Celeb love of 'crossbreed' dogs is driving out traditional breeds

  1. 18th February 2007

    Dog's life: Is the Bloodhound close to extinction?

    They are calling it the case of the disappearing bloodhounds.
    Once at the centre of every manhunt, the doleful dogs with the dripping jowls are feared to be on the trail to extinction after total annual births in Britain fell to a pitiful 70.

    But it doesn't take a master detective to discover the reason - the celebrity-led craze for exotic crossbreeds such as the labradoodle and cockapoo.
    Figures from the Kennel Club reveal a devastating decline in traditional breeds such as the bloodhound, field spaniel and Dandie Dinmont.
    In the last year, a worrying 24 pedigree breeds have dipped below the threshold deemed viable for a longterm healthy population.
    Breeders say that a birthrate of at least 300 pups a year is required to guarantee a large gene pool and a future for the species.
    But last year there were only 64 field spaniels, 74 Sussex spaniels and 53 smooth collies born, while the lowest birth rate was among Glen of Imaal terriers, at 41.

    The Dandie Dinmont terrier, named after a character in a Walter Scott novel, had its worst year since records began in 1880, with just 78 puppies.
    Other low breeders included the otterhound, at 51, Sealyham, 57, Skye terrier, 84, and Cardigan Welsh corgi, also
    Meanwhile, wacky crossbreeds are becoming ever more popular.
    Country Life magazine recently reported that 'vets to the stars' in Notting Hill, West London, were treating more labradoodles - a cross between a labrador and a poodle - than almost any other breed.
    Meanwhile dogs such as dollies (a dalmatian and border collie cross), cockapoos (cocker spaniel meets poodle) and weidie (West Highland terrier and bearded collie) are being bred to order to meet demand.
    No longer dismissed as inferior mongrels, they can fetch up to £3,000 a puppy.
    Paul Keevil, a member of the Kennel Club's vulnerable breeds committee, said traditional pedigrees were in grave peril.

    'The numbers of some breeds are critically low. For every one thinking a crossbreed is fashionable, it is one more person not choosing a British breed.'
    Julien Barney, of the British and Irish Dog Breeds Preservation Trust, added: 'It all seems to be about fashion. But the breeds that need help are the rare ones that are just as unusual.'

    The Dogs Trust has also warned about the potential genetic problems. Veterinary director Chris Laurence said: 'At least with pedigree dogs you know what the problems are going to be, but if you crossbreed a dog you don't know what you might get.'

    However, some owners swear by their crossbreeds and claim many other sane dog lovers have good and honest reasons for choosing them. Professional gundog trainer Peter Blatch said of his spanador: 'When I go to a shoot, it will sit at peg like a labrador and when you go to push it into deep dense cover, the spaniel kicks in. They make a lovely family dog, too.'
  2. Humans have been manipulating dog breeds for centuries, I'm not sure there is any tragedy in this article.

    My dogs are both mutts, but I am pretty sure they came by it the natural way. :p
  3. It is scary though to think that a certain dog breed could come to extinction at some point.
  4. Aaaaaw, I hope the bloodhoud breed survives - they're sooo cute and I really want one at some point :love:
  5. I have a big problem with crossbreeding because as stated in the article, they don't have enough info about what happens down the line with health problems.
    I have had everything from mutts to pure breeds and have loved everyone of them. I happen to think the mutts were better behaved.

    I also think it is ridiculous about the 2 pound puppy mutatiions that are sold in pet stores. There is no such thing as toy breeds. These were created for the likes of Paris Hilton to use as accessories. She even said Tinkerbell got to big...at what 5 lbs???? Disgusting.
  6. Very thought-provoking article. I recall someone on here awhile ago talking about the decline of the bloodhound in England. A friend has a "puggle"--pug+beagle. Apparently there's a demand for those, too. Pidgeon is exactly right--humans have been manipulating animal breeding for a long, long time. Boxers, the breed I know most about, are being bred in the US to look very different than when I was growing up or what the European boxers look like. I'm sure it's the same with other breeds. And now designer breeds. I'm not sure where it will end.
  7. they weren't crossbreeding them for profit, which is very wrong, they were crossbreeding for a purpose, hunting, working, etc. why was a labradoodle bred? for profit (There's a reason they're sold for $1000+), even they might claim its to breed a hypoallergenic dog. if you want a hypoallergenic dog, get a poodle or a curly haired dog. those dogs are about as hypoallergenic as its going to get. cross bred dogs are not nearly as predictable as purebred dogs. most cross breeds are not properly bred. health tests have not been conducted, etc. most come from puppy mills.

    its so sad that breeds could be extinct. partly because of people wanting these fancy new mutts. but another reason is that the dog breeds aren't used to for what they bred for. so there's not much of a reason for breeding them, add this to the less demand and you have a chance of a breed going extinct.

    moral of the story, if you want a cross breed, go to shelter, save a dog's life!, and call it some fancy cross breed name because that's all those dogs at the pet shop are.

  8. Yikes! I think crossbreeding is great, as long as it's for the right reasons. A dog is not a toy! It's a living creature!

    I have a good example of positive experiences with crossbreeding. Here, in Quebec, the MIRA foundation, which provides blind individuals with guide dogs, has started a crossbreeding program and is doing a lot of research on it. They breed Labradors and Bernese Mountain Dogs --> Labernese. I think it's because combined, the dogs have qualities that are able to help the blind best. I think it's wonderful :nuts:
  9. I think mutts in the world are worth just as much as purebreds - rescues and shelters definitely help in finding them loving, deserving homes. HOWEVER, to purposefully breed crossbreeds that are NOT recognized breeds by our parent governing club, the AKC, (or any other club internationally) is wrong, as these dogs are bred soley for profit which is determined by demand for such puppies. (Yes, thank Paris and other celebs for that at least partly)

    There are so many risks with breeding in the first place, to the mother as well as the puppies, breeding is not highly profitable at all (if at all) if done correctly. Dogs shouldn't be bred IMO without proper health testing and screening, ie. hips, eyes, etc ... after that all comes back clean you then need to determine why you are breeding. Lots of 'nice' dogs out there but if the dogs are not finished champions exemplifying the 'standard' of the breed then no reason to be breeding them. There are enough unwanted puppies and dogs out there already, and the mortality rate for those unwanted is ridiculous, so why add to it? No dog is perfect but a reputable breeder's objective is to breed as close to the breed standard as possible, taking into account his or her dogs faults and breeding to better the breed.

    Then you have people paying WAY too much for these unregistered, no-name, fad breeds. Don't get me wrong, I love all dogs. I am sure they are all wonderful dogs and I am not faulting them. The problem is the system, I think backyard breeders, puppymills, pet stores should all be shut down for the above reasons. A lot of times people buying the latest fad dogs end up dumping them in pounds later on. Some get rescued, some don't. Sad fact.

    I could go on but I will end my rant. This is a passionate subject for me.