What's in the Breed?

I was in shock! New clients walked in my clinic with a puppy they just got. They proudly handed me the purchase papers indicating they paid $650.00 for an eight-month-old Shockerpoo, a mix of a Shih Tzu, Cocker Spaniel and Poodle.  In other words, a carefully selected mutt. Not that I don't like mutts; I love them, just like the rest of the creatures I take care of, but a Shockerpoo is no pure breed and should not be sold as such, much less with that "suggestive" price tag. 

The market is flooded with all these new trendy "breeds": PicaPoo, Schnoodle, Cockapoo, Labradoodle, RotPit etc. They are all very nice dogs, but they are not pure breed dogs. As a matter of fact, they are all a little different, even within the same litter. They are "designer dogs" with exorbitant price tags that often are an "impulse buy". They have a high abandonment rate due to the unpredictability of temperament, health, appearance and lack of pedigree. Their popularity is largely a result of successful marketing and creating a demand that dictates supply. These dogs are not recognized by the main registry (AKC, etc.) and should not be sold as a breed. 

Creating a new breed takes a long time. Dog breeds are the result of many years of population genetics. They usually evolve in a particular region or territory and undergo natural and manmade selection, mostly for traits of usage such as hunting, herding, working etc. Purebred produces more of the same in a predictable manner. They share many characteristics related to look, function, health and more that make the breed standards. The number of the breed ancestors or founders is crucial to the breed quality; the smaller the population, the higher the inbreeding and the expression of bad genes and breed defects.  

Bad breeding is a common phenomenon involving not only the mixing of breeds by design, but also unscrupulous amateur "pure breed" breeding. Inbreeding, defective blood line breeding and poor/substandard/non-standard dog breeding takes place all over the country in the form of puppy mills/farms and smaller home made settings. These ignorant activities all share the motives of greed and easy-money opportunity and do more harm then good by flooding the markets and causing severe long-term damage to the dog population as a whole. 

The next time you buy a dog, please do some homework. If you are not intent on a pure breed, you can adopt a dog very inexpensively. If it is a pure breed dog you want, search for a reputable breeder. As always, in case of questions, consult your veterinarian before taking any actions. Your veterinarian has access to numerous resources and is dedicated to do what is good for you and your pets.

mouth healthy and you smiling.

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Yuval Nir
Naperville University Commons Animal Clinic- The-vet.net
1827 Wehrli rd
Naperville , IL , 60565
(630) 544-3333
Veterinarians, Animal hospital