The Known Vs The Unknown.
The pedigree dog is infinitely more predictable as to size, characteristics,
temperament and coat than its crossbred relatives.
The designer dog (or crossbred dog) is a gamble as to how it will turn out.
As many of the designer dogs are first crosses, no-one can really say what its coat will be like,
how big it will grow etc.
Just ask many professional groomers of the coat problems with designer dogs.
Breeders of Designer Dogs may tell you by crossing 'x' and 'y' breed that they are taking the best from both breeds.
They however have no control over which attributes from the parents will be used.
The puppy could quite possibly get the worst attributes of both parents.
Wally Conron (the man who first bred the Labradoodle
for the Royal Guide Dogs Association in Victoria, Australia) once said
"I have opened a Pandora's Box.
I'd be the first to come out and admit that.
It's a pity, really...we had gone to great lengths to ensure the poodles we used did not have any problems,"
notes Conron, who feels the same cannot be said of many of today's breeders.
"I think it is a recipe for disaster because they are breeding with dogs that have hereditary problems".
"Another concern is that people are being mislead into believing that labradoodles
as well as other poodle crosses all have allergy friendly coats and do not shed.
This is not the case and their coats and saliva have to be specially tested," Conron says.
"At the Royal Guide Dogs,for instance,
we had one litter where there were ten puppies and out of those only two were non allergenic.".
A lot of the hype with Designer dogs is due to the mistaken belief that they are healthier
than the pedigree pure bred dog due to so-called 'Hybrid Vigour'.
Hybrid vigour can only occur when both parents are clear from genetic problems.
Their breed does not matter. It is the genetic make up of the parents that counts!
The only way to be sure is to ask the breeder if they have tested for known problems.
It is easy for you to research these problems on the internet these days,
not all information is accurate with some one-off cases often being attributed to an entire breed
but it gives you a guide.
When looking at Designer Dogs (cross breeds), you need to consider two breeds, not one.
First look at the problems that are common to those two breeds.
For example, does hip dysplasia show up for both breeds?
If it does, then that lovely designer breed could be a real problem.
Check if the parents were tested and ask what the results were.
Second, look at the unique problems for each breed and then do more research.
Some genetic problems only need one parent to have the disorder, just the same as in humans.
Once again ask if any testing has been done and ask if the breeder has offical paperwork.