It started in the early 2000s with the Puggle (Pug and Beagle mix) and the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle), and gradually took off from there. Prospective puppy buyers saw the trend and fell victim to it, often agreeing to pay thousands of dollars for what the AKC considers little more than a mutt – a mixed breed dog that has no more value than one you can pick up at the pound. At least, the mutt at the pound is a rescued dog that costs an average adoption fee of $60 and comes with de-worming, immunizations and spay/neuter.
Nonetheless, the trend has grown, now giving rise to the likes of the Maltipoo (Maltese and Mini-poodle), Yorkiepoo (Yorkshire Terrier and Mini-poodle) Shih-poo (Shih Tzu and Mini-poodle). Just this past month I saw my first Bassador (Bassett Hound and Labrador Retriever).
People, Please Stop!
Don’t continue to give these “breeders” more justification to keep finding new ways to create countless more mutts, tag them with fancy names to hide the fact that the dog is a mutt, and convince people that they really need to pay thousands of dollars for them. If you want a good pet, go adopt one from the pound and spend the savings on quality veterinary care and optimal nutrition. For an adoption fee of about $60, you’ll get a beautiful mutt that is spayed or neutered, de-wormed, heartworm screened, parasite screened and treated, and current on all immunizations. If you wish to give the mutt puppy a cutesy little unique “breed” name, you can create your own by combining the breed names it is mixed with. It will be equally as meaningless to the AKC as one you would buy from a breeder. But go ahead and have a little fun with it anyway!
Please don’t take this the wrong way, I have nothing against mutts – I love them actually. Their genetic diversity often makes them healthier and better adjusted than their pure bred counterparts, and they deserve our love just as much. Just don’t feed an industry that is purposely making so many more mutts that our country’s overflowing shelters must euthanize hundreds of thousands of them every day.
Dr. Roger Welton is the President of Maybeck Animal Hospital and CEO/Chief Editor of the veterinary information and blog online community, Web-DVM.
THANK YOU! As someone who has worked in animal shelters for the last 7 years, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to know that at least some private practice veterinarians are getting this information to their clients. The commodification of companion animals is sad and leads to neglect and torture in puppy mills and thousands of unnecessary deaths in shelters each year. Thank you for promoting life saving through adoption!