Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The logic behind the poo

Yes, I'm still contemplating poodle hybrids. (No, not bodily functions.)

In the comments of this post, it was ascertained that the logic behind breeding poodles to anything that moves goes like this:
- People want a "hypoallergenic" dog
- People want a curly-haired dog
- People want a dog with a cute breed name involving any combination with the words "oodle" and "poo".

To which I say pish and tosh.

There are also those who breed because they don't want the problems that come with purebreeds, therefore they breed for a) hybrid vigour, and b) to avoid inbreeding. But these topics come up a lot on MoT already and no doubt will again, so today let's just have a look at the superficials.

1) Hypoallergenic dogs do not exist. They won't help you with your asthma, nor your allergy to dander or dog saliva or whatever else may float off a dog's body that isn't fur. Or maybe it is the fur. In which case, that's okay. Designer breeding for low shedding dogs is the most admirable objective I can think of. (Breeding for hybrid vigour is not admirable. Breeding for health is admirable. Yes, there is a difference.)

Just bear in mind that low shedders need lots of brushing and grooming. Also that dogs like Labradoodles and Goldendoodles can end up shedding as much as their notoriously sheddy retriever parents, especially as most are F1 crosses.

Plus, you know, there are purebreeds out there for you too. Not just toys, either! I'll promote retired greyhounds again; lovely, calm dogs who shed very little. Also in the medium to large category are Airedale terriers, Kerry Blue terriers, Wheaten terriers, Irish Water Spaniels, and Portuguese Water dogs (the ones with the shaved butts. Terrific!). In the toy group you've got a bunch of small woolly dogs like Shih-tzus and Malteses - eg dogs you don't even need to breed to the poodle in the first place.

2) As for curly dogs, there is a secret behind poodle hybrids that I'll divulge to you now. Lean in close. Are you ready for this? It's big.

They all look the same.

I'm not even kidding. There are only three categories of poodle hybrids and they go like this:

Type A: The Woolly Muppetpoo. This variety of poo is small, fluffy, and all the rage. They seem to come in white or tan more than any other colour, regardless of parent breed. There is an inexplicable amount of Woolly Muppetpoos in my neighbourhood. Representing the Woollies today are the cockapoo, the schnoodle, the Shih-poo, the Maltipoo, the Pekeapoo, the Lhasapoo, and the Yorkiepoo. Goldendoodles also count as Muppetpoos.

Tell me what kind of poo this is. Go on, guess.

Type B: The Irish wolfpoo. So named because they all come out looking like weird Irish wolfhound hybrids. Weimardoodle. Shepadoodle. Dober/poo. Beardiepoo. Labradoodles, usually. Eerie, isn't it? Sometimes it begs the question, where the hell did they get those genes?

And dear old Type C: Miscellaneous, AKA "What the Hell Is That Thing?!" This one can crop up in the most unsuspecting of mixes. This is a Chihuahua/poo that looks like a vaguely sinister seal. And a pug/poodle with some of the most ridiculous ears I've ever seen. Here's a Maltipoo that falls way short of the Muppetpoo look. And I don't even know what happened here (a Lhasapoo, if you couldn't guess).

That's the big secret behind poodle hybrids. The most unique ones end up with What the Hell Syndrome while the rest are shaggy cookie cut-outs.

3) Adorable/silly names. The solution to this one is staring you in the face. I'll tell you another secret. I shouldn't be giving these away for free, but I guess I'm just big-hearted like that. Okay, here it comes:


Seriously. Do what I do and make up your dog's breed. Why the hell not, if he's just a companion pet? Unfortunately, Tip is much too distinctive to be mistaken for anything other than a Border collie, but this is part of the reason I can't wait till I have my own Leonberger. That dog is gonna have a new name and profession every week. One day I'll tell people he's a Serengeti tiger-mastiff (African tribesmen bred these dogs in the absence of real tigers to do battle with lions in gladiator-style showdowns). The next day he'll be an Egyptian River dog (fisherman of Ancient Egypt relied on dogs to frighten away the hippos that upended their boats and ate people or whatever hippos do). Next week he'll be a Taiwanese Pirate dog (while the pirates board other vessels, the dogs stay back on the pirate ship to guard their booty). Why not!

Or if your conscience nags at you, just buy a dog that already has a silly name. Get a Sloughi. That's "Sloogy". Hours of fun! Or a Weimaraner: "Why-ma-rah-ner", but most people don't know that. Call it a Way-marooner if you want to.

Or maybe they just like the silliness of the suffix. I mean, really. "Poo" and "doodle"? Make your friends jealous by slapping on something even sillier. Call your dog a "[whatever]oogle". Say that it's a mix between whatever it actually is and the Scottish Broughel (which doesn't actually exist, but there are lots of dogs who could pass for Scottish. They've already got terriers and sheepdogs coming out of there, and once upon a time Scotland had wolves, from which you can derive all sorts of doggy jobs like guarding and hunting). Pretend to know a lot about the Broughel (pronounced like bugle but with an R) and mention how superior it is to poodles because it performs all dog jobs in Scotland on top of companionship. Drug sniffing, police work, shepherding, service to the disabled; the Broughel is the world's up-and-coming canine all-rounder and they're trying to maximize its usefulness by breeding to other dogs and creating a canine race of oogles. Finish your spiel with a smug, "Oogles are the new poo."

And if they ask how do you get one?

Say, "You mate a dog of one breed to a dog of the same breed and then lie for the rest of the offspring's life."

Sigh. Superficialities may be silly, but I would kind of like to start calling Tip a Scottish Bordoogle.


muttpuppiesontrial said...

I'm such a cheater. The dog pictured is a Bichon-poo.

GoLightly said...

So, that would be a bichiPoo.
Chane the spelling, and you lose political correctness:)
Great post.
I love my breed.
"Is that a mutt?"
Yup. A "pure-ly bred" mutt.
A PureMutt.
Not much can be done with that:(
I always thought Rusty was a cattle-dog/kelpie cross.
A CatKelp.
Or a sheltie/heeler cross.
A sheelter!

My neighbour's dog. JackRussell/Yorkie.

The ChiPoo is hilarious. AaaahChi-Poo! Gesundheit!
Very funny stuff, MoT!

Linny said...

"There are also those who breed because they don't want the problems that come with purebreeds, therefore they breed for a) hybrid vigour, and b) to avoid inbreeding. But these topics come up a lot on MoT already and no doubt will again, so today let's just have a look at the superficials."

That's fine, although I'd have to add that breeding low allergy dogs is not necessarily "superficial".

I know a few people with allergies to most dog breeds who now have a Labradoodle Guide Dog. These dogs were first bred in the late 1980s, and they are often used as Guide Dogs, Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs.

There are now thousands of people around the world with visual and other disabilities who would not have the mobility, dignity, and quality of life that they now enjoy without their Labradoodle guide dog.

muttpuppiesontrial said...

Yes, indeed; that's why I've mentioned I like Labradoodles and Goldendoodles. They've got their niche in the dog world, for sure. Standard poodles can serve as "hypoallergenic" service dogs as well, but I'm not saying Lab and Goldendoodles should be tossed out in favour of the purebred. (I'm a purist, but a very liberal purist.)

And by "superficials", I meant the more exterior qualities. :)

thus-sung said...

Don't forget about the portuguese water dog for those looking for a low-shedding, hypoallergenic dog.

I learned today that apparently the PWD is the only dog to have been declared hypoallergenic for realz, but I haven't confirmed this for myself (I haven't exactly looked too hard, though...), but I trust the person I heard it from -- she's usually pretty good with dog knowledge.

muttpuppiesontrial said...

Sigh. I've gone and confused the Irish Water spaniel with the Portuguese Water dog. How on earth did that happen?

Don't shave your Irish spaniels' butts, people; the other spaniels will make fun of them something fierce.

L said...

If you really want a low shedding dog with a breed history and funny name, why not just get one of FAO Schwartz's AKC stuffed puppies? :)

water_bearer said...

mot, I didn't even read the post yet (sorry), but someone on fugly's blog pointed out a rescue / breeder making Chiweenies and Sibernees so I googled those names and found this gem.
Have fun wiping your brains off your monitor.

GoLightly said...

Holy CRAP??!!
The puppies may have this or this or this breed??
We just breed whatever the hell we can find?
Holy doodle.

muttpuppiesontrial said...

WB: That blew my mind for a minute. I was all set to lay into them... But then I realized a) most of their mutts are "rescued" puppies, and b) they ask the people who adopt their puppies to spay/neuter them. Hmmm. I'm on the fence about these guys... If you've got rescued puppies all over the place, why would you breed your own dogs??

water_bearer said...

That was exactly why I wanted to lay into them. So-called rescue puppies and ones they bred are on the same page - "rescues."
ALL puppies and dogs go home after an "adoption fee."
Third, either they only rescue dogs and puppies that are conveniently mixed with breeds they also like to breed, or they're breeding their rescues, thus maybe justifying in their heads that you're not purchasing a backyard bred mutt, but "rescuing" a puppy.
When you start to dig past the Jesus stuff and the no contract example, etc., and read between the lines, it's really fishy. Also, on their site they ask for donations for all the things they need (which is everything), or just money so they can continue rescuing. Apparently ill-advised, poorly planned mixed breed fugly pups aren't paying the bills? Then either stop rescuing or stop breeding / buying dogs. Or... as I suspect, stop being a faux rescuer who breeds her rescues.
That's my opinion anyway.

megan colleen said...

Hi... love the rant. I've had this same rant multiple times. I personally have a dog that looks like a female pit bull got some lovin' from a dachshund. He's long, he's short, and he's stocky like a water buffalo. Fortunately for me, he's a lot cuter than a water buffalo and keeps my bed warm on cold nights.

When I first got him 4 years ago, I got so sick of being asked where I got my mini-pitbull I started to tell people that he was in FACT a representative of a super-rare breed. Yes, indeedy, my dog was a Mongolian Poochie Dog - straight for the steppes of Mongolia.

Oh and what does a MPD do? Why, they guard the camels by sleeping on their humphs and snorgling their noses when they get grumpy. All camels become calm again when a MPD snorgles their noses and stares deeply into their eyes with adoration.

Amazing thing is people would nod and ask if they could mate their pit bull bitch to my dog? When I'd point out the lack of toys that my dog had attached to his body - people would actually get offended.

I love rampant stupidity. It's fun to play with.

muttpuppiesontrial said...

LOL! That's fantastic! Hmm, I'll have to get even wilder with my made-up breeds, see what kinds of nutty things people will believe...

Is that your Mongolian Poochie in your display pic? What a cutie, I'm diggin' the batdog ears. :)

megan colleen said...

Ah yep - that's Mojo Zen. If you go to my blog (http://happygohour.blogspot.com you can see another closeup pic on my header. I'm sure if he could actually understand english better than what he seems to he'd be wondering what a water buffalo was? And if it's made of water? Could he drink it? ;P

Poor dog. He somehow wound up with me as his snarky owner.

water_bearer said...

Well, everyone here knows those reasons are total crap, but I still hold that they are the primarily intended outcome (or knowingly bogus selling point) that encourages people to make "poos" precisely for the reason that enough people interested in buying one of those puppies believe them.
I don't think breeding for a hair texture is a good enough reason and I still have my reservations about breeding for a low-shed dog. If the only people in the world breeding other popular but notoriously high-shed breeds to poodles to get just what it seems most people think poodle crosses are, were experts who eventually came up with a breed or two that could stand on its own as such, then I'd be inclined to feel differently. Admittedly, I still hold that Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are frigging cute as hell.
Then again, I think my ass-end higher than the front end, one ear foward, one ear straight out Canardly is cute as hell too. Which is exactly what I tell people when they ask, "What is she?"
"Canardly. Ya know... can 'ardly tell what the hell she is."
Or I say, she's an Arkansas Brown Dog, with a straight face. Hopefully they go home and look it up.