Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dorgis on the docket

Thanks a lot, Queen of England.

You did this.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Exhibit A: The dorgi. It is what it sounds like. Her Royal Highness' royal corgi got a little frisky and got it on with one of Princess Margaret's less-royal-but-still-recognized-by-the-populace Dachshunds. Apparently what came out of this scandalous dalliance was so delightful that the Queen called for more. Breeders around the globe are now gleefully getting in on this bizarre mix to try and see if they can develop the world's first dog as long as a train. All this observer can say is, they'd better be using Pembroke corgis and not Cardigans. We don't want none of them freaks around here!

I kid. Cardigans are great. They're like the squashed-down, stretched-out version of a Border collie or an Australian shepherd, and that is endlessly amusing to me. Plus, they were here first: the Pembrokes are their snot-faced kid brothers whom their parents and teachers for some reason love more. As for the designer breeders, who knows? The only recipe I can find anywhere for a dorgi is Dachshund + Welsh Corgi. Two distinct breeds, you say? Forget that! They're both called "corgis", aren't they? Well - if I HAD to award any mitigating factors - I'd say that breeding the Doxie with the Cardigan would be sliightly more forgivable, as they may come from the same strain originally ... you know, like a thousand years ago.

Whereas a Dachshund + Pembroke comes out more like a spaniel/terrier + herder/spitz.


You still get a long-ass dog (literally) with more pep than its little legs can handle.

THE PROS: Call me shallow, but long dogs with stubby legs are funny. (I challenge you to watch this corgi climbing up a plastic ladder and not laugh. Go corgi go!) Maybe little dorgi won't find it so funny when the other dogs at obedience school are calling him bratwurst butt and stealing his lunch money, but you'll laugh. Oh, you'll laugh. Trust me.

(Okay, somebody needs to stop me from watching these. I'm hypnotised. They're just so stubby and adorable!)

Both parent breeds are very loyal to their own people, and good with their 'own' kids. Just take another look at that first corgi video if you need proof!

And thankfully, both have a pretty long life expectancy - about 12-15 years. Nobody can say at this point what the dorgi's average life span is, but it should be roughly the same.

THE CONS: Oh, boy, where to start!

Like I said, these are peppy dogs. They're both workers, or were - the corgi herding livestock, the Dachshund digging for game and slipping into burrows. These aren't fields that mesh easily and, as is seen in the parent breeds, I imagine with dorgis you get a stumpy sausage dog determined to chase down other animals. As entertaining as that would be to watch (if you're sick like me)...

They're also barkers. LOUD BARKERS.

They're big dogs in little packages and they've got minds of their own. Dachshunds can be tricky to train, I hear. Workers generally are the stubborn ones. Your little dorgi may turn out to be a bit of a brat.

Lastly, both these breeds are mainly geared towards a specific group of people. Dog-savvy people. Dorgis are probably best suited to these people - but then, there's that nasty little myth that designer dogs are the new family dog...

Oh, and zero predictability in temperament or appearance. (Also, that dog up there looks just like Ashlee Simpson and that terrifies me. They have the same soulless look in their eyes, the same hairstyle, and the dog, too, cannot decide which hair colour it prefers. Chilling.)

Yes, it gets its own section now. How exciting!

First off, by poking around I've found some dapple dorgis here and there ... okay if you're using a merle corgi to get that effect, but a big no-no for Doxies, as the double dapple (merle with white) genes carry deafness and blindness. The more you know...

Then there's that glaring detail... What was that? Oh yeah - that LONG DAMN BACK! BOTH breeds have got long spinal cords and the problems that accompany that. And they can both be prone to obesity - oh, jeez, imagine that spine supporting a tubby dog gut. That strain can lead to paralysis of the rear legs, or worse. This site puts intervertebral disk disease, one of the biggest health concerns for Dachshunds, in layman's terms. And don't think it doesn't hit corgis just as hard.

Then there's the usual suspects - eye disorders. Von Willebrand's (an hereditary bleeding disorder). Displasia. And, of course, breed small and you always run the risk of luxating patellas (slipped kneecaps).

Well. No. I mean, there aren't that many purebreeds whose back you could have a picnic off of.

Or saddle up and train a whole family of guinea pigs to ride around on.


I'll stop.

(Sorry, hot-dogs of the world.)


GoLightly said...

I once met a Corgi/GSD cross. Saddest, ugliest nastiest thing. The owner said, he is NOT friendly,. Yeah, no kidding, how embarrassing would that be??
GSD, with a long back, and no legs. WTF??
People, are stoopid.

starrypawz said...

They still look oddly cute in a freaky way but still probably not the best cross if they can't even guarantee the temperament or appearance.

Though a bit off the mark would you ever do a 'strangest mutt/cross/designer dog you've met' post. Boy have I got a couple of weird ones.
Border Collie x Jack Russel
English Springer x Staffordshire Bull Terrier and wait for it...

St.Bernard x Basset. :| I'm not kidding on that one...

GoLightly said...

Right, thanks for the memory jog, it was a GSD/Basset!
And temperament is never a guarantee, even in "pure-breds".
Appearance is also never a guarantee, as my DVM friend said, they are a CROSS, not a breed.
Breeds took us a long time to make, and these crosses will never breed true, until they are in-bred to death, like pure-breds.
Hey! Border-Jack has already been covered here... Check out MT's previous posts..

starrypawz said...

Ah yes of course I forgot about border/jack being covered funny thing was I met ANOTHER one of those today at the local pet shop. He didn't look to bad appearance wise, collie size and curly coat, floppy ears, typical 'scruffy mutt' appearance if you get what I mean, rather hyper though. D:

I've seen a few border/lurchers my freind has one I think I have a pic she sent me. Basically she has the build of a lurcher, border collie colours and collie ears. Very energetic and quite noisy.

muttpuppiesontrial said...

St Bernard/Basset, oh, wow... I will definitely have to look into that one! I love Bassets, but I can't fathom why anybody would mix them up with other breeds... Same with Border collies!

I finally got off my butt and figured out how to add a list on the sidebar of mixes I've already covered. :) Should be handy!

starrypawz said...

I think mr St.Bernard/Basset was a freak 'whoopsie' dog. Because I can't think of why someone would cross them intentionally but hey you never know. My freind's lurcher x border collie. Not too bad of a cross just nuts and noisy.
Oh and here's one I'm not sure you'll find again but I met yesterday.
Lurcher x Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

water_bearer said...

Uh... WHAT is a Lurcher????

I was once walking my ginormous and very protective Anatolian Shepherd / German Shepherd mix in the 'hood when this woman's adorable squat-legged little mutt lunged and snapped at my dog. My dog looked at it as if to say, "You know I can kill you in 2 seconds flat, right?" while this little asshole snarled back at her. The woman says to me, "He's a Husky / Bassett Hound mix. It's the Bassett in him that makes him like this."
Uh... ok. Hi. You're an idiot and you need to not have a dog. A) Since when are Bassetts known for being agressive, and B) I hate to break it to you, but there's about a 98% chance that what you have is a Swedish Vallhund.

water_bearer said...

OK, I just looked up "Lurchers" and I have many head shakes to cover, but I guess the most pressing question is a bit more esoteric and that's "How is something around for 400 years and NOT an official breed yet?" I mean, you couldn't get that right because what... you didn't have enough time? So it's still not even a breed, it's just a "type."
Which is really just a polite way of saying there's no consistency because no one can agree on or stick to a goal after a few centuries.
Awesome. This disheartens me because it makes me think of another not breed that is really a type and that there's little consistency with and few clear goals and different factions and so forth...
and that's Pit Bulls. Awesome.

water_bearer said...

Oh yeah... and another thing (or two). Those Dorgis are cute, and not the worst cross I've heard of, but they are unnecessary. And the Corgis in the two video links look even funnier running around on their stumpy little legs because they have one thing in common - they're BOTH waaaay over weight.