I've read about them, I've heard about them, but I've never actually run into one of them in person. Until yesterday.
What's that, you say? I'm talking about those gullible people who acquire "designer dogs" and in all innocence claim that their dogs are "purebred!" *gaack!!*
I bumped into a woman and her children the other night while I was out with my Niki-girl. The kids clustered around and patted the puppy and began talking about their pup. "It's a designer dog" one little girl lisped. The mother explained that it's part pug and part beagle. I opened my mouth to wonder what kind of dog that would look like when it was fully-grown (???!!) and the woman continued to astound me by announcing that "It's a PUREBRED!"
I actually gaped at her. A few seconds went by while my mouth hung open in disbelief. Then I started to explain that a dog with different breeds as its parents couldn't possibly be a purebred when I realized that this woman had joined the hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS, of gullible people who have been brainwashed into believing that their valuable dollars have been spent on a "designer dog."
When did that happen? Seriously? When? It used to be that when your dog jumped the fence and got caught by another dog not of the same breed, the resulting puppies would be called "mutts, Heinz 57's, or cross-breds." The puppies would be sold for pennies, given away, or even stuffed into a sack and thrown in the river for disposal. (harsh!)
Not today! Today these same dogs are eagerly sought after, bred by what we used to call "backyard breeders" and given the fancy-schmancy name of "Designer Dogs."
Pug + Beagle = Puggle
Labrador + Poodle = Labradoodle
It just goes on and on! It's crazy!! We used to GIVE these dogs away, and now the "breeders" are selling them for hundreds of dollars apiece! If only I'd known, I would've started breeding these mutts *ahem* "designer dogs" myself when I had the chance!
Nahhhh... then again, I really like knowing with a greater degree of reliability what my dog's going to be like. While Oslo, the malamute was a brute, at least I knew what to expect of him. I like knowing that my little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the result of many years of careful breeding to get the very best of her breed. Sure, there's good and bad in that. I recognize that. However, careful and conscientious breeders take pride and care to get the very best puppies by watching not only the conformation and temperament, but the health of their breeders.
Hybrid vigour is all well and fine. Some of the best dogs I've had have been crossbreds. There was never any pretentious posturing on anybody's part to call it a "designer dog" and give it some made-up half-assed name. My dogs were proudly called "MUTTS!"