New laws are needed to regulate ‘designer-dog’ breeders, according to the DSPCA.
On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, the animal welfare society’s Head of Education Gillian Bird said there are “a lot of things that can go wrong” when crossing breeds.
She warned that, if things go wrong, a breeder could end up putting both the mother and puppies at serious risk.
“Normally with a Labradoodle for example, you have got a Labrador and a poodle and they produce a puppy that is a Labradoodle,” she said.
“But we have seen cases where people are breeding Labradoodles with each other and even cases where people are cross-breeding the family - so a son is brought back to mate with the mother at a later stage when he is old enough.
“So, it is one of these things that people have to be careful of. There are some very serious problems that could lead from these crossbreeds as well.”
She said people must remember that when the bitch is a smaller breed than the stud, the pregnancy can run into real problems.
“There are lot of things that go on there that if people do it wrong, you could end up seriously putting the mothers at risk and the puppies at risk as well,” she said.
“When you think about some of these things, some of these crossbreeds are not produced naturally and wouldn’t produce naturally if you put them together. They need assistance.”
Ms Bird said new laws are needed to regulate the practice.
“Unfortunately, there really are no rules or regulations for the dog breeding establishment about the types of dogs they breed,” she said.
“They can breed anything really provided they find they have somewhere to sell it and thy obviously keep the animals in good condition.
“There is nothing in the guidelines that says you cannot crossbreed these purebred dogs.”
Ms Bird said all reputable breeder carry out regular health screening on their dogs to ensure they don’t pass any genetic issues they have to their offspring.
“None of that being required of large-scale breeding establishments or even anyone who is a backyard breeder with less than six breeding bitches,” she said.
“We need to see some health-screening of the parents and not just the condition they are kept in or whether they are generally healthy.
“We are talking about congenital heart conditions, hip dysplasia – any of these kinds of conditions that might not be visible in the dog, but the dog can carry it in its genes.”
She said anyone thinking of getting a dog should find out everything they can about where they are coming from.
“It is all about research and being conscious and being aware,” she said. “It is buyer beware and just being responsible as a pet owner before you even go out and purchase an animal.”
As always, you can also talk to the DSPCA, Dogs Trust and others about the possibility of rescuing a dog rather than buying one.
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