The Kennel Club, the bastion of pedigree dogs, has controversially announced that it is considering introducing a register of designer crossbreed dogs.
We at Pets Magazine have decided to publically back the Kennel Club on this issue. We believe the move will help to introduce more transparency into the breeding and origins of these increasingly popular dogs and weed out unscrupulous breeders and puppy-farmed dogs.
The rationale for introducing a register is simple: many sellers of crossbred dogs make false promises about the health and origin of their dogs and a register could help regulate the trade. Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, says: "Our primary concern is to ensure that all dogs live healthy, happy lives, and consideration is being given to the way that crossbreeds are registered with the Kennel Club...and how we can best help to encourage responsible breeding."
Traditionalists and breeders alike have reacted with consternation and horror to the announcement. Breeders of pedigree dogs have said that the move will only line the pockets of the breeders. This is a spurious argument, as market demand regulates prices. Trendsetters like Kate Moss, Rita Ora and Jake Gyllenhaal all own designer crossbreeds and this has resulted in an increase in their popularity over recent years. More importantly, many pedigree dog breeders will be worried about the affect of such a register on their own profits.
An Internet search of Labradoodles and Cockapoos, which are two of the most popular designer dogs, shows that these dogs already command premium prices. The typical price for a Cockapoo is £750 while for a Labradoodle it is £850; both of which are roughly on a par with their pedigree parents, the Cocker Spaniel or the Labrador. Their prices and popularity have been elevated by their celebrity following and will not be affected by being listed by the Kennel Club.
The Kennel Club is right to respond to the fact that the breeding and sale of these designer dogs is unregulated and lacks transparency. At present, there is no register of breeders of crossbreeds. Another quick Internet search reveals that these dogs are sold on a wide variety of websites usually associated with the buying and selling of household and consumer goods such as sofas and bikes. This puts the onus solely on the seller to be truthful about the health or origin of the puppies they are selling. Many breeders of these dogs claim that they are 'hypoallergenic' when many are not and will still cause allergies among affected people.
Their sale is at present wholly unregulated and open to widespread abuse.
There are two major problems with the status quo. The first is that there is no onus on the breeder to produce health certificates relating to the sire and dam of the puppy. Many pedigree dogs have serious genetic health problems and crossing them with another dog does not mitigate against the puppy being similarly affected. Poodles, which are commonly bred with to produce the designer pup, are also prone to a whole host of genetic problems. They are affected by hip dysplasia and a serious eye condition.
The second major problem is that puppy farmers regularly advertise their dogs on the Internet. Potential owners of a pedigree pup dog at least have the chance of securing a dog from a responsible breeder. Those looking for a designer crossbreed might as well be playing Russian roulette. That's why we've decided to back the Kennel Club on this occasion.
Originally published at Pets Magazine: http://www.petsmag.co.uk/blog/statement-on-the-registration-of-designer-dogs
Marie Carter is the Editor and Publisher of Pets Magazine (www.petsmag.co.uk), a unique leading lifestyle magazine for pet owners, with a monthly readership of 24,000.
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