The Modern Kennel Conundrum

The NY Times, Feb 2007

In the proud and punctilious history of purebred dog breeding — which has policed the sex lives of dogs with unbending vigilance since the Victorian era — the mongrel has been regarded as, at best, an unfortunate accident and, at worst, a disgrace. Yet one rainy morning last fall, Wallace Havens walked the long aisles of his kennel, introducing me to his newest mutts as though enumerating miracles.

Unlatching a cage door, Havens would cradle a puppy against his fuchsia cowboy shirt and announce: “Well, here’s a Shih Tzu crossed with a Havanese” or “Here’s a silky crossed with a Yorkie.” Then he would put the puppy back with its litter mates and mom and, through scattered bursts of barking, move on.

It took awhile. The dim, 4,300-square-foot building housed about 400 dogs, most of them puppies, in 120 elevated cages. It is one of three whelping houses at the Puppy Haven Kennel, the 1,600-dog compound that Havens has built up over the last 30 years in the outlands north of Madison, Wis. Nearby, an affable elderly couple hosed feces from slats below the cages, and their daughter, another of Havens’s 14 paid employees, swiftly handled one squeaking pup at a time, issuing dewormer. Here was a “bichon-poo.” There was a “schnoodle.”

Havens moved on, like some strange Noah touring his ark — in which every tidy two-by-two had been split apart, jumbled and recombined into a single animal: “That’s a Chihuahua-bichon . . . here’s a half-American Eskimo and half-Lhasa apso” — his voice lifting each time as if to ask, What will they think of next? But he had dreamed up a lot of these things himself.

Havens, a towering man of 70, has spent much of his career breeding cattle and owns a chain of Play Haven day-care centers. He is best known as the originator of the puggle, a pug-beagle cross with an irresistibly wrinkled muzzle, forlorn eyes and suitable dimensions for cramped city apartments. He first marketed puggles 20 years ago, but by late 2005, the dog suddenly had a cadre of celebrity owners, four-figure price tags and a brimming portfolio of magazine write-ups and morning-TV appearances. Puggle-emblazoned messenger bags and ladies’ track suits followed. For a time, in New York especially, you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a puggle.Collapse )

What's the story with these new breeds, or is it just a mutt?

You've just heard of a groovy new breed. It's non-shedding, medium sized, great with children, and highly intelligent. And it has no health problems! It's been created by a very thoughtful breeder who had your best intentions at heart!

Wow, you've got it made! The perfect dog! oh, and when it might be twice the price of a pedigree dog, won't your neighbours be envious!

Well if you fell for this, you're about to be taken for a ride.

Here are some cross-breed truths:

* There is no such thing as a "new" breed. Everything has been tried before, and invariably with pretty average results.
* When you mix breeds, it's extremely unlikely you'll get a "non-shedding, hypo-allergenic breed"
* There is absolutely no proof that a mixed breed is healthier than a pedigree dog.
* Mixed breed dogs cannot be shown.
* There is such a variability in offspring, that no breeder of mutts can guarantee why your pup will look like as an adult
* No breeder of mutts can offer a real guarantee for a "healthy, intelligent, great with children" mutt pup.
* Invariably, the parents of the mutt puppy are poor in quality. You will NEVER produce lovely pups from average (or worse) parents, regardless of breed or mixed breed)

In fact, you might want to join our new email list with the aim to learn more about cross breeds, with particular emphasis to temperament, coat type, genetics, and health. Click here.

So before you rush out and buy that cute little labradoodle, that golden-doodle, or labrashitz, keep in mind, you're about to be ripped off.

And for those of you who are niaive enough to IMPORT mutts such as labradoodles, and other such multi-doodle mutts, you are doing yourself and dogs a great injustice. If you feel the need for a mutt, please go to your local dog shelter, and rescue a pup from there.

So mutt breeders make me angry? Well, it's very disappointing to see people being ripped off when they could get a well bred pure bred dog for a cheaper price.

However, there are people out there who are willing to pay more for a cross breed, then they are a good pure bred dog. Sometimes they justify it because they may have read an article where some "celebrity" has one, so they need to have one. Let me tell you straight,if I had a dollar for every person who contacted me about their fancy cross breed that turned out to not have the characteristics they were told it would, I'd be a wealthy woman. Then there are the very angry people who will continue to justify their decision by telling me their dog "hardly sheds", or is "nearly hypo-allergenic". hmmmm.... too bad it doesn't though, like you were promised by the breeder.

Go and talk to a few groomers, talk to a few vets, and visit a few shelters before you try one of the cross breeds. You'll be sadly disappointed at the terrible stories you'll hear that will put it quickly into perspective. You'll see "fancy" cross breeds dumped at alarming rates, and you'll certainly want to know why.

And if you think that because the cross breed stock is imported from Australia so it must be good - let me tell you straight - I live in Australia, and amongst the knowing dog community, the cross breeds sold at ridiculous prices are seen as a disgrace. In fact, one of the so called "big names" in labradoodles has already tried to acquire my own pure bred dogs to mix with her own. Funny isn't it that the "bad" pure bred genes that cross breeders are trying to avoid and so quickly sought after by them. Goodness knows how those purebred genes magically fix themselves when the dogs are bred to another breed, with its own set of genes.

Unless cross breeders are really genetic scientists who are doing genetic modification, all you'll end up with in the mixed breed is a mix of a lot of things. This is why the F2, and F3 generations are seen as such disasters.

Want a designer dog? Check the pound

Puggles, maltipoos are pricey — and essentially mixed-breed mutts

Ever hear of a floppy-faced Jujitsu? How about a King Daley shepherd? A Germox retriever? Those are just a few of the creative monikers that clever dog owners have come up with to label their all-American dogs — mutts, to people with less imagination.

When Steve Dale, the syndicated talk-show host of "Pet Central" on WGN Radio, and his wife decided to get another dog recently after the death of their 15-year-old Brittany, Chaser, all the Brittanys they saw brought tears, so they took their search to PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) Chicago, the city’s largest nonprofit humane organization. There they found Ethel, a patchwork puppy who resembles the wild “painted dogs” of Africa.

“People stopped us on the street and asked what kind of dog Ethel was,” Dale says. “They seemed disappointed when I’d say she was an Australian shepherd mix.”

Since people seemed to want Ethel to “be” something, Dale began calling her a King Daley shepherd, referencing Chicago’s longtime mayors.

Janice A. Biniok of Waukesha, Wis., has been creating “breed” names for her mixes for years. Currently she has what is probably a Labrador/boxer/German shepherd.

“He’s absolutely gorgeous. He looks like a brindle Labrador, so everybody wants to know what he is. I’ve been thinking of calling him a Germox retriever,” she says.

Why can’t a mutt be just a mutt?

Everybody wants something unique, says Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of "Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?"

People who seek out the dog du jour — which these days is a crossbreed such as a maltipoo (Maltese/poodle) or goldendoodle (golden retriever/poodle) — like the idea of having a dog that not very many people have. And don't mind paying $1,000 to $2,500 or more for one.

Best of each breed?
Pet lovers are also attracted by claims that hybrids are hypoallergenic or have fewer health problems or will carry the best traits of each breed.

“The argument people make is that by crossing a purebred Labrador and a purebred poodle, it’s going to be nonshedding and intelligent because poodles are nonshedding and intelligent, and it’s going to have the work ethic and playfulness of the Lab, making it the perfect family dog,” Coren says. “It’s a nice story, but when you tell it, geneticists laugh.”

Genetic characteristics sort out randomly. So no matter what its breed or mix, an individual dog may be more or less allergenic, intelligent or healthy than another.

“When you cross two things it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to optimize what you’re trying to achieve,” says veterinarian Patricia Olson, president and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation, a group in Englewood, Colo., that funds research on pet-health issues.

“You can’t just say if I take this and this I’m sure I’m going to have a healthier dog; it doesn’t work that way. That’s why a lot of these crosses become fads and then go by the wayside, because people have experimented with them in the past and it hasn’t always been what they had hoped for.”

Biniok says the mutts she has adopted from the shelter have never had the hereditary health problems that affected her two purebreds, a Great Dane and a Boston terrier.

While mixed breeds as a class have more variety of inherited diseases than any single pure breed because of their broader gene pool, the frequency of any given disease among mixed breeds is likely to be lower because the population is more diverse.

But because designer dogs are purposely bred from dogs of specific types or breeds, they may have a higher incidence of certain diseases, such as breathing difficulties, cancer or hip dysplasia, depending on the breeds used to create them. The Xolo (or Mexican Hairless) mixes have as many if not more health problems as the purebreds, says Amy Fernandez of Forest Hills, N.Y., who is president of the Xoloitzcuintli Club of America, for people with this scrawny, hairless breed.

Not always a glamorous picture
Plenty of hybrids are well-loved pets, but the ones that outgrow the “cute” stage can face an uncertain future.

“Right now we are dealing with Xolo/Jack Russell mixes, Xolo/pit bull mixes, Xolo/Chihuahua mixes that we cannot find homes for,” Fernandez says.

“People are happy to fork over big bucks to buy these dogs as puppies, but once buyers realize that what they have is a complicated, demanding dog, many of these hairless wonders end up in shelters or worse," she says. "At least once every winter we hear of hairless dogs intentionally abandoned outdoors to freeze.”

What the fuggle is a 'Puggle'??

Pugs and Beagles
Two Distinct and Seperate Breeds

The recent attention given to a mixing of Pugs and Beagles resulting in Puggles is both disturbing and mysterious.

Why would anyone want to take two such diverse breeds and combine them? Each with their own personalities, breed characteristics, functions, history and most disturbing - health problems.

The Pug is an ancient breed dating back to the Major Han dynasty (206 b.c. to a.d.200) in China. They were bred for the emperors and other high officials. Today's Pug is simply a companion dog.

The breed has several health issues including the more common of elongated soft palates, to Pug Dog Encephalitis, which is always fatal, Hemi-vertebrae, which causes rear leg paralysis and Epilepsy. They are also prone to all sorts of eye problems and obesity.

Their biggest problem is they are such wonderful pets they have become popular and as is often the case this new found popularity is not good for the breed. (All of the above info can be found on the PDCA web site at

Upon checking the Beagle web site we find this breed is a hunting breed of note. He often works in packs. Is very active and not necessarily a lap dog.

The Beagle web site lists 97 health problems with about 20 listed as those with a higher incidence within the breed. These also include common problems such as elongated soft palates to epilepsy to severe eye problems.

Therefore, why take these two wonderful breeds and combine them to make a "breed of the month"? There are very good medical reasons not to mix such health issues and one wonder if the purchasers of these 'Puggles' are willing to not only pay the price of medical problems but also undergo the heartache when their fashionable breed experiences life threatening issues.

We urge reputable breeders, dog press and lovers of both breeds to join together in a concentrated effort to educate the public of the possibilities of unsound, unhealthily and questionable temperament whenever you mix breeds.

Charlotte Patterson
Director and former President of the Pug Dog Club of America

Fashion Faux Paws

I won’t apologize for my opinion. If you want a Pug buy a Pug. If you want a Beagle buy a Beagle. Please don’t support the idiotic craze that the 'Puggle' is the best of both of worlds, because it isn’t.

I guess it’s human nature to not leave well enough alone and I guess it’s human nature that some people always have to line their pockets and make a profit from someone else’s stupid decisions.

For over thirty years I have owned and shown some of the nations top winning Pugs as well as top winning Beagles and I feel I am certainly qualified to address this puggle craze.

So don’t go waving the hybrid vigor flag in my face. The theory that most genetic problems are the result of recessive genes combining and that these genes won’t find one another in a cross breed is ridiculous. If that were true, you would never take your mutt to the vet. I don’t know of any species more cross bred than mankind and we certainly aren’t a very healthy lot. Hybrid vigor works for corn and soy beans.

The fact of the matter is, a breeder dedicated to producing only quality animals has spent years studying pedigrees and breeds only healthy families of dogs to likewise healthy families. No dedicated breeder sets out to breed an unhealthy pet. Many national breed clubs have health foundations that have come up with genetic testing to know which dogs are carriers of what health problems. Puppy mills, and backyard/neighborhood breeders don’t invest their life blood in studying pedigrees for health and structural faults and they certainly aren’t funding any genetic testing. They just breed to sell you what ever it is that you want to part with your bucks for at the moment.

The next misnomer, only the best traits of both breeds are maintained in the cross. Did I mention I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn? If you think only the best traits of both breeds align themselves like the solar systems – then why are our prisons full? Think about this. The best traits of a Pug besides it’s small size and clownish personality is that it sheds non stop, it is hard to housebreak, has a faulty cooling system (they absolutely, positively cannot endure heat, humidity or cold), they have no homing instincts what so ever (they can’t find their way home from the neighbors) and they get fat looking at food. But I still love them. Don’t forget, you don’t see any Pugs replacing Border Collies for those highest scores at the obedience trials either. Some Pugs snort and snuffle and some rather than bark, have an awful “scream”, there is no other way to describe it.

So lets combine those traits with the best traits of a Beagle and what do we get? Beagles are small merry hounds that hunt by scent – meaning they put their little Beagle noses to the ground and they are gone. The reason God put that white tip on the end of that happy tail is so it can wave goodbye to it’s owner as the little Beagle disappears into the sunset chasing it’s quarry (real or imagined). Beagles have a melodious voice. Well, to a true Beagler it’s melodious. To your neighbor down the hall in 2A it’s not so melodious when he has to listen to it nonstop all day long. Beagles are supposed to give cry when hunting and guess what? They give cry when bored, when noting the arrival of a stranger, when demanding their food, etc., etc, etc. They too live to eat and fight the battle of the bulge without too many victories. Hounds are naturally hard to housebreak. They are aloof and not noted for their obedience brilliance either.

I heard some say it must have been a slow news day when the POST covered the puggle on the front page of the paper. My first thought was here goes our rescue money. Don’t kid yourself and think we haven’t rescued puggles already. We’ve rescued Pugs crossed with Beagles, Chihuahuas, Border Terriers, Frenchies, Griffys – you name it, it’s happened. Did you really think the paper was going to interview anyone unhappy with their puggle? That doesn’t sell papers.

So why would anyone want to take two breeds steeped in history with characteristics unique to each breed and make genetic goulash? Money – honey. Until the POST slapped the puggle all over the front page puggles sold for about $200. Mans’ next best trend is now going to cost you big bucks. With that article, you were just informed that you had to have this new mutt that attracted you because it was small and cute when you bought it. But, it will grow into a food oriented, pee on the floor, can’t find its way home and don’t want to come home new kind of howling, screaming hound that doesn’t have much going for it in the obedience department. Think they improved the dogs cooling system? Not likely when you shorten the Beagles nose on a dog that is supposed to hunt for hours on end. Think you’ve reduce the chance of eye injuries – not when you have a dog bred to follow it’s nose and you’ve just put those eyes closer to the end of shorten snout. Dah!

These puggle breeders aren’t in it for the health and well being of preserving or even creating a “new breed”. When puggles no longer sell don’t think for one moment these so called breeders won’t move on to the next thing you think you can’t live without. Why? For the money you are willing to fork over. Remember the cockapoo? So who wants one of those now? Ten years ago you just had to have it. Today it’s the goldendoodle, the labradoodle and I can’t even keep up with what they’re calling the Bichon crosses.

If you want a crossbreed – go to your local shelter or call an all breed rescue. They are chock full of dogs waiting for good homes. If you want a Pug, buy a Pug. If you want a Beagle, buy a Beagle.

I don’t care what celebrity owns what cross. Sure there will always be people that buy a certain handbag because a certain movie star or rock star carries it. Dogs aren’t handbags. When you tire of a handbag you can discard it. Dogs are creature that lives for years. Remember what your Mamma said? If “they” jumped off a bridge would you?

Trust me on this – puggles are here today and gone tomorrow. Though tomorrow won’t come soon enough for true Pug or Beagle fanciers. Eventually the puggle will go the way of the cockapoo and the schnoodle but not before they make an enormous burden on rescue.

Be an informed buyer. Don’t buy into the hybrid vigor hype. Both of these breeds have very similar health problems. Left to be randomly crossed by people with no concern for the true health of the dogs all you get in the end is genetic Russian roulette.

If you think the only reason I dislike the puggle craze is because it’s cutting into my profit margin? To this I say – what profit? The two or three puppies I have available to a pet home from year to year is hardly a profit. Some people collect cars, some people drive fast boats. I preserve a breed standard. My respect goes to the hundreds of members of the Pug Dog Club of America and the Beagle club that will never, ever, literally, cross the line.

Patt Kolesar
Director and former President of the Pug Dog Club of America
Owner/Editor PUG TALK Magazine

Much Ado About Poo

Are Cock-a-poo's, Peke-a-poo's and the other poo dogs real breeds?

“Rare!” “Exotic!” “One of a Kind!” “Luxury on a Leash!” proclaim the ads in the Sunday pet classifieds. “Get the best of both worlds!” “Registered New Breed!” “Special Price - this week only - $599!”

Curious? Who wouldn't be? Almost everyone wants something different, unusual, something new and exciting, something no one else has. What are these unique, exciting dogs with funny names and high price tags?

Meet the Poo's: Yorkie-Poo's, Cock-a-Poo's, Lhasa-Poo's, Beag-A-Poo's, Peke-A-Poo's, Pom-Poo's, Doxie-Poo's and Terri-Poo's, just to name a few. Meet their cousins, the Cocker-Chons and the Bi-Tzu. This large and incredibly diverse family of dogs includes such “breeds” as Cock-a-Shels and Malt-oodles; everything from the imposing Rott-a-Dor down to the diminutive Peke-A-Pom and Yorki-Huahua. What do these dogs with the whimsical breed names have in common? The fact that they're not real breeds at all. They're mongrels — mixed breeds — masquerading as something glamorous, valuable and highly desirable. Yorkie-Poo's are simply Yorkshire Terriers crossed with Poodles. A Bi-Tzu is a Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix. Cock-a-Shels result when Cocker Spaniels are bred to Shelties (Shetland Sheepdogs) and Rott-A-Dors occur when a Rottweiler and a Labrador Retriever join forces. New breeds? Hardly. Behind the hype and the clever name is a common mutt.

Have you ever looked at a Basset Hound and a Poodle or a similarly mis-matched combination and wondered what the puppies would look like if the two were mated? Lots of us have. It makes for an entertaining exercise in imagination. But the people deliberately breeding “Peke-A-Poms” (a cross between a Pekingese and a Pomeranian) and other such fanciful mixes have taken the “what if?” game a step further. Rather than playing games with their imagination, they're playing games with living creatures, charging big prices for their results and telling some pretty tall tales to justify it. Here are some of them:

“We're making a new breed. The AKC is going to recognize the Cocker-Poo real soon now.”
The process of creating a new breed and achieving AKC recognition is long and involved, requiring many years and many generations. A “breed” is a genetically similar strain of dogs that resemble each other in appearance and temperament. Bred together, two dogs of the same breed will produce puppies that are also similar in appearance to the parents and will develop in a predictable fashion.

The first step in creating a new breed involves a definite vision of what the breed will look like and the writing of a breed standard to describe it. For example, what characteristics must a Yorkie-Poo have in order for it to be considered a Yorkie-Poo? What is a Cocker-Chon or a Peke-A-Pom supposed to look and act like? To date, no breeders of these “new” breeds have even taken that first step.(see note) There has been no agreement among breeders even as to what a Yorkie-Poo is supposed to be other than a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Poodle. After years of mixing these breeds, no two Yorkie-Poos look anything alike; neither are any Peke-A-Poms or Cocker-Chons similar to one another. There has not been any serious effort at all to create a distinct breed that the AKC would recognize.

“We're combining the best of both breeds into one! Shelties shed but Poodles don't. A Shelti-Poo will look like a Sheltie but not shed.”

Not exactly. Genetics doesn't work that way. Some Shelti-Poos might fit this description but many won't. A breeder can't pick and choose what features will be passed on from each breed — it's strictly a matter of luck because the genetic combinations involved in the crossing of breeds is random and unpredictable. There is just as much of a chance that the puppy will grow up to have the worst characteristics of both breeds! The selection of certain traits is achieved only by generations of careful breeding, discarding dogs that don't have the desired qualities and narrowing the gene pool until the right combinations occur with regularity.

“These Beag-A-Poos are registered with the 'Dogs International Kennel Club'.”
The word “registered” has a magical effect on people. They seem to think something that's “registered” must be legitimate and valuable. Not so! “Registered” is no more an indication that a dog's breed is legitimate any more than it implies the dog has quality or value. “Registered” simply means “recorded.” Someone has a paid a fee to an agency to record his dog's name in a book and the agency has sent him a certificate saying they did so. There are many canine registries in business today that will register any kind of dog whether it's purebred, mixed breed or even of unknown origin.

The two most long-standing and reputable canine registries are the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. Neither registers mixed breed dogs or dogs of unknown parentage. AMBOR, the American Mixed Breed Obedience Registry, is a reputable organization that registers mixed breeds but only for the purpose of competing in the obedience trials it sponsors.

“The price is so high because they're one of a kind.”
One of a kind — yes, that's certainly true! Every mixed breed dog, whether bred deliberately or by accident, is one of a kind because its genetic makeup is an unpredictable jumble of characteristics. No two are alike. Does this factor alone justify a high price, higher than what's charged by many reputable breeders of quality purebreds? No way. If “one of a kind” made a dog valuable, every mixed breed dog at the pound would be worth a fortune!

“We have been responsible breeders of Bass-A-Poos for four years.”
The term “responsible” is getting a lot of mileage these days. Almost every breeder claims to be “responsible.” The dictionary defines responsible as “trustworthy and dependable.” How dependable is a breeder who plays imaginative “what if?” games with his dogs and expects the public to pay for his experiments? How trustworthy is a breeder who deliberately misleads people about the value of a mutt? I think you can answer that question for yourself.

Truly responsible breeders are honest and knowledgeable with a strict code of personal ethics. They care about the puppies they produce and the people who'll buy them. Would a responsible breeder deliberately cross a Basset Hound and a Poodle — dogs with completely different and potentially incompatible physical structures and temperaments? Would they deliberately mix any breeds? No, not when they know the results will be completely unpredictable and that there are already thousands of accidentally-bred mixed breed dogs in need of good homes.

Does this mean that all producers of “Poos” and other mixes are unscrupulous and deceitful? No, many of them are simply ignorant of responsible breeding practices and unaware of what they're really doing. Both the deceitful and the ignorant, though, prey on the ignorance of the public — as long as people don't know the truth about these exotic-sounding dogs, they'll continue to buy them and support this unethical and unnecessary practice.

There's no doubt that mixed breeds like Yorkie-Poos, Malt-oodles, and Bi-Tzus can make wonderful pets. Thousands of people own and love mixed breed dogs of every description. But are these unusual mixes really valuable, unique, “designer dogs”? No, not any more so than the many wonderful mixed breeds available for adoption at the local animal shelter.

Don't be fooled by the whimsical names, the intriguing descriptions, and the high prices! It's just a lot of poo. You can find “designer dogs” of every size, shape, color and personality as close as your local humane society or rescue service and at a far more reasonable cost. Why not visit there first and save a life? You'll be glad you did!

Just say NO to designer dogs!

Due to the recent post about 'Shiffons' (a Shih Tzu & Brussels Griffon mix) and the influx of 'designer dogs', I feel the need to share this article. First, I will share my opinions on the 'Shiffon'..

Breeds are generally mixed due to desirable or complimentary behaviors in one breed that 'cancel out' the bad behaviors of the other. Since Brussels do not generally possess those negative traits to begin with, I fail to see the reason (or need) to breed them with anything else. This would lead me to the assumption that they are doing so in order to make something that looks like a Brussels, but really isn't, prompting some less responsible breeders to try to 'pass them off' as Griffons. This is detrimental to the breed, because Griffons have a very distinct personality and temperment, something which could be damaged by this mixing of the two breeds, because since it looks so much like a Griffon, (but may not act like one) it could give these very sweet, lovable dogs the same negative reputation that many toy breeds have (nippy/yippy/etc), and that is unfortunate and unfair to real Brussels Griffons everywhere. In addition, if this crossbreed is passed off and sold as a purebred Griffon to anyone who then intends to breed Griffons, the breed standard goes down the toilet.

Let me explain what I mean by 'breed standard'. For those of you who think this is a 'snobby' term, or for those who say 'well, I don't mind if my dog is a bit larger/a darker color/less active than the standard', etc., size and coat color are only part of the equation. All dogs have certain personality traits that are specific to their breed. When you introduce another breed into this mix, you end up with a dog that may be nothing like what you expected. With the Brussels Griffon in particular, (because their breeding has not yet gotten out of hand,) when you get a Griffon puppy, you know exactly what you're getting. True, the breed has their own quirks and they're not for everyone, but those who are looking for the temperment and personality of a Brussels may be sorely disappointed in years to come if other breeds are unknowingly and accidentally (or in the worst case scenario, purposefully) brought into the genetic mix. In addition to this issue, there are serious health risks as well.

In the past, dogs were bred for specific reasons, and each breed's personality, temperment, size and shape were taken into account. Other breeds were added to current ones based on problems with the original breed, and adding the new breed to the mix was intended to 'fix' those problems. Now, some are mixing breeds because they think they're 'cute', and this is not necessarily best (or safe) for the animals. Griffons in particular are extremely difficult to breed, many of the mothers passing away during birth or having to have emergency C-sections due to the puppies heads being too large to pass through safely. This is a problem that was overlooked in the original creation of the breed, and it is the reason there are not many Brussels Griffon breeders in the US and UK. My concern with this new mix is that amatuer 'backyard' breeders will begin mixing these breeds without consideration of the consequences. I have the same concerns with the 'Puggle', for the same reasons. Pugs also have very difficult births, resulting in many deaths from negligence or ignorance on the part of the breeder. ONLY EXPERIENCED BREEDERS SHOULD BE BREEDING DOGS - those who have experience with this breed know how to care for them and are well aware of the risks, taking extra precautions with the mothers and the litters in their care. A breeder's expertise is often specific to one breed, which is as it should be. When everyday people take it upon themselves to 'play God' in a sense, they are putting the mothers (and the litters) in real danger.

If you need further convincing as to why this (and other cross-breeding) is an unwise & unsafe practice, please read this article taken from Poo-Dogs & Designer Mutts Collapse )