Toy Puppies Presents: 'Puppy-Dog Tales'
Teacups & Mixed Breeds
As a breeder for over 30 years I am truly bewildered by what is going on out there. I find the "TEACUP" phenomenon and the mixed breed mania mind-boggling.
First let me address the "The Teacup," The AKC recognizes no such thing. Teacup isn't a variety or a classification. It is a term coined by some sellers to indicate an extremely small dog. Unfortunately the customer rarely ends up with the tiny dog they expected when they bought it. I have discussed problems and health issues of tiny dogs in a previous newsletter. Now I will merely hit the high notes. I have trouble actually accepting that there are people out there that believe it, when the pet shop salesman tells them this "baby animal won't grow." BABIES OF ALL SPECIES ARE BORN SMALL AND GROW. At one year old you can safely assume a dog will no longer grow. Tiny dogs, under 5 lbs, are very delicate and definitely not a good choice in a household with children. Yes, I know there are exceptions but these are very rare. There are children who play the piano or have mastered golf at age three. These are the rare exceptions too, not the rule. Even most adults are not aware of how much of a commitment an abnormally tiny dog is and how often they die.
Sadly, most often one of two things turns out to be the case; at a severely inflated price, the unscrupulous seller sells you a puppy with physical problems, and hence it is very small because it isn't growing normally. Frequently it needs costly medical attention or it dies. Secondly, more common, they will sell a young baby from a big litter that is small for its age and when you get it home and feed it well and care for it well it grows to be a normal size dog. I hope most people are in the second category, they may have spent more money but they at least end up with a healthy pet.
This brings us to the mixed breed craze!! Wow, we are really moving backwards. I think the advent of the Internet is a cause of this problem. Anyone can advertise anything on the net weather it's true or not and AGAIN THESE GULLIBLE PEOPLE BELIEVE EVERYTHING THEY READ!! Just because it's on the Internet doesn't make it true.
Let me tell you the origin of the "Poo" dogs. When the quality of the dogs in the puppy mills becomes so poor that the dogs may not even be a decent representation of the breed they are supposed to be, instead of paying good money for a quality dog, the breeder crosses the Shih Tzu, Peke, Cocker, etc., with a Poodle. Once it is mixed there are no papers so the mill owner doesn't have to be responsible for anything. Not size, not color, not temperament, NOT health... NOT ANYTHING.
People seem to think that mixed breeds are healthier and smarter than pure breeds. NOT! No one in this circumstance pays any attention to the genetics of what they are breeding, why should they? They don't have to be responsible for anything. Why would the mix have to take the best genes of both parents couldn't they easily take the worst traits of both parents? Since the dogs they are using are poor quality to begin with the traits can't be that good to begin with.
Common sense question: If I am a breeder and I have two beautiful and healthy pure bred Shih Tzu's, I can breed a litter of lovely pure bred puppies that will each be worth a fair amount of money. What sense does it make for a breeder to cross one with a poodle (or whatever) and raise a litter of mutt's worth substantially less? When you are dealing with a mixed breed the puppies in the litter may not even be similar to each other. One may look more like one parent and another may throw back to a grandparent. So how can anyone tell what you are getting??
One of the more fascinating ads is one for a Yorkie/Bichon Cross, Oh give me a break. I have direct knowledge, since I raise both breeds. A Yorkie is a Terrier, usually weighing 5 or 6 lbs. It is an independent dog, very active, assertive and extremely difficult to housebreak. They do shed and have somewhat of an odor. The Bichon, on the other hand is more a 12 lb. Dog, non-shedding odorless, extremely people oriented and very social. It IS also child friendly and usually fairly mellow. So, what would you get out of mixing these two together?? Will the dog be 6 lbs. or 12 lbs.? Will it shed or not shed? Does it smell or not smell? Is it good with children or not?? From puppy to puppy there is no way to tell if it not pure bred with proper papers. I don't get it. People have spent thousands of years perfecting special qualities in individual dog breeds so that they can predict the characteristics of a potential pet. This enables them to match what would fit into their lifestyle. If you don't care how the dog turns out, go to the Animal Control or The Humane Society and adopt a mixed breed and save a life.
Until next time, remember:
Try to be as wonderful as your dog thinks you are.