Have you ever heard of a “Mini Golden?” We met two this week at the doggy day care our obedience club rents Tuesday evenings for training. Never heard of a “Mini Golden?” Good, because there’s no such thing. “Greeders” are making up new dog breeds now.
We know it started a long time ago. When we were little girls, “Cock-a-Poos” were a thing. They’re not around much anymore. Good thing, because they tended to inherit all the worst genetics of both breeds; eye issues from Cocker Spaniels, epilepsy from Poodles.
Call it like it is
Later, the “doodles” came along. Doodles were originally produced by an Australian dog breeder who was asked for a “hypo-allergenic” guide dog for a blind child, or so the story goes. You can look it up yourself – he now regrets it mightily.
And it’s taken off, big time, from there. Talking to the staff at the doggy day care, more than half of their client dogs are part Poodle, mixed with any other breed you can imagine. And, of course, all of them are called something cute, because “mixed breed,” “All-American dog,” and “mutt” aren’t good for marketing.
Marketing new dog breeds
We are firm believers that every single dog deserves a good home, family, love, and the best of care. We are offended that people whose only interest is making money are producing mixed-breed dogs, marketing them brilliantly, and duping the public.
The “Mini Goldens” we met are a prime example. They were taken in by a rescue that one of the day-care staffers volunteers with. This rescue has welcomed 500 of the 1600 dogs that were taken from a puppy mill in Ohio that got shut down.
The puppies we met, four months old, are cute. Of course they are. All four month old puppies are cute. To someone who doesn’t know Golden Retrievers, they might look one. There are lots of actual, well-bred Goldens in our club. These puppies have curly hair, pointy muzzles, and long, skinny legs.
Call it what it is
Their foster dad kept calling them “Mini Goldens.” We did our best to convince him that even using that phrase lends legitimacy to the greeder who produced them.
There’s a reason for dog breeds. Every American Kennel Club breed has a “Parent Club.” And those clubs not only decide what a “good” example of their breed looks like, they also work to research, cure, or eliminate health issues in their breed. All recommend health testing before breeding. The tests vary depending on the issues that are known in the breed.
Some clubs are better at it than others. Some even have awards for healthy dogs living long lives with equally healthy progeny.
Don’t encourage them
If you don’t care about your dog’s pedigree, or showing your dog, or any of the trappings of purebred dogdom, that’s absolutely fine. But you do want a healthy dog who’s sound physically and mentally.
Few, if any, doodle breeders do any health testing on their dogs, either before or after breeding. Their objective is to make money, as much as possible, with the least effort and expense.
In this day and age, it’s easy to find information on anything. Before handing over your hard-earned money for any dog, do a little research. If it’s a doodle, don’t fall for the alpha-numeric word salad they spout. A seventh generation mutt is still a mutt. An adorable mutt that may win your heart and be the perfect pet. But you shouldn’t pay purebred, pedigree prices for one.
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