Crossbreeding can result in health problems for dogs

A Labradoodle.
A Labradoodle.

I have been concerned about the breeding of certain crossbreeds such as labradoodles (labrador cross poodle), cockerpoos (cocker spaniel cross poodle) and gollis (golden retreiver cross collie) and now Wally Conron who claims to have started the craze says he has made a terrible mistake.

He crossed a labrador with a standard poodle to help a blind woman who needed a guide dog but her husband was allergic to dog hairs.

The poodle DNA conferred a low shedding coat and countered the allergy problem.

Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, the musician Neil Young and the Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson fuelled the trend.

The Kennel Club is concerned that the crossing of these breeds may result in health problems if the breeder is just interested in making money. The responsible breeder will undertake health tests prior to the litter.

The new breed can be prone to the congenital problems such as eye disorders and malformed hips which breeders have been trying to breed out of the original breeds.

They can also suffer from Addison’s disease which renders a dog unable to manage stress or digest food properly.

Problems in buying crossbreeds leads to unpredictable characteristics, for example, one owner complained his is “completely insane and thick as a plank. “Horrific puppy mills are producing endless litters of unstable dogs that go unwanted”, quotes Mr Conron, and “instead of breeding the problems out we are breeding them in.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) has praised Mr Conron for speaking out.

“Breeding dogs for exaggerated physical characteristics such as flat faces or sloping hips can cause them severe health problems.

“The kindest thing that anyone can do for dogs is to adopt them from a shelter-and make sure they are vaccinated, spayed or neutered.”