"Designer Dogs" and the Chinese Shar-Pei ©

Provided by the Public Education Committee of the CSPCA, Inc.

"Designer Dogs," AKA hybrid dogs, seem to be in fashion now. As defined, a "Designer Dog" is the resultant offspring produced by a cross between two different breeds of pure bred dogs. These mixed breed dogs have become popular and various registries for such dogs are appearing. One example is the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) which is nothing more than a registry for mixed breed dogs, and which does not guarantee either a healthy pet or a quality dog.

The following are examples of such dogs as listed in The American Canine Hybrid Club registry, and are classified as "Designer Dogs:"

  • Ba-Shar-(Basset Hound / Shar-Pei mix)
  • Ori-Pei-(Pug/Shar-Pei mix)
  • Bull-Pei-(Bulldog/ Shar-Pei mix)
  • Sharbo-(Boston Terrier/Shar-Pei mix)
  • Plica-(Basset Hound/ Ori-Pei mix)
  • Pug-A-Pei-(Ori-Pei/Pug mix)

The CSPCA must offer a word of caution. In order to increase their popularity, these mixed breed dogs are touted as having taken the best of both breeds and combining them to develop a new and improved breed. The informed buyer needs to know that there is no guarantee that the best qualities of both breeds will be combined. The informed buyer should also be aware that the breeding stock used to develop these designer breeds is probably of inferior quality, because reputable breeders would not allow their breeding stock to be included in such programs. In all probability, the buyer may actually be getting the worst qualities of each breed combined in one dog.

Many of these "Designer Dog” breeders would like one to think that this is a new concept, but in reality it has been going on in backyards for years. The only thing new is the extravagant price being charged for these dogs and the cute names they are called. At a fraction of the cost, one can find the same or similar "Designer” or hybrid dogs at any animal shelter in any area of the country. Rescue programs and shelters are filled with thousands of adorable mixed breed dogs needing adoption. Just attaching a fancy name to a mixed breed dog does not mean that one should pay extra money in order to have a fancy label attached. Please do not fall for this scam.

Pure bred dogs should have health clearances before they are bred. Ask the breeder of the "Designer Dogs” exactly what specific health tests have been done on their dogs before breeding them. All too often there will be no answer forthcoming! All Shar-Pei should have certified hips as a minimum standard before being bred.

All pure bred dogs have a National Club which invests thousands of dollars on research involving genetic abnormalities and into finding solutions to problems specific to each breed. Because there is no National Club for "Designer Dogs,” there is no health research being conducted, nor is there any agency or other source to investigate genetic issues or other problems which may occur in these so-called "new breeds.” Since there are no National Clubs for mixed breeds, should a problem arise there are no resources for help or guidance. When one buys a pure bred dog, one is paying for the knowledge and expertise of the breeder, who ideally has a long history with the breed. It must be emphasized that when one buys a pure bred dog one has access to the knowledge and other resources offered by the breed’s National Club! As with all fads, the people producing these "Designer Dogs” have a short term commitment to this phenomenon and will look for another money maker after its popularity passes.

The CSPCA promotes Chinese Shar-Pei that are bred according to the official breed standard.

Read about the CSPCA Recommended Breeding Practices

Buyers should be aware that Chinese Shar-Pei advertised as "designer,” "hybrid,” and "mixed breed,” do not fall within the criteria established by the CSPCA, nor do they meet the guidelines of AKC sanctioned standards for the Chinese Shar-Pei.

Buyers should be wary of breeders charging large sums for these non-standard dogs. Although the CSPCA acknowledges that flowered (spotted), bear-coat, and mini or toy sized dogs can occasionally be produced by two standard Shar-Pei in any reputable breeding program, it should be emphasized that this organization is opposed to the purposeful breeding of any non-standard Shar-Pei in order to intentionally produce nonstandard dogs!

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