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They are all the rage across the United States and beyond. Cross-breed dogs such as cock-a-poos have been around for many years, while newer crosses, such as labradoodles and puggles have just begun to become popular. So, are these dogs a new "hot" breed or just a designer mutt?
The current rage of "new" breeds is believed to have begun in the late 1970s by an Australian trying to help find a seeing-eye dog for a woman whose husband was allergic to most dogs. According to the International Labradoodle Association, www.ilainc.com, a member of the Royal Guide Dogs, suggested mating a Labrador to a Standard Poodle and thus the first "Labradoodles" were born. One of the three pups born in the litter, Sultan, eventually made his way to Hawaii and the vision-impaired woman with the allergic husband. Amazingly, 29 out of 31 of these new cross breeds went on to become guide dogs. Since that time, thousands of dogs have been bred and registered with the ILA. There is even talk of a new line of miniature labradoodles.
But, the labradoodle is not the only, nor the first, cross breed to catch the public's attention. Many different mixes, such as cockapoos, schnoodles, and yorkiepoo have also had their time in the spotlight. In fact, the American Canine Hybrid Club, www.achclub.com, lists more than 200 cross breeds. With names as amusing as the Woodle (Welsh Terrier-Poodle mix) to the powerful "Ultimate Mastiff" (Dogue de Bordeux-Neopolitan Mastiff mix), the ACH Club has been recognizing cross breeds for more than 30 years. One of the latest crosses to become famous is the Puggle. As the name suggests, the Puggle is a Beagle-Pug cross and is being hailed as one of the best family pets, especially among the elite of New York.
And, one of the biggest surprises to many is the price tag associated with these hybrid breeds. Labradoodles have routinely been sold in the United States at prices as high as $2,000 or $3,000 dollars. Puggles, which are becoming very popular in Manhattan due to their small size, have often cost their owners in excess of $600-900. A spokeswoman for the AKC warns consumers to not be taken in simply because the dog has a trendy breed name and price tag.
For many, the bottom line is simply that the puppy had a face that said "pick me". Thoughts of breed history, monetary value, or AKC rankings often fade away when one is looking down into the eyes of a puppy. Your veterinarian can be a wonderful advocate for helping you to find the right breed, hybrid or otherwise. And, be sure to ask your veterinarian to help keep your puppy active and healthy for a long time. If you would like to know more about hybrid breeds contact us today!