According to the Pet Food Institute, there are about 75 million dogs in the U.S.. But if you look at trends in designer dogs, a much smaller number of them are likely mutts. The American Canine Hybrid Club recognizes over 300 designer dog breeds (versus the 150 purebreds recognized by the AKC), ranging from the obscure Pekachon (Bichon Frise and Pekingese) to the Labradoodle (Labrador and Poodle) -- more than 1,300 of which are registered with the International Labradoodle Association. The breeds in these designer dogs are carefully chosen -- whereas mutts (technically referred to as mixed-breeds) are called such because the exact percentage of each breed involved isn't known. (Though before the association existed and this sort of breeding was highly profitable, if a Labrador and a poodle happened to hook up and a litter resulted, the spawn were known as -- you got it -- mutts.) While the birthdate of the first designer dog is debated, nowadays they've become a fast-growing trend, rising in popularity after being seen in the arms of celebrities like Mischa Barton and Jake Gyllenhaal -- despite the fact that they'll cost you, on average, about $400 more to purchase than a purebred. -- Jean Chatzky
The scary part is how sad it is that people buy into that hybrid vigor BS. The study doesn't say how many of those end up in shelters and rescues becuase they were not non-sheding, easy to housebreak, or got to big.
I also think that the hybrid vigor junk gets jumbled because there is no specific breed in which to report diseases under so it just gets put into a catch all category and the reporting of it is not accurate. An 80 pound mutt is just as likely of not more likely to come down with HD than a purebred of the same size only the mutt has no breed to be reported under. Just how a tiny mix breed is just as likley to have LP's as the next toy breed. At least with a purebred we can document and track the heritage and make better breeding decisions. Don't see that in a mix breed.
To my purchasing customers (and otherwise), I offer them something they are not likley to find in a shelter. That is health screened, health guaranteed, properly raised in area's such as socially, nurtirionally, immunology and genetically. So those who say, "there are purebreds in shelters too", those same sheltered purebreds have little difference than their mix breed counter parts.
Off the soap box now, I just went off on a rampage didn't I?
Correct me if I'm wrong but many purebred dogs are, in essence, a designer dog. Some dogs were 'mixed' so that the resulting dog would have certain characteristics but these were carefully selected and bred so that they would breed true. I'm not defending the Hybrid club; don't get me wrong. I don't agree with slapping two random dogs and selling them based on misconceptions. I don't like the mass production and the treatment that results from it. But isn't it somewhat of a misconception that purebred dogs are truly purebred?
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland
Flip, you are right in a sense of some dogs. But as you said, those other breeds mixed in are carefully selected.
I have said this before, and will say it again. If the parents of the designer dogs are being tested, then go for it. If the breeders are standing behind their dogs, then go for it. I have no problems at all with designer dog breeders who act like a responsible breeder. There is a lady in WV(i think) who breeds labradoodles. All her dogs are health tested, and she has contracts for pups. She is doing it right, and I feel they are fine.
It is the people who just slap 2 dogs together and sell the pups for an outragous amount of money becuase they think it is cool. Those are the people I have a problem with.
It saddens me how many dogs we have in shelters, and how many back yard breeders continue to produce unwanted dogs. I would love to solve the problem and as a breeder sometimes feel like I am part of the problem. I can only hope that anyone who ever purchases my pup and would have to give it would come to me first. It is in my contract, but I have found that many people never contact you back after a certain amount of time. I get x-mas cards from a few, and pics every now and again. But there are many more who never contacted me after the spay/neuter. I can try til I am blue in the face, it is just a fact of life I think.