Cross breed snobbery...

Has anyone else noticed an increase in cross-breed snobbery recently?

I find it odd that that people refer to these dogs as ‘mutts’ pejoratively (I like the word mutt anyway :)). The demarcation drawn up by the kennel club came from erm, nowhere really - they were really just people who made up breeds from features they liked. An example is that springer spaniels and cocker spaniels have the same ancestry but certain features were selected and then bred from which is where the differences come from. So a sprocker is just going back to how spaniels were before the kennel club got involved…so why are people so snobby about cross breeds?

I haven’t detected any snobbery in the case of the genuine Heinz 57. In fact people seem to be proud of having a mongrel and they should be because many of them are lovely dogs. However, the first crosses don’t seem to have the same kudos.

I wonder if it is to do with the duplicity of crossing pedigree dogs in that they are usually given a name which to all intents and purposes denotes an actual breed, which at the moment they are not. Added to this is the fact that people are cashing in on the trend by producing puppies whose parents are not health checked and which, in some cases tend to cost as much as pedigree dog. There is a public perception that first crosses are healthier than pedigree animals and that is not necessarily true e.g. if a Labrador who has a poor hip score is crossed with a Standard Poodle whose hips are not good, there is going to be a strong possibility that the offspring will wind up with hip dysplasia. The same goes for bad temperaments.

I don’t understand why people cross breeds with very dissimilar features and coats because you just don’t know what you are going to get. Labradoodles are sold as suitable for allergy sufferers and yet some shed their fur constantly. I have a friend who is a groomer and she tells me that it is a real problem knowing what to do with the coats of some of these cross breeds, especially when the owner is unwilling to care for them properly and the poor dog ends up matted. At least when someone buys a pedigree dog from a reputable breeder they know exactly what they are taking on.

The other thing that concerns me about first crosses is the lack of a paper trail. whilst the Kennel Club is not perfect, they do have rules restricting the registration of litters from one bitch for health and welfare reasons. This doesn’t exist with first crosses and the breeder can carry on regardless, with no regard for the bitch.

My negative opinions about first crosses are not to do with snobbery but all to do with health and welfare. However, that is not to say that all are bad. I am sure there are some breeders of first crosses who are conscientious. The problem is finding them but I suppose you can say that of pedigree dog breeders too.


I agree with everything Dottie says.

I would also like to add that I have known considerable prejudice, if not snobbery, against pedigree dogs from the owners of fashionable cross breeds with portmanteau ‘names’. These people appear to believe that all pedigree dogs are inherently unhealthy and that cross breeds, by virtue of what they refer to as hybrid vigour, are automatically healthier. This is, of course complete nonsense, for the reasons Dottie refers to above, but such people frequently and rudely sneer at pedigree dogs, to or in the hearing of their owners.

I have twice been asked by people I met on a walk whether I would be willing to mate The Little Cav to their pet bitches, one a poodle and the other of indeterminate breeding (I didn’t ask!), in one case it was implied that the result would be healthier pups and in the other case it was actually said in no uncertain terms. My replies would be modded if I told you what they were. I have no intention of breeding him, but if ever did it would be to a health tested Cavalier bitch and he himself would be health tested first.


On the subject of Sprockers I just remembered that I once saw a post on a forum from someone who had recently purchased one. Unfortunately this person thought that they had acquired a rare breed. I don’t know where that notion came from (probably the breeder) but it reminded me of just how vulnerable people can be.

I’m also reminded of taking my little one to puppy socialisation at the vets last year. She was the only pedigree dog there - all the others were first crosses. It just goes to show how people really want these dogs as opposed to pure bred ones. It’s a mystery to me why this is so.

Because they are fashionable Dottie, all other reasons are excuses. Even the man who created the first of these so-called ‘breeds’, the ‘labradoodle’, now says he unleashed a monster and that he greatly regrets it.

I love all dogs, pedigrees, crosses and mutts but it does seem that the popularity of crosses has happened as a result of clever marketing.

I couldn’t say whether or not people habour prejudice about crossbreeds or mutts (probably as people are people) but I know that some of the concerns about the trend for cross breeding for the sake of fashion arise from all the issues Dottie and George pointed out. My own concern is that if there was not a trend for designer dogs, more people might go to the rescue centres to find their family pet.

I adopted a wonderful terrier cocktail and am very proud of her. She didn’t cost me much. I suppose the money paid does reflect her value in the eyes of society. That is good news for me because she is priceless and I got a bargain. It is certainly not the beautiful crosses that I have issue with, just the consumerism which means more of these amazing animals end up homeless :frowning:

I think there are irresponsible breeders and irresponsible dog owners. Neither people who choose full breeds, cross breeds or mutts of questionable heritage ( ;)) have the monopoly on being reasonable, responsible or even just vaguely sensible…

My point is shouldn’t we be encouraging people to think about what kind of dog they are taking on rather than being disparaging either way?