refers to them as "designer dogs" and doesn't go to great lengths to educate the buyer and sell only to buyers that can demonstrate a willingness to manage these dogs. And the health testing doesn't get much press on the cutesyRanchOfDoodles.com websites. I wonder why that is.

I can't really blame the media because the articles are pretty accurate but the articles are also creating a demand for these. Demand is fine as long as the buyer gives the dog what they need and the buyer knows what they're getting into beforehand.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 10:48AM
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Designer dogs are huge around here. I would not set foot in a pet store other than Petsmart so I can't attest to the fact they are being sold, but my DD's friend got a cockapoo for her kids for last Xmas..He's the only one I've held. Very cute but I'm sad that other dogs in the pound will pay the price for this sudden popularity. And who knows what health issues will occur down the line.. Tiger Woods has a labradoodle..That will raise the price even higher.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 3:25AM
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Oh man! Why'd he have to go and do that? You're probably right and now they'll become even more popular.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 11:17AM
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OK, i just looked up where Tiger bought his dog. Lone Star Labradoodles. Thank goodness it does not look like a puppy mill. They even have goals in mind and are not breeding poodles to labradors. This from their web site:

Lone Star Labradoodle's goal is to produce healthy, multi-generation Labradoodles with non-shedding and hypoallergenic coats. After months of research, it became readily apparent that all Labradoodles are not created equal. Great variation exists in coat texture and quality and shedding/nonshedding attributes. Because of this, Lone Star Labradoodles acquired all of its breeding stock directly from Australia's famous Rutland Manor so buyers could be assured of getting a quality puppy possessing all of the qualities and attributes which make this breed so unique and desirable.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 11:37AM
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Yeah and is there a money back guarantee if the dog sheds?
Gimme a break!
Nowhere on their site does it tell you about the needs of the dog to persuade impulse buyers from THINKING before mailing in their non-refundable $500 deposit for their $2500+ puppy.

Nowhere does it talk about health testing! They're gracious enough to spay/nueter before 8 weeks of age, arguably a bad idea.

The breed miniature doodles... a conroversy in and of itself.

Oh nice application... Tell us a little bit about your family and home then select the size and color you want. [Don't tell us too much though- especially things we don't want to hear]

They have a lot of cute pictures of puppies. That is the extent to which their site provides information about this breed.

Looks like they started breeding in 2005. You gotta start somewhere I guess. If the puppies were from experienced breeders and offspring of accomplished show dogs or other competition and have had extensive health testing, that could warrant the price tag. I don't see it in this case.

"After months of research, it became readily apparent that all Labradoodles are not created equal. "
Oh it took MONTHS to figure that out?

Judging by the dates of their puppy pictures it looks like they do a lot of litters in a year.

Cockapoo isn't really a designer dog in my book. Those have been around for decades. I'm talking about doodles. Those are the hottest trend.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 2:13PM
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I never said they looked like reputable breeders. I said that they did not look like a puppy mill/commercial breeder. They were not breeding poodles to laboradors and that they do seem to have some goals in mind as far as the type dog they want to produce.
Yes, I had a problem with them breeding miniture doodles too. Just because they had people interested in them is no excuse. They should be breeding for the love and improvement of the breed, not to fill a market for them. I also have a problem that they admit it is a business and not just a love of the breed.
At least Tiger didn't buy from a pet store like Rosie O'donnel.
Hmmmm.... I missed where they spay and neuter at 8 wks. Good for them.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 3:15PM
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Got to feel bad for Moxie of Lone Star LD sheÂs kicking out her 4th litter due in December since being purchased in Mar/2005. Got to love the fact that LSLÂs resume consists of "we are animal lovers and have always had 2 or 3 dogs in the family". Or from the "About us" page of LSL Â "after considering many business opportunities"Âwe choose the designer dog business.

I canÂt feel good about them. In there own words- this is a business opportunity.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 4:39PM
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You know, what's up with a large, non-refundable application fee for any puppy? If a person had second thoughts about the purchase, would a reputable breeder who cares about their puppies really want to discourage them from backing out? Are they that afraid they can't find another buyer that they have to trap the impulse buyer into sticking to their decision?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 4:53PM
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I don't get that either. Maybe they've had too many people backing out because they found a cheaper designer dog while they were waiting for their pup? Otherwise, it would seem they wouldn't want that person who changed their mind to have one anyway. Or maybe it's just to make sure the person is not an impulse buyer. Impulse buyers don't normally put down a nonrefundable 500 dollars and wait for a puppy.They see a cute puppy and want it now. (just playing devils advocate here) I don't approve of their dealings either.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 7:09PM
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LOL No Beeanne... SANE buyers do not plunk down big deposits like that! Then again given the price of the dog being double what most reputable breeders charge for rare breeds, I guess the down payment- err I mean deposit would also be double too.

It doesn't even say what the significance is of the Australian lineage! It keeps going back to that BMW example I always use. It's got "German engineering" / Breeding dogs imported from "Austrailia"
As if these statements somehow makes something the "best".
Point is they're saying more to sell. Only this isn't a car that you can sell after a while when you get tired of it, it's a family member with a life expectancy of 10-15 years. That's a helluva commitment. As was pointed out, they are a business, just like Petland selling puppies for profit. Not what most people here would consider a hobby breeder who does what they do for the betterment or love of the breed.

Gee whiz I can be pretty harsh.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 7:50PM
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Labradoodles were developed as a breed in Australia. When I started hearing the name, I did a web search and learned about this.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 1:29AM
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Here's what I've been thinking. Some people want what they want, be it a certain car or a certain breed of dog. I understand Tiger's wife wanted a labradoodle. Where was he supposed to get one that would make any of us happy? Yea, I know....a shelter or rescue.... would have made us happy..but other than that I think he did an OK job.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 1:06PM
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Are we closing this one out?
My view is that whether or not he did a good job depends on whether these are responsible breeders doing the health testing and making sure the buyer is the right person for this type of dog. And also whether he or his wife did their homework prior to ordering their puppy. And commit to the needs of this dog, and I assure you there are many instead of buying one just because it's the in-thing. It doesn't matter how rich and famous they are. The dog can wind up in a shelter just as fast. That should be the last thing the breeders want to have happen no matter how much money is at stake.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 3:24PM
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Quirky, I don't have answers to all of your questions. What I have found is that it was Tiger's wife who tracked down the pup in Texas after contacting a different breeder (Southern Cross Australian Labradoodles)in La. They referred her to them. Whether she researched the Australian Labradoodle in advance, I don't know. I don't know if they researched their border collie first either, but hopefully they will be great pet owners to both. Here's what I did find out about the Australian Labradoodle. Seems they are purebred dogs and not just high dollar mixed breeds that people are making a killing on in their backyards.

The Australian Labradoodle is different from all other labradoodles
In the early days, the Australian Labradoodle was simply a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle. Dogs from this cross typically were bred to each other over future generations, whereby the Australian dogs are also know as "Multi-generational" Labradoodles.

Then, in the late 1980's, Tegan Park and Rutland Manor, the two founders of the Australian Labradoodle as we know it today, began carefully infusing several other breeds into early generations of their Lab/Poodle crosses, to improve temperament, coat, confirmation, and size. The infused breeds include Irish Water Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel and later the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten. The resulting labradoodles subsequently have been bred to each other, continuing the multi-generational tradition.

Today, Australian Labradoodles are wonderful, intelligent, intuitive dogs with lush coats that are more reliably low to non-shedding and allergy friendly than other types of Labradoodles such as first generation Lab/Poodle crosses, or first generation crosses bred back to Poodles. Even when the other types of Labradoodles are bred on for generations, the result is not an Australian Labradoodle, as the attributes of the infused breeds and the focused breeding for desired traits as envisioned by the founders, were not included in their ancestry.

Here at Southern Cross, all our breeding stock comes directly from the two major breed developers mentioned above. Our puppies are 5th and 6th generation Australian Labradoodles. We only breed Australian Labradoodles to Australian Labradoodles, thus keeping in our breeding lines, all the qualities that have made these dogs so popular.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 4:05PM
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I have had this discussion on the Pet forum when we first got our two doodles. I was so excited about falling in love with them and wanted to share that excitement. We had lost our Chelsea after 14 years and waited 7 months before getting another puppy. I was degraded first (by some, not all posters) for getting the doodles, then for the fact that we got two!

Well, too bad. We love them to death, they are attentive to us and to each other, they are well behaved (for puppies aren't always perfect as some think they must be) and we are doing everything we can to make sure they are loved and cared for as much as our former, now deceased 14 year old and 18 year old doggies were.

We didn't buy them from a pet store, nor from a large breeder. Well then, you might say they were a back yard breeder with only two litters a year. Geesh, you can't please anyone. If they put out lots of litters, they are a puppy mill, if not, they are a back yard breeder and not knowledgeable.

Are we rich? No. Did we pay too much...yeah, but not because they had to match my decor, or car, or anything else. In fact, they don't match each other and one is black and I said I would never have a black dog. He made us fall in love with him and that's why he is here today.

Also, we did walk into a pet store in the local mall and they were touting their designer breeds. They didn't have a doodle, but could "get us one" from somewhere out west. I don't care what breed I am buying, I don't want a dog that has been "shipped" to me on a plane or in a truck across the country. Talk about terrorizing a puppy. Now I see that as cruel.

Oh well, case closed. I just love my MUTTS!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 8:33AM
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When I first heard about the labradoodle, I read, as anyone else would, that the breed was created in Australia as a solution for a blind person who was allergic to dogs.

So I thought what a great idea. But then I wondered does the cross make a good lead dog for the blind? I called and asked two of the largest leader dog training facilities in America, if the lab/poodle crosses were successfully graduating from their training program. At that time, They had yet to even have one to train. They were looking forward to trying to train one, but hadn't yet. I wonder if they have yet?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 5:29PM
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I really have to tell you all that I think it is just plain crazy to pay $500 for a dog from any breeder at all! What are you getting???? I have always had shelter dogs and had a vet for 20 years who always said spending big bucks on a purebred dog is a total waste of money. He told me that the vets love those dogs because they are their 'bread and butter'. They always have some problem or another.

My shelter dogs always came in once a year for their check up and shots and that was the only time he saw them.

If you have more money than God, do what makes you happy. I personally would put the money elsewhere.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 6:43PM
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Shelter dogs are not necessarily "healthier". I know plenty of people with mutts that are always bringing them to the vet with something or other.
And I have had two dachsies from different breeders and those dogs have been absolutely the healthiest dogs I have ever encountered. No back problems, they started to get cataracts and get blind when they were over 13 years of age. But I am not blaming the breeder for that... 13 years is OLD. One lived til 16.5 and the other is still around at 15+ years.

Taking care of your dog and making sure it gets enough exercise and doesn't get fat does a lot for your dogs health!

The main problem with the shelter dogs ($150 is the fee for adoption BTW) is that so many are pit bulls and pit bull mixes. You could not pay me enough money to own a dog that was even part pit bull. Or they are the bigger breeds, sheperd mixes, lab mixes, etc. Way too big for our lifestyle in the apartment when we got our doggies.

Now they have petfinder.com and the breed specific rescue groups though. If you need/want a specific breed this is a good way to go. Thus the reason I hate the designer dogs trend. You can go to a breed rescue and rescue a pure bred "fufu" dog like a bichon, or a poodle, or a maltese rather than supporting those mills.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 11:22AM
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I really have to tell you all that I think it is just plain crazy to pay $500 for a dog from any breeder at all! What are you getting????I have purebred dogs, because I like a particular, established, breed. If there were no breeders there would be no purebred dogs, and I wouldn't know what I'm getting. Purebred dogs were developed for specific purposes, with physical structures and characteristics to enable them to carry out those purposes. Twenty, thirty, forty, a hundred or more years from now I would still want to be able to have a purpose-bred, purebred dog of my choice. I don't want to be restricted to a mish-mash of cross breeds. Of course there are "bad" breeders, and I stay away from them. I know that dog breeding is not an exact science, but careful, informed, reputable breed practices can certainly minimize my risk of not getting a healthy, stable, dog. I think paying $500 (or more) for a pup/dog that I know comes from a healthy, breed worthy lineage, has had a great start in life through the efforts of a good breeder, and that will be with me for 12 to 14 years, is not at all "crazy". I am also involved with the rescue and adoption of both mixed and purebred dogs, and haven't seen any difference between their inherent health needs. I'm fully aware of the overwhelming situation of unwanted and mis-treated dogs. This situation is not going to be solved by stopping good breeders breeding.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 2:27PM
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He told me that the vets love those dogs because they are their 'bread and butter'. They always have some problem or another.

Now this is a gross generalization. GOOD breeders breed healthy, well-bred dogs.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 3:04PM
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roberta_Z5 wrote: "He told me that the vets love those dogs because they are their 'bread and butter'. They always have some problem or another.

My shelter dogs always came in once a year for their check up and shots and that was the only time he saw them.

If you have more money than God, do what makes you happy. I personally would put the money elsewhere."

That's your prerogative. I would rather go to my breeder for the puppy I want, the one I train, not someone else's problem dog that has ended up in the shelter. I do not agree that shelter dogs are more healthy. I know for a fact that the shelter kittens I have adopted have all needed alot of money put into them as soon as I brought them home. One, in fact, was hospitalized for almost a week to the tune of $500 for a URI.

Don't assume that because you have a mutt that it is going to be healthier. I have 3 very healthy purebred labradors. You know why I have purebred labradors, because that's the kind of dog I want, and I take offense at your generalizations about it being about money. It has nothing to do with the money, it has to do with the character of my breeder, the quality of the dogs she breeds, the certifications that come with my dogs, and most of all the TEMPERAMENT of my dogs.

Spend your money as you will, perhaps you could donate to the shelter the amount of money you would have spent for your shelter dog had it been a purebred dog:)).

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 7:26AM
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I do think that a lot of people would be happier if they went to a good breeder and had to think about whether they wanted to put down money ahead of time and get on a list to get the dog they wanted. It would force them to think about their decision beforehand not just plunk down the visa and walk home with a dog that same day.
And also people should think more about the right dog for their lifestyle. Too many people treat their doggies as fashion accessories.This has been going on for centuries though... doubt it is going to change soon.
Me, I will stick with my long haired dachsies.
I truly admire the breeder rescue people, they see worst case scenarios and must really love their breeds.
Not to say shelter dogs are bad, you can definitely get a good one there. Esp. if you want a dog and don't care about what breed it is and you can handle getting a big dog as that is mostly what is in shelters. The big breeds, lab mixes, golden retriever mixes, rott mixes, shepherd mixes, pit bull mixes, doberman mixes abound at our local shelter.
All those breeds are too large and energetic for our household.
And there are the people who need to have a no shed breed because of allergies. They need to have a very specific kind of dog in order to own one at all.
So don't be so hard on the people who buy from the breeders.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 10:39AM
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wonder if the financial instutions will pick up on this and offer a 2 yr pet loan? lol!!!
I don't know much about these designer dogs but I have a question, are these dogs with the high pricetags registered? I wouldn't buy one but if I was going to pay a astronomical amount for a dog I would sure want some registration papers, kinda like a title, lol!!!
I will always perfer the Shih Tzu, and even though this obsession came from my very first one that was gave to me free without papers, I would be willing to pay a good price in order to have one from a reputable breeder.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 10:04PM
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Shihtzus are adorable dogs. My aunt had them, my friend has two, my sister has one currently and it was recently in a commercial! So friendly.

And yes, I do know someone who financed a dog at astronomical interest rates too! I think those pet stores offer the loans. Those designer dogs are just a smokescreen word for "mutt". No pedigrees for them.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 10:14AM
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Is it me, or are these dogs um.... freaking UGLY???!!! They are cute as puppies I guess, but the adults are not very attractive. People are so stupid. Designer dogs? I wonder if they would sell as many if they were calling them desinger mutts? BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 11:24AM
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Micke asked if they are registerable. Not with the AKC but maybe with other lesser known organizations. They often list this on their websites that the pups are registered. Can't remember what though. CKC maybe?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 12:03PM
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Most of you are missing the point regarding the problems with designer dogs. Using the Poodle as an example, a responsible breeder has registered his/her poodle breeding stock with a national lab which tracks the genetic problems of poodles. Golden Retrievers are called cancer dogs by the vets I know. I am not putting the golden's down but they are said to rarely die of much else besides cancer. I love them. And of course your golden did not die of cancer, yes, I get it.

Anyway, since there are no health records or registration of these designer dogs, they are inheriting the blindness, etc.that is part of poodle genetics and other problems as well.

It is irresponsible to breed indiscriminately and buying these dogs is just adding to the problems. It is true that good old mutts, which these dogs are, are often healthier because they are out bred. But, unfortunately, they are also starting to inherit the problems inherent in the breeds of which they are comprised.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 11:51PM
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Why would someone think there are no health records or registration of Doodles? My Goldendoodles parents were both CERF and OFA certified. As well as AKC registered. My GD could now be CKC registered not that is important to me. What was important was knowing that once the breeding pair was of the appropriate testing age, they were both found to be free of heritable eye disease by a Veterinary Opthalmologist. They were both cleared of Hip/Elbow Displasyia by the Orthopedic Foundation. I researched on the internet until I could find a breeder who tested their breeding stock.

BTW- I also have a purebred Bichon that has cataracts at age 3. His parents obviously weren't tested and bred anyway. At the time I wasn't aware that some breeders did health testing.

It's like everything else in life - there are good and there are bad. It's up to the wanna be pet owner to do their homework and make sure they are getting a healthy pup from a reputable breeder that does health testing and offers a good guarantee. Don't buy on impulse. Find a breeder that is giving of their time enabling you to develop a relationship with them while you wait for your pup to be of age to come home.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 8:35PM
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> "Don't buy on impulse."

Don't market to impulse buyers.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 10:54AM
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joepyeweed there has been a goldendoodle named Richter who graduated as a guide dog from Guide Dogs of America on May 1st, 2005.

The CKC does not recognize or register doodle dogs, there are no registries of golden or lab/doodles. "At present there is no Goldendoodle registry. 99% of all Goldendoodles are desexed first generation hybrids or backcrosses and there is no need. The few around may be more about publicizing or legitimizing the registries themselves than serving any useful function to the Goldendoodle community."

Australia does have the Labradoodle Association of Australia (LAA). Part of their goal is to breed a consistently allergy friendly and nonshed dog with guide dog work in mind. For those purposes who can blame them. for the "designer label" - I was taught if you can't say something nice...

QQ- people should be able to resist impulse whether an item is marketed well or not. What ever happened to personal responsibility and self control??

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 11:02AM
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> "QQ- people should be able to resist impulse whether an item is marketed well or not. What ever happened to personal responsibility and self control??"

People lose self control when confronted with adorbable pictures and talk of being no shed, no odor, lovable couch potatos from the Autumn Breeze Doodle Village website. Just like how people lose control when they see a prostitute or an ad for Marlboros.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 12:49PM
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Um yeah, people have the ability to not do something. If they choose to be sucked in that is their perogative, but really - "they can't help themselves"? Puleeeze.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 1:06PM
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I just spoke with the people from CKC. I can register my Mini labradoodles if I want to since both the parents of my puppies are CKC registered. On the form, which my breeder sent to me, it has the parents CKC # for each and the form does say NON-PUREBRED. So they do recognize them as a breed.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 3:54PM
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Ooooh, I thought the CKC refered to was the Canadian Kennel Club - you know, the real one.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news to anyone who thought the continental kennel club was a real registry, but I could register my "found in a ditch" mutt with them. They are a for profit business in it for the money only and with no standards (and assisting puppy mills in the bargain). Also a number of surveys have found the majority of the kennels that advertise on their site to be suspected puppy mills.

From one of many sources:
"It's often more convenient for puppy millers to seek out alternative registries. One of these is the Continental Kennel Club. The requirements for registering a dog with the Continental Kennel Club are not nearly so stringent. In fact, you need only tell them your dog is purebred - they'll take your word for it. If you prefer, you may even register on-line. They offer many services: Standard Registration ($8.00), Standard Registration Plus Pedigree ($23.00), Color Photo Registration ($16.00), Color Photo Registration With Pedigree ($31.00), or the creme de la creme, Color Photo Registration And Photo Pedigree ($41.00). What A Deal! And none of those annoying identification requirements to contend with. Nope, all it takes is a credit card. Another attraction: They do NOT require litter registration."

A common ploy of "clubs" like this is to adopt initials the same as a legitimate kennel club to help mask their illegitimacy.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 6:05PM
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> "Um yeah, people have the ability to not do something. If > they choose to be sucked in that is their perogative, but > really - "they can't help themselves"? Puleeeze."

It's deceptive. It's not that people can't help themselves, they don't stop to think about the consequences.

Tell people what is really involved with doodles and what they are really like to own instead of making them out to be the perfect dog for everyone.

Not only is it hard to focus in on consequences when looking at doodles and prostitutes, it's really difficult to invision someone selling/breeding something so sweet and innocent to be dishonest, irresponsible jerks.

Many of the breeders are already registering the doodle pups with the CKC so they can say they are CKC Doodles! Oh wow! Oh Boy! That must mean they're worth at least an extra $500

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 8:06PM
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HUH???? Doodles=prostitutes?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 10:48PM
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My replies are like soap operas, if you don't watch the previous episode, you won't get it. :-)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 8:57AM
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Curly, soft hair, loves everybody, tall and leggy. Yeah, I could see it. LOL!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 12:26AM
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    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 11:46PM
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It is called "Capitalism" people. I can't see that a pure bred dog is worth any more than a mutt. Wait, let me correct that statement IMHO.

I feel on average that a mutt is much more valuable than a pure bred dog that has been in-bred to the point where it has all sort of congenital problems. So, a 'designer dog' has only two breeds in its mix. My choice would be a mutt without definitely known parentage.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 12:53PM
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Capitalism often crosses the line into the realm of inhumanity. What's your point? Breeding dogs properly costs a lot of money, I can understand why it may be expensive to buy a dog but obviously when the same breeder is charging half the price for a pure bred that's obviously because market price on the mixes is higher. And that would be breeding for profit, not breeding for the betterment of the breed. Something that a lot of people are strongly opposed to.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 9:44AM
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The problem is that these people are uneducated and trying to create a new breed without the benefit of testing for problems. They are going to run into problems in a generation or two of breeding puggles with puggles if they don't breed out the problems like previous creators of dog breeds have done.

The big problem with dog breeds is mostly careless backyard and puppy mill breeding when the breed becomes trendy. Like dogs breeds popular in the past: dalmations, irish setters, collies, cocker spaniels, german sheperds, pitbulls. Some of those breeds have been darn near ruined here in america if it were not for responsible breeders saving their beloved breed.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 10:44AM
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Okay, I'll say this and duck and cover:

We have been looking at Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to adopt from rescue because DH has just about melted anytime he sees one, and behaviorally, they are the dog for us. We are now being considered to adopt one I found at Petfinder that lives locally.

So I spent last night going to different sites to learn more about the breed. I knew some of their health problems - heart murmurs (38% seriously when young, 100% by age 10) that can develop into valve disease and require heart surgery, luxating patellas (20 - 30%), hip dysplasia (11%). Heck - I've got all that myself! What I didn't know is that their cute, round little skulls are too small for their brains and they can develop a horridly painful condition that requires brain surgery - and the surgery does not always work. About HALF of CKCS have this! - although not usually to the extreme end.

Then there is the problem where the dog will suddenly have paralysis of its hind legs from running or playing too hard. It goes away fairly quickly and the dog resumes its activity (usually). Luckily, this does not seem to be a life-threatening problem very often. They think it is a metabolic muscle problem, but they are not sure. It is unique to Cavs.

The list goes on, and the hilarious thing is that I share a good number of the same problems! Like thyroiditis, stenotic nares, cataracts (30% have one eye disorder or another), white blood cell problems (50%). I guess I should be glad that I never reproduced!

Then there are the ones I don't have: mucous plugs in the middle ear that are very painful and require surgery; Cushing's disease (prevalent), Diabetes (susceptible); dry eye syndrome (many); epilepsy (prevalent); curly or rough coat syndrome where the dog suffers very painful skin disease and dry eyes that are so bad that many think that the poor dogs should be killed at birth rather than suffer horribly it's whole life (half of all puppies born in Iceland in one recent two-year period had it, prevalence elsewhere is unknown); epilepsy (prevalent), eyelashes that scratch the cornea(very common), inward rolling eyelids (relatively high incidence) fly-catcher's syndrome (prevalent), congenital and progressive deafness...the list goes on. All of these are hereditary diseases - inherited.

I just gotta say it - so which one is the Designer Dog? The purebred CKCS or some body's backyard mix? CKCS were created in the 1920s by getting the undesirable longer-nose puppies from the litters of the English Toy Spaniel. The English Toy was the surviving breed that was pictured in a lot of old paintings as a beautiful lapdog. Back when the paintings were done, the breed was not a pug-nosed dog like the English Toy Spaniel is today, though. So some people who wanted to recreate the look of the the dogs in the paintings bought and bred the unwanted longer-nosed English Toys and created a whole new breed and named it the Cavalier (from the name of one of the paintings) King Charles (King Charles II bred and loved the dogs) Spaniel. So, since someone did this in the past, it is now a "breed". I imagine that the dogs were so inbred in order to establish the breed that the genetic disorders just got more and more concentrated. The English Toy Spaniels are known to have a few of these disorders, but not in the same numbers as the Cavaliers do.

Interesting factoid: the English Toy was created by MIXING the little spaniels of the paintings with Chinese dogs to get the pug face. Designer Dog, anyone? If it happened a hundred years ago, it is okay, but we can't do it anymore today? Because....why? Think about it. The smushy-faced English Toys that bred true (and consequently had a good mix of genes with the Chinese dogs) have FEWER genetic defects than the CKCS, that was created by breeding only the THROWBACK longer-nosed English Toys that did not meet the English Toy Spaniel's new breed standard. Does that not best explain how dog breeding works? Create a specific breed with a few original parent dogs and end up with concentrations of genetic malformations that seem to come with almost every dog! Look at the breeding chart in the link below. Only the A+ dogs are free of the three main genetic diseases. Yet it is okay to breed them with all but the worst dogs! You can still breed a CKCS who had a dam and sire that may or may not have had a heart valve murmur, who has a little bit of the horrible brain problem, and a skull that is too small with a perfectly healthy dog. Why? Obviously because there are not enough perfectly healthy dogs to use to breed healthy CKCS! Why, o why didn't somebody mix a little Brittany or English Springer Spaniel in there 50 years ago!

So, that is my thinking on purebred genetics. It is fine if you are breeding a relatively healthy breed like the Brittany, but when you end up with what the poor CKCS have to endure, is it really worth it?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 2:34PM
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OOPs, as I read it more carefully, BOTH parents must not have heart murmurs for a dog to be classified as D and be breedable. But its brains can still squish out the back of its skull a bit, and it can have pockets of cerebral spinal fluid in its spine, as long as it does not display symptoms. The symptoms can develop at any age, though!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 3:17PM
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I am a designer dog breeder, though I hate the term. I am not in it for the money, I do it for the creation of a new breed. I breed golden shepherds. Golden retriever German shepherds. I live both breeds and they are both very popular in this country. I got this idea after first having German shepherds my whole life, I know the breedinside and out. I also saw that many ended up with owners who didn't know how to correctly raise or handle this strong breed so the digs would turn out vicious, antisocial and be put down or put in a shelter. Mixing in golden retriever leaves the look of a shepherd but waters down some of the intense characteristics of a shepherd as well as some of the less desirable retriever tested such as uncontrolled excitement. The dogs are loving alert loyal pets who do not need a firm hand. I have 3 breeding pairs, only have 2 litters per year total and all of the parents have been hip eye elbow tested. They are each trained and used by myself as therapy animals where they are brought to veterans homes and hospitals. I only choose breeding stock that are champion aired and beautiful examples of their breed. The dogs do not breed until they reach 2 years if age and are done at age 5. Females never have more than 3 litters and both males and females are fixed when retired. To get a puppy from me you must go through an application process, there is a year wait list, and puppies are homes after being steralized. I feel I am responsible when breeding, and I do not do it for the money though i know some do. I am not meaning to rant I just want to show some people do it to produce a superior animal, not just to make money. l

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 10:14PM
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