Cross-breeds, long the underdog in Australia’s pet populations, may soon be top dogs if the latest trends continue.

The President of the Australian Pet Dog Trainers
Association (APDT), Karin Bridge, says she has
noticed a growing trend toward so-called ‘designer
dogs’ attending her pet dog classes.
“Last year about 10% of the dogs that attended
adult dog training classes were designer dogs.
This year, around 30% of the puppies in our puppy
classes have been designer dogs: ten Cavoodles,
seven Spoodles, two Schnoodles, four Moodles and
one Labradoodle,” says Karin Bridge, President of
APDT.
“There has been an increase in the number of
designer dogs in Australia, as people look for pets
that they perceive will be well suited to their living
arrangements and lifestyle. The ‘oodles’ are very
popular because it is likely that they will have a
non-shedding coat but often cross-breeds are
popular just because they are active, smart dogs
that may be easier to care for than some of the
pure-bred dogs,” says Susie Willis from the Petcare
Information and Advisory Service (PIAS).
“Attitudes to dogs that have parents from two
different breeds have really changed in the last ten
years. They are now seen as bringing the best of
the breeds together and our research indicates that
their numbers are on the increase,” she added.
“Our Spoodle, Parry, is really part of the family. The
kids love running around with him and he is always
happy to do whatever they are doing. He has a
great temperament and the fact that he doesn’t
shed hair was important when we were looking at
the different options for a dog,” says Melbourne
mother, Amanda Jones.
PIAS cautions prospective pet owners not to simply
fall for a cute ‘made up’ breed name and a bundle of
fluff.
“There is no doubt that many of the so called
‘designer dogs’ make delightful pets but it is most
important to select your pet based on the lifestyle
you have and the level of time and commitment you
can give your pet,” says Ms Willis.
“Any of the ‘oodles’ are part Poodle and Poodles
are energetic, athletic dogs that make great family
pets. Their coats may be non-shedding but they do
require grooming and clipping. If they are crossed
with a larger dog such as a Labrador or a Golden
Retriever, the resulting Labradoodle or Groodle
will be a large, energetic dog that requires lots of
exercise, clipping and grooming. Of course, this
may be just the sort of pet you are looking for!”
“When choosing a cross-breed puppy, firstly
consider whether one or other of their parents
would suit you. The puppy may have stronger
characteristics of one of the parents so it is always
best to ask this question first. Also consider the
puppy’s likely temperament, exercise needs,
grooming requirements, energy levels and whether
it is mainly going to be an indoor or an outdoor dog.
“It is also important to check that all breeding stock
has been screened for hereditary conditions such
as hip or elbow displasia as well as eye conditions
such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
“Whether cross-bred or pure-bred, it is important to
make sure that you can provide a lifetime of love
and care for your best friend. In return, you’ll get
100% pure companionship,” Ms Willis said.

Article reproduced with thanks to the
Petcare Information and Advisory Service.