I like this article and agree with the woman:
I like this article and agree with the woman:
That's an interesting article, and I think she makes some valid points. I do think, though, the social misconceptions are downplayed in the article, which seems to minimize the current marketing of the so-called designer breeds. Would recognition by the AKC really clean up the breeding practices of those currently breeding cavoodles, for example? BYB and Mill dogs can come with AKC papers; that doesnt necessarily make the quality of the purebred animal any better. The mindset of the breeders who started breeding these animals wont change simply due to AKC recognition.
If a new breed is developed after many many generations (not simply cross-bred offspring) of careful genetic manipulation to attain the same general characteristics litter after litter, then a breed is born and it can be categorized as any other breed. However, to reach that point, those breeding the animals need more testing, experience, and time. They would need to be more concerned about the resulting adult dog and less concerned about the sale price of the puppy. That could be happening in some select instances, but I seriously doubt it is the standard for all those puggle breeders out there.
It's a case of the chicken vs the egg, i suppose. Does AKC set the guidelines for a breed, or the guidelines set by the best specimens of the breed that already exist? Either way, AKC would have to adopt more stringent regulations on breeding to have any effect on the quality of crossbred animals on the market, IMHO. ;)
I think the stigma against the cross-breeds may be hindering responsible breeding, though. As it is, I think it'd be really hard to get a healthy well tested dog to start with. Very few - if any - responsible purebred breeders would sell a dog to someone who was planning to cross-breed it. :?
I don't think the AKC needs to recognize these breeds yet. But I think the stigma against developing new breeds is ill-founded and hypocritical. I mean - how do you think we got all the purebred dogs we have today?!
Also - I think closed stud books have partially contributed towards some of the health problems if many purebred dogs today. Once you close the gene pool, you can't introduce new genes - whether beneficial or deleterious (bad). I feel like sometimes you need some new blood here and there.
For example -- all purebred Dalmatians produce high levels of uric acid in their urine. This can lead to life threatening bladder stones and general problems with stones through these dogs' lives. 25 years ago a geneticist crossed in a pointer and has developed dogs that do not produce uric acid in their urine. Only ONE Pointer was introduced ONE TIME over 14 generations ago. But the Dalmatian Club of America refuses to recognize these dogs. Even though he has successfully fixed a major health problem in the breed.... :? I find this attitude ridiculous and counterproductive. What happened to improving the breed?? Apparently only if you NEVER outcross. Even 14 generations ago. :roll:
And BYB don't just breed crosses... There are plenty of BYBs breeding purebred Cavaliers, too. I think at least the crosses have a better chance of being healthy...
A vet I know well here in Ireland published a piece in the Irish Times that would take a slightly different stance -- that while there is the possibility of hybrid vigour, there is also the chance of getting all the worst elements. Also of having a puggle whose eyes come out, as pugs' eyes sometimes do (yes! Really!). Given the fact that most designer crossbreeds are not coming from very health-focused stock in the first place -- only rarely would a dog slip through the net into such hands from the breeders who do focus on health, and most breeders of same certainly are not after inproving any breed but of making very large amounts of money off of some of the same crossbreeds you can get for free in shelters or see being given away here in classifieds. If they didn;t advertise them blatantly as 'designer dogs just like [fill in B-list celebrity name] owns' I'd be willing to listen to arguments that this ia ll about health.
Also there is no stability of temperament in any cross -- which is one of the reasons people go for purebreds in the first place. Any cross may have the personality of one or the other of its parents, or a mix -- but again, if the parents are of indifferent stock where the breeder has never bothered to breed for temperament, you aren;t going to get a cross between the livelienss of a beagle and the good nature of a pug. You may well get the obstinacy of a beagle and the yappiness of a pug.
If any of these new mixes were to be recognised of course they would likely look much different then the do now once they breed true, and of course after that first generation cross they no longer have any immediate health benefits, according to research that Rory's mom has metioned before. Once the gene pool is restricted to those breeding true in the new breed, it too becomes a purebred with all the genetic implications that implies.
On the other hand, I think serious problems in all breeds have developed since the advent of the formalised dog show and breed competitions in the late 19th century. Two world wars really winnowed out the gene pools of many breeds too, including the cavalier, which was drastically affected by WW2 in the UK. A lot of genetic diversity was lost when breeders topped breeding because of the wars.