Thursday, September 09, 2010

Designer Whippets

There's been a recent controversy about a whippet breed club (American Whippet Club) member who was asked to resign because they purposely bred their purebred whippet to another breed of dog.  I believe this refers to someone who bred one of her dogs to a border collie with the intent of producing "border whippets" who would excel at fly ball.  I do have concerns about the plethora of new designer breeds like Golden Doodles and the like and I think that people should really consider an established breed first.  However, the whippet was itself a "designer breed" at one point in its history.  Also, the American Kennel Club is now letting mixed breed dogs compete in agility, obedience, and rally. 

Good breeding is the most important thing, which includes health testing, temperament testing, having good homes lined up, and being willing to take back dogs.  In this case, this was all done. This has been a major concern of mine with some of the designer dog breeders cropping up.  Established breeders don't always so all these things either.  Unfortunately, a lot of people believe mistakenly believe that purebred dogs are inherent less healthy.  I've always thought it was about the health testing though certain do have issues, they can largely be dealt with by testing the parent dogs. 

So while I do have concerns about all the new designer breeds, I think the breed clubs should focus on promoting and improving their established breed and not trying to police people who, for better or worse, are experimenting with mixing breeds as long as these people don't claim they are whippets.   Breed clubs have plenty of work to do improving purebred dogs.  [I think established breed is actually a better term than purebred dog.]

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