Clifton Standards: Mixed Breeds
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They are so cute, but we do not support cross-breeding.

Let me start my saying that I have had the honor of sharing my home with both pure breeds and mutts, and have loved them equally and individually with all my heart. My choice of the standard poodle at this time in my life is because of their intellect, strength, loyalty, and hair, and the predictability of a pure breed.

I do not support the crossbreeding of established breeds for the creation of new "designer" breeds. We have come so far in dog and other domestic animal breeding, and I believe that to step backwards and undo the progressive work of so many dedicated breeders and scientists, simply to produce a dog with marketable traits - which in many cases are false claims - is not responsible in this day and age.

It has taken hundreds of years to refine each breed - evidence of the poodle is found as far back as 300 years poodlehistory.org. Along the way, much has been learned, and many great dogs have resulted, and yes, many poorly bred dogs have also been created. The benefit from all of them however, is that many genes have been tested, retained, or removed, resulting in healthier and more sound animals, and we now have a predictable pool of excellent genetic combinations in the established breeds.

While Labradoodles and other mixed poodle dogs may be sweet, cute, and pick up some of the wonderful traits from their sire and dam's breeds, inherritance in crossbreeds is not predictable, and can have negative consequences.  Too often the offspring pick up the worst of both breeds' traits - they can be high strung, hard to train, and very often they have fur that sheds, not poodle-like hair. You have only to go to online to rescue organizations to see how many people purchased (for a lot of $$) a mixed poodle dog believing they are less allergenic than regular dogs, or that they will get all the wonderful breeds' characteristics. Sadly, too often, the buyers don't get what they paid for and the dogs are given up. The most common discovery is that they get both fur and hair, so they shed AND they have to be trimmed like a poodle.

Like those in the Labrador, cocker spaniel, golden retriever and other pure bred breeding communities, we hope to quell the "designer dog" trend. Not because we are snobby and only believe in pure breeds, but because we see daily the undoing of the generations of careful breeding, selection of the healthiest animals, and development of genetic and other health tests that are exclusive to each breed and can not be used on cross breeds (hip dysplasia statistics being one of them). This testing is what goes into the cost of a pure bred; since many of the tests are not applicable to crossbreeds, it is hard to understand why they cost so much. Also, quite often those who breed the designer mixes can only get their hands on those dogs that are not the best of the originating breeds, thus they already start with a poor genetic foundation. Of course these dogs are lovable, but they are not a new breed and should be advertised or sold like they are. It will take hundreds of generations - tens of thousands of dogs, good and bad - to stabilize them into a breed with predictable characteristics. With all of the dogs needing homes today, I don't believe it is the fair or responsible to to produce so many mixed breeds.

If you like the traits of pure bred dog, get a pure bred. There are over 158 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and another 66 with small US populations and classified as rare or foundation breeds. You can obtain an excellent dog from a reputable breeder, or from a breed-specific rescue. If you want a mixed breed, please get one from a shelter. There are hundreds of thousands of them available through petfinder.com or your local shelter. Please don't buy a designer dog.

If you like the look of a Labradoodle but are bothered with the "prissy" image of a poodle...try a standard poodle with a longer hair cut!

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