Every day we hear more about the new "hybrid" dogs, or "designer" dogs. Each feature is accompanied by pictures of adorable puppies that are examples of this new "breed."
Of course they're cute! All puppies are! Should you pay hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars for one? Certainly not! The offspring of a mating between two purebred dogs of different breeds is a mongrel, a mutt. And if you have one, you should love it, train it and care for it as if it had the bluest blood of the canine kingdom.
Every dog breed, and there are hundreds in the world, was "created" by humans. Each breed was developed for a specific purpose - whether that original job was guarding the flock or being the ideal lap-dog. There's no reason that development shouldn't continue. If there is a need for a dog with particular characteristics, enterprising individuals will come forward to fill that need.
However, it takes many generations to "breed true." Compare yourself to your siblings. Do you all have the same looks, same personality, same interests and strengths? Chances are, you don't. Each of you has some of the "best" traits of your parents. But those may not be the same traits. And each of you has some of the worst.
Two of the best-known mixed-breeds out there now are the "Golden Doodle" and the "Puggle." The thinking behind these crosses is fairly obvious: wouldn't it be nice to have a Golden Retriever's personality and willingness to please combined with the Poodle's non-shedding coat and intelligence? Wouldn't it be equally delightful to have a small dog without the breathing issues of a Pug, but quieter than a Beagle?
But there is no way of knowing you won't get a high-strung, noisy, stubborn, slobbering mutt who sheds like the dickens!
If you are considering spending the kind of money that these "hybrids" are commanding, be sure to research all of the traits of the contributing breeds. You will get a mixture of the two. And an equally adorable mixture may be waiting for you at your local shelter - the size you want, with the coat you want and the adorable face that melts your heart.
If you require certain characteristics in your puppy - whether a family member has allergies, or you have a very small, or no yard, or your household requires a quiet, "easy keeper," or if you wish to fully participate in the world of canine competition, consider a pure-bred animal. There are over 150 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.
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