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“Designer dog” website contributes to problems

Nathan is a Boxer Mastiff (Bastiff?) and only $90 to adopt! See more at
Nathan is a Boxer Mastiff (Bastiff?) and only $90 to adopt! See more at

As if the number of shelter dogs is not high enough, and the number of homeless dogs, puppy mills, backyard breeders, and “throwaway” animals is not astronomical, along comes a website called featuring “designer dog breeders.” ( is a website to “help you find the ideal puppy for your family.” The claim is “we do not allow just any breeder to post puppies on our site.” The site invites dog breeders of what is called “designer breeds” to join the network, post pups for sale, and become involved in the marketing of “designer breeds.” lists “designer breeds” like a Chorky (Chihuahua and Yorkshire terrier) listed at $1350.00, a Shi-Chi (Shih Tzu and Chihuahua) at $1450.00, and a Mal-Shi (Maltese, Shih Tzu) listed at $1950.00. There is something dubbed a “Frenchton” (French Bulldog/Boston Terrier) listed at $2550.00. Do not be frightened by those costs – most of these “designer breeders” offer financing, just like a car or furniture.

A “designer breed” is, basically, a “mutt” –crossbreeding two or more American Kennel Club - recognized breeds. Cockapoos, puggles, and labradoodles are crosses of two breeds. So are the majority of shelter dogs. The difference is the “designer dog” price tag, and the money spent will go back into breeding more mutts. Shelter dogs cost from $50 to $150 to adopt (including shots, health checkups, spay/neuter, and possibly micro chipping); the fee goes toward helping lost, stolen, injured, or homeless animals.

Where did so-called "designer dogs" originate? In 1989, Guide Dogs of Australia wanted a guide dog that did not cause allergic reactions. A man named Wally Conran began crossing Labrador Retrievers with Poodles (“labradoodles”). Conran was forced to stop this cross-breeding in 1996 due to the high failure rate (less that 35% of the puppies qualified to become guide dogs). Conran had to sell the remaining pups, which had genetic, coat, and health issues, so he sold them as a “designer breed.”

While some of the “designer dog breeders” may indeed care about the health and welfare of the pups, the truth is they are contributing to a business that is completely overstocked where the merchandise must suffer. is just another website where a buyer may purchase this merchandise, sight unseen, at the cost of a living creature.

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Photo credit of J. Yates

Where to adopt a pet HERE. The little pup in this article is a mixed breed and available on (see

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