Around these parts, the popular designer dog of the last few years is the "Labradoodle," a lab/standard poodle mix.Today at the gym, someone was gushing about her new puppy. She wasn't talking to me, so I didn't really pay attention, until she enthused that he was a "...Purebred Labradoodle." The person she was talking to asked what I was thinking, "...Purebred? How can a mixed breed be a Purebred?" The new dog owner informed her friend, with great dignity and sounding as if the answer was self-evident, that Labradoodles are not* a mixed breed, but a *new breed.

Mixed breeds are mutts, she said, created by accident from unsupervised mating between dogs whose owners have not been responsible enough to spay/nueter them. Labradoodles as a breed are consciously bred specifically to create a new breed: her puppy had Labradoodles as parents, the person she was buying from was a responsible breeder of Labradoodles and her dog "...had papers and everything..."
For all that I was choking on my waterbottle as I listened to this, it did get me wondering. After all, almost every breed that is recognized today was bred from other strains of dogs (the Borzoi for example: a conscious cross between the Greyhound and the Russian Boar (?) Hound for a dog possessing Greyhound speed and and resistance to Russian cold). So when do these breeding experiments become a Breed unto themselves? Is there a recognized process involved? Is the Cockapoo its own breed by now or is it still an (albeit cute) mutt?
Marie
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So when do
these breeding experiments become a Breed unto themselves?

I'm sure others will be able to give a more knowledgeable answer, but I want to take my guess anyway. That way y'all will have something to shoot down.The mixed breed becomes a pure breed when it breeds true and when the breed is accepted by an organization such as the AKC. To breed true, there must be a standard which is pretty detailed as far as the appearance of the dog. Then, all pure breeds, when bred together would yield puppies that fit the standard. So with the example of the Labradoodle, any 2 Labradoodles, when bred together, would yield a litter of puppies that look like the Labradoodle standard.

I don't know if you've noticed, but they don't. The mixes might be good dogs, but they vary incredibly. I've seen many Chow-Lab crosses, and they all look wildly different. Aha, you say, but what about all the pure-bred Labs that all look different. Well, they do, but they look different in a way that still fits the standard.
After you've got a breed that breeds true, you still have to convince a bunch of other people that you're on to something. A breed might be recognized by one kennel club and not another. Way back when we were looking for the dog that turned out to be Cubbe, we went to a dog show of breeds that weren't recognized by the AKC. One of the people there explained how all those breeds were outcasts at other shows. I didn't understand it exactly, and that lack of understanding was enough to convince me that, while I have nothing against pure breeds, we're mutt people, at least for now.
Lia
Around these parts, the popular designer dog of the last few years is the "Labradoodle," a lab/standard poodle mix. For ... a recognized process involved? Is the Cockapoo its own breed by now or is it still an (albeit cute) mutt?

First criteria for a breed is some definition of the characteristics of the breed. The second criteria is a certain commonality of ancestry. A breed is defined by both parentage and consistency of those characteristics among the progeny. Assuming for the sake of argument that there is some selectivity for specific characteristics a crossbreed such as the Labradoodle or Cockapoo would become a breed when the results of breeding begin to generate consistent, predictable, results.

A rough rule of thumb for an intensively selective breeding program is 5 generations. Crossing the originating breeds is the F1 generation. To get an F2 generation you cross two members of the F1 generation. To get F3 you cross two members of the F2 generation etc.

So if the person's labradoodle is remotely to be considered a breed there should be 4 generations of behind it all of which are labradoodles. Recrossing with the parent breeds sets this back.
Papers, of course, are only as meaningful as the requirements of the "registry" allow. There are a number of "registries" who will only be too happy to issue papers on any dog merely upon the requestor's say-so. To have any credence as a breed registry the parentage of the dog in question should be traceable for that five generation minimum. For established breeds, of course, the pedigree should be traceable considerably further back.
The filial number denotes the number of generations the animal is removed from its origins. To deterimine the filial number for offspring with parents having different numbers, use the parent that is closest to it's origins, in other words, the parent with the lowest filial number.
P = parent
so P x P = F1
F1 x F1 = F2
F2 = F2 = F3
F3 x F3 = F4
but
F1 x F3 = F2
and
P x F4 = F2

Diane Blackman
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The mixed breed becomes a pure breed when it breeds true and when the breed is accepted by an organization such as the AKC.

Breeding true is required. That an organization accepts it usually comes after it is established as a breed. IOW the criteria by which it the organization decides to accept it, is by evidence that it is a breed.
To breed true, there must be a standard which is pretty detailed as far as the appearance of the dog.

Appearance is one way, but there are other observable characteristics that might be used. The border collie is a favorite example because while there is some conversion of physical characteristics they are very broad. But when you combine those very broad characteristics with the dog's behavior you end up with an identifiable breed.
While all recognized breeds have breed standards many of those standards are written in such vague terms that it is very diffciult to identify the breed from it. One certainly could not, for example, use only the breed standard and have an artist draw a dog that looked like the breed. Still very often in these cases there is a very narrow set of physical characteristics actually represented in the breed. In the oldest breeds the physical characteristics were more a matter of a combination of the job the dog did and the relative lack of mobility of dog populations.

One interesting area of exploration is the inheritablity and linking of behavior and physical characteristics. IOW if you change the physical characteristics do you change the behavior and vice versa? Are there links between drop ears and certain kinds of temperaments? If you decided to breed a *** eared Golden Retreiver could you do that and keep their characteristic easy going temperament?

Diane Blackman
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http://dogplay.com/Shop/dogplayshop.htm
The mixed breed becomes a pure breed when it breeds true and when the breed is accepted by an organization such as the AKC. To breed true, there must be a standard which is pretty detailed as far as the appearance of the dog.

While it seems that it would be the appearance that would make the breed I've been told that's not the case at all which makes it more confusing to the lay person. I've seen pictures of Border Collies that look like mangy mutts with god-awful coats and that look nothing like Melanie's Solor or Fly. I've seen purebred Labs that look like some kind of 4th generation mutt with Lab somewhere in the lines. Then there's the McNab. Diane and a few others tried to patiently explain it to me and while I understand the basic concept I can't say I fully accept how you can have a breed where members don't even look related to each other. I won't even attempt to explain that one but there are some knowledgable people here who understand it.

Tara
While it seems that it would be the appearance that would make the breed I've been told that's not the ... seen pictures of Border Collies that look like mangy mutts with god-awful coats and that look nothing like Melanie's Solor

sorry for the typo, I meant Solo.

Tara
There is a Labradoodle in our puppy training class. It's a cute, cute dog. But, I do not believe they are AKC recognized - at least not yet. Today, we went to the dog park and a lady ha a Goldendoodle (at least, I think that's what she called it). Very cute too. There is also a Frenchton in our puppy class - another cutey. But I can't find any of them listed as recognized breeds by the AKC.

I know it's a conscious decision to breed these dogs, so I'm guessing it's just a matter of time before they are officially recognized. When you look at the pet listings in the newspaper, there are all sorts of mixed breeds commanding a fairly high price. At first, I thought they were misprints, but it's so consistent, that I guess it's intentional by many people breeding dogs.
Pauline
"Pauline O'Connell" (Email Removed) said in
I'm guessing it's just a matter of time before they are officially recognized.

Cockapoos have been around for 50 years, so I suspect there's more to "official" recognition than breeding pet store puppies for a long time.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
There is a Labradoodle in our puppy training class. It's a cute, cute dog. But, I do not believe they are AKC recognized - at least not yet. Today, we

Defintely not recognized by AKC. And not recognized by any breed registry of good reputation. But just so you know, AKC is not the be all end all of breed registeries in the USA. There are some single breed registries that are quite reputable. There are a few multi-breed registries also of good reputation. AKC is simply the most well known. Some of the breed registries do at least somewhat of a better job of dealing with breed welfare.
went to the dog park and a lady ha a Goldendoodle (at least, I think that's what she called it). ... conscious decision to breed these dogs, so I'm guessing it's just a matter of time before they are officially recognized.

Maybe - maybe not. As long as they continue to breed F1 and F2 - which is the case for the vast majority, they will always be a crossbreed, never a breed. In order to maintain a corssbreed, and cross breed characteristics you have to maintain and oncitnuauly reintordouce purbred lines. This is common in livestock, and that is how most of these crossbreed dogs are viewed.
When you look at the pet listings in the newspaper, there are all sorts of mixed breeds commanding a fairly high price. At first, I thought they were misprints, but it's so consistent, that I guess it's intentional by many people breeding dogs.

That it is. Largely due to a desire for cash by the breeder, and ignorance as to what makes a healthy fit dog on the part of the buyer.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop/dogplayshop.htm
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