For many dog lovers, a purebred dog is the ideal. After all, there is a long tradition of pedigree and breeding decisions behind a breed’s temperament and appearance when they are purebred, whereas with a hybrid dog, you can’t be quite certain what you are getting – it’s a grab-bag of traits that only Mother Nature knows about until the dog is mature! Thus, many choose to own a purebred dog rather than a hybrid, but the truth is that they are missing out on all of the wonderful things that come with purebred dogs along with none of the drawbacks of pure breeds.
Purity Isn’t Perfect
Purebred dogs are the result of humans creating breeding pairs over the decades, centuries, and millennia since the domestication of dogs. Those humans selected dogs with traits that they desired, such as skill in hunting drive, superior senses of smell, a desire to fetch, aggressiveness and a protective nature, strength, speed, agility, and durability, to create a variety of different breeds, each fulfilling a variety of different purposes in society. As time went on and the domestication of humans also came to pass, the desire for not just functionally useful dogs but also dogs that appealed because of their personality, their fun-loving qualities, their playfulness, and their cuteness, increased – and so we ended up with many different breeds that fulfilled many different roles.
In time, the breeding of dogs became a precise science, and breeds have become extremely… particular, in their appearance and temperament, in the last few centuries. As a result, however, the DNA of those dogs is glutted with health problems; hip dysplasia is common, and breathing issues along with a variety of other ailments regularly plague purebred dogs. Consequently, purebred dogs often do not live as long as they might have in earlier days, and they must often take regular trips to the vet to care for their many health problems. This can really break an owner’s heart.
All Benefit, No Drawback
Hybrids, on the other hand, are selectively and carefully bred to get the best traits of both parents while reducing the problems in the dog’s health that naturally comes with repeated inbreeding within the breed or even within close families (which is done to accentuate particular traits in the subsequent puppies). The Goldendoodle is a great example of a hybrid success story: a cross-breed between the golden retriever and poodle, the “breed” was minted in 1992 and has increasingly become quite popular with owners who are looking for what a Goldendoodle offers.
The Goldendoodle was originally created to create guide dogs for visually-impaired individuals who have allergies; the golden retriever is, after all, one of the finest assistance dogs in the world, but it is not hypoallergenic. The poodle, on the other hand, is often considered great for hypoallergenic individuals. By combining the two, you get the mind and talents of the golden retriever – perhaps enhanced by the poodle’s considerable intelligence – combined with the hypoallergenic coat of the poodle. It’s a win-win!
The major issue that Goldendoodles face is hip dysplasia, which is a health problem effecting both retrievers and poodles and therefore passed on to the Goldendoodle. An OFA and PennHIP exam is given to check to ensure that both dogs do not suffer form this problem before they are bred, ensuring that the Goldendoodle does not suffer from hip dysplasia. The wave of the future is healthier, more responsibly bred mixed-breed dogs who offer all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of their parents!
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+Neil Kilgore is a dog owner, dog lover and the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about puppies, breeders and dog care advice on the Greenfield Puppies website.