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Essay help – Designer Dog / Hybrid Dogs / Dog Evolution?

I am looking for pros and cons regarding the creation of "new" breeds. Pointers: Haven't the really old "established" breeds been created somewhere in the past by humans? Do cross-breeders play with the health of the animals?So called "hybrids" are more common in the US than UK - is this just a trend or will the UK catch up or ban cross breeding completely?I need pros and cons for my essay but so far have mostly found cons regarding cross breeding. Personally I wonder if it's not dangerous to mix a toy poodle with a Collie for example. Won't the puppies be to big for the mother? Another thing I don't understand: If all dogs would run free wouldn't they mate with other breeds anyway? Are we as humans in the way of nature? Or would they instinctively prefer they own breed to a different one?Are there no rules and regulations in the UK regarding breeding?Not a dog owner myself and more of a cat person so really need help with all these essay questions.

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5 Responses so far.

  1. Elohist says:

    A pro would be that by cross breeding you can develop new breeds to fill a very specific niche function. The Australian Service dog, for instance, which is a breed in development, is bred specifically to be well suited for service and guide work. Other breeds, such as retreivers and GSDs have traditionally been used for this work, but the qualities of a good GSD or Retriever do not nessecarily make a good service dog, those breeds just happened to be adaptable to the purpose. (thus why guide dog schools have their own breeding programs instead of just taking in dogs of those breeds) Another major pro of the ASD is that they will have hypoallergenic coats, allowing disabled people with allergies to utilise service dogs. The ASD started as the “labradoodle” and through a focused breeding program is moving towards being a full fledged breed.Another instance of cross-breeding is in dog sports. A mix called the “border jack” is quite popular for flyball. They are smaller, like Jack Russels, but also fast and focused like border collies, making them ideal for competitive flyball teams, which need small, but very fast, focused dogs. You might also look into the working border collie registery. I’ve heard they have an open stud book. All a dog has to do to be called a border collie is pass a rigorous set of herding tests. Ussually, only border4 collies pass. But I’ve heard a few beardies have been accepted as “border collies”. As a working dog, it doesn’t really matter what the pedigree is, as long as the dog can do the work. This infusion of beardie gene into the working BC pool is a reflection of that- the beardies can work, and thus are eligible to be bred to BCs to produce more dogs that can herd. Points-Yes, all established breeds were at some point created by humans. Some, more recently than others. Pharoah hounds are generally accepted to be a very old breed, for instance. But gun dogs did not come into exsistence until guns were created- quite recently. Before then there was no need for them. In this day and age, many of the priginal jobs dogs were bred for are gone- sledding, hunting for food, ratting, etc. However, there is a great need for dogs particularly suited for a variety of family pet positions. Until quite recently, dogs were not pets, so there are not many breeds that have specifically filled that niche- particularly larger breeds. Even some recognised breeds are very recent. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for instance, did not exist until the 1920′s when someone decided to recreate an extinct spaniel type. Today, it is accepted as a breed by all major kennel clubs, and is one of the most popular breeds in the UK. Yes, cross breeders play with the health of the animals. HOWEVER purebreeders do as well. Many purebred dogs have serious genetic disorders that are particular to that breed. With a cross bred dog, you MAY avoid some diseases, if the two parent breeds are not both afflicted. (ie, goldens and labs both get hip dysplasia, so a golden/lab cross would still be likely to have it) On the other hand, there is no way of knowing what sort of results a particular cross will give, so it is a risk. Whereas two purebred dogs you generally know what you might get. There is also the matter of health testing. Cross breeders are even less likely than purebreeders to do health testing, or evaluate their breeding stock. Two dogs with genetic issues, when bred together, will always create more dogs with genetic issue, whether those dogs are purebred or mutts. You would be surprised how many people will breed two off tempered dogs together because they want pups from their pets, or two potentially dysplastic dogs together without even thinking about it. Because cross breeds cannot be shown, and are bred solely for the pet market, and often for profit, far less attention is paid to using good breeding stock. Purebreds are also largely untested (those coming from mills, bybs etc) but the stewards of these breeds- those who actively show- are very stringent about the health testing. Its very much a trend in the US right now. Unfortunately, there is no real way to know if or when the trend will end. I would think that as people realize the unpredictable nature of cross breeds for issues such as allergies (most poodle mixes WILL shed- unlike a purebred, that wont) it will slow. But people also like cute puppies with cutesy names, so it may be awhile. I can’t comment on the UK, but I don’t see them banning cross breeding completely, that would be an awfully hard thing to regulate.ize differences in dogs is always a problem. It can be mitigated by breding the female to a male smaller than herself. So a toy poodle to a collie is ok IF the collie is the female. It would be extremely dangerous if the toy poodle was the Mom. When using a smaller stud, it is more likely that artificial insemination will be nessecary, as the stud may be unable or unwilling to mate a ***** that much larger.

  2. ARLINE says:

    Hi there… Hope this helps a bit….Yes the really old breeds were created…but possibly the the big difference then was that many were created for a ‘functional’ reason…the best herding dogs were bred for herding, the best ratters were bred for ratting and the best retrieve dogs bred from dogs that quickly learnt to retrieve.More than anything the purpose of the breed determined what was used in the matings to exagerate the desired trait – and develop that ‘breed’. If all dogs bred indescriminately with one another – the strongest and best able to cope with the environment would survive. If you look at the type of dogs that are running around in some third world countries – This might be the type of look you would end up with!In regards to hybrid vigour (the thought that healthier dogs come from crossbreeds) this is not strictly true…if a golden retriever and a Labrador retriever both have bad hips then it is likely that the pups will also have a higher liklihood of inheriting this trait…certainly the pups will carry the gene for ‘bad hips’. Whilst a fair amount is known about the faults on purebreds this is mainly because breeders are attempting to improve the breed and are looking for faults and solutions to any genetic faults that occur. Good breeders want to know if something goes wrong, they meticulously study pedigrees to gather knowledge of any faults that may be in the line and then work out the statistical possibilities of those ‘faults’ occuring in the pups of any mating. Meanwhile crossbred owners seldom investigate the structural health etc. of their dogs before breeding – assuming that the ‘crossbred’ factor is all that is required. They are unlikely to have comprehensive knowledge of the ancestory on either one or both sides of the proposed mating, and the purpose for ‘creating’ the breed usually has very little to do with ‘function’ (unless you call a ‘craze’ a function). Of course some breeds were created as ‘lap’ dogs and cross breeds can be as loving and fulfilling as purebreeds. Certainly the Mongrel (and I love the raw earthy name of this type of dog) can be the best of all his parts and is equal to any pedigree dog – not more nor less. In New Zealand we have the ‘huntaway’ a strong working dog with a big bark… is he recognised ..In New Zealand, on our high country farms, he certainly is…by the Americal Kennel Club…no he’s not…and although he usually does look a certain way…What makes this dog popular, recognisable and valuable is his ability to work…as it is this that marks him as the ‘New Zealand Huntaway’Interestingly some once popular breeds have already become extinct for example The Russian Tracker, Molossian Dog, Alaunt, Shock Dog, Sleuth Hound, Brabanter, Braque, Alano, Talbott Hound, Pyrame, St Huber Hound…however extinct is a bit of a misnomer. Many of these dogs changed over centuries of inbreeding and cross breeding, in conformation, height, weight, or other physical characteristics leading to the emergence of some of the breeds we know today. After all the show judge that chooses the winning dog (with the uncropped ears or the waving tail) determines the next ‘goal’ for all of us…

  3. scrowle says:

    the purpose of established breeds is that they were selectivly bred for a specifric purpose or reason.. for their instincts to herd, hunt, and guard.. as well as specific sizes to accomodate for the need, and coat type for the terrain/climate.these “hybrid” dogs are nothing more than a fad.. a means for irresponsible breeders to make money. They breed their dog to whatever dog is available, give the offspring a cutesey name and lie about it being “hypoallergenic” “non-shedding” etc. They are not being selectivly bred at all.. the dogs used in the breeding are ussually poor examples of their own breed. Crossing breeds does not yield predictable traits or qualities. Breeding say, a standard poodle and a lab, does not guarantee a lab personality with a poodle coat. It does not cancel out health problems.. both breeds are prone to hip displasia, so its just as likely to get HD.. but it can also have any health problems seen in the lab AND the poodle.

  4. unroots says:

    It is true that the term “Hybrid” cannot be used here as dogs of different breeds, are still of the same species.As for the new fashion for designer dogs, people are mixing two breeds, giving them a catchy name and selling puppies for ridiculous amounts of money. I find this extremely irresponsible and the Australian Man called Wally Conran bred the first Labradoodle in 1988 as a woman from Hawaii wanted a dog that would be a good guide dog but not aggravate her husbands allergies.Wally Conran spoke to a guide dog centre manager and suggested breeding one of the Labradors with a standard poodle. 3 puppies were born, hair and saliva samples were sent over and the samples from one of the puppies was successful and this puppy was sent over and became a successful guide dog. As far as I know, it worked as a guide dog for over ten years. Mr. Wally Conran has more recently been very open in his regret for being the founder of what has now become a fashionable trend. His regret is based upon the now huge numbers of irresponsible breeders crossing miss matched breeds, taking no consideration of health either for the carrying mother or the pups and future generations and he also regrets that this has now become a very lucrative back yard industry.Mr. Conran is proud to have carefully created a new breed that has such an important use in todays society and the original Labradoodle idea was no doubt the foundation for the current Australian Service Dog. From interviews I have read of his however, he seems to be regretful that irresponsible breeders saw an opportunity to make money.Personally, I agree with him. In answer to your question, yes, it would harm a mother to have pups fathered by a larger dog. It was man that domesticated dogs and it was us that created the standard breeds that we know and love today, but these breeds have been developed over so many thousands of years and all for specific purposes. The evolution of the modern day “so called” lap dog shows this perfectly. It is commonly agreed that these breeds began in the Buddhist temples high in the Himalayas, where holy men bred the hardy Tibetan Spaniel to become smaller and smaller until they had a dog that they could call up onto their laps and would stay under their robes to keep them warm.By the time King Charles II reigned over England, the idea had travelled over here where the English Toy Spaniel had evloved by breeding smaller and smaller examples of the traditional Setter.Over time, the owners pampered these little gundogs and wealthy owners started breeding them with the toy dog breeds from the east. This breeding is still recognisable today in the flat faced features of the King Charles Spaniel.This breeding was all selective. Depending on the intended use for the breed, certain dogs with certain desired traits were bred and it was a slow and deliberate process.Nowadays, people just want to cross breeds, either to be the first to do it, to make up a “new” breed or to make money.The problem with this is my mind is that the standard “purebreeds” were bred selectively, always choosing the healthiest, strongest dogs with desired traits for the intended use. When you then go and cross two very different breeds, health problems can be inevitable. Imagine crossing a high energy collie or gundog with an English Bulldog. Imagine the offspring having the energy levels of the collie or gundog, but the breathing restrictions of badly bred English bulldogs. I say badly bred because no one breeding healthy Bulldogs would cross them with a collie or gundog. In this mix, you could end up with a high energy dog that cannot breath properly. This would put pressure on the heart and other organs and you would be left with an unhealthy, unhappy dog, mounting vets bills and short life expectancy.That is not to say that all purebreds are healthy and now, many breeders are having to breed selectivley to breed healthy traits back into popular breeds, like Bulldogs and Flat Coated Retreivers.The emphasis needs to be put on health, not fashion, breed standard or value, but that is just my opinion.I am not sure if this is the answer you were looking for, but for anyone mixing breeds today that uses the argument that, “that is how we got the standard breeds as well as they all evolved from Wolves”, DO NOT BELIEVE THIS. Yes, all breeds evolved from wolves, but as I have explained, they were all bred selectively and over the course of many many generations, with health being a primary concern alongside use, not after it. Any breeds that we want to develop for certain specific needs, like service dogs, need to be bred just as carefully with health in mind by responsible, experienced and knowledgeable breeders who have all animals screened.I would make it illegal if I could. Why continue to breed like this when there are so many healthy dogs in shelters that need homes?Sorry so long, but it’s a passionate subject!

  5. mephitic says:

    You’ve had some good answers here! I’d just add that most breeds have been created by humans to do a specific job but many were created by selective breeding not cross breeding. If you had a dog who was very good at herding, you’d mate it to another dog who was good at herding in the hope of increasing the chances that the pups would also be good at herding. If you were trying to breed a bigger dog, you’d mate 2 bigger dogs together etc. etc. In the wild, many dogs mated selectively – in that they would only mate with dogs in their area. That resulted in regional differences like the Nordic Spitz breeds with their thick double coats, small ears etc. It also resulted in a good deal of inbreeding too!Many “designer” breeds are nothing more than money making ploys with dogs being created purely for the sake of a stupid “Poo” name. It can be dangerous for the pups – Puggles for instance – mating an active hunting dog with a small fat dog with a short muzzle can be nothing but disastrous.It is a myth that crossbreeds are more healthy than purebreds. There are no rules regarding mating 2 breeds together (as long as you don’t want to register them with the Kennel Club)There are good reasons for keeping a breed pure – predictability being one of the main ones. Responsible people want to know that a dog will fit their lifestyle in terms of coat, size, energy, trainability etc.Dogs aren’t fussy about breed, not just in the wild but domestic dogs will mate with any ***** in season – but that could result in the death of the ***** and with the puppies not being viable.