When I’m on the Internet or looking through the newspaper, I often see ads for “designer” dog breeds like Yorkipoos, Labradoodles, Schnoodles, Chiweenies, etc. A “designer” dog is basically a mutt, and they are typically bred for companionship and the fact that they look downright adorable, but they can sometimes sell for well over $400. I think that’s outrageous for what is essentially a mutt, a mixed breed.
I have nothing against mixed breeds, but I don’t think breeders should go around crossing breeds to get “designer” dogs to be trendy and make a buck. First of all, there are tons of mixed breed dogs available in shelters for a fraction of the price breeders sell them for. Animal shelters are ridiculously crowded as it is, and shelter employees often have no choice but to put perfectly healthy animals to sleep to make room for all the new ones coming in on a daily basis.
The worst thing about these “designer” breeds (well, I shouldn’t say the breeds themselves, but the people who breed them) is that they’re so sought after and popular that many people are interested in breeding them to make money, not because they care at all about the dogs’ health and well-being. (Actually, that doesn’t just go for “designer” breeds, but for any popular breed, like pit bulls, Labradors, Chihuahuas, etc.) That’s how puppy mills get started, and I am absolutely against puppy mills. Really, people. If you want to make quick and easy money, don’t use living creatures to do so.
My basic rules of thumb when it comes to getting a dog are these:
-Make sure you know what breed/mix of breeds you want. Do your homework. A big, active dog might not be the best choice if you live in an apartment, and a lapdog might not be best if you’re hardly ever home. Also, a dog with long hair might look cute and fluffy, but make sure you have time to brush her or money to take her to the groomer.
-Don’t buy from a breeder. Adopt from a shelter and save a life (and money). If there were fewer breeders (both of designer dogs and of purebreds), there would be fewer dogs languishing and dying in shelters.
-Know as much about the dog’s history and personality as possible before you adopt. Was he abused? What were his previous owners like? Does he get along with other dogs? Cats? Children? Does he have all his shots?