When does an animal count as purebred? When do we talk about mixed breeds? What are designer breeds? What do you have to pay attention to and what are possible advantages and disadvantages?
The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) is the international organization of all dog breeds. In Austria the ÖKV (Österreichischer Kynologenverband) in Germany the VDH (Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen) is the umbrella organisation. For cats there is the FIFE (Féderation Internationale Féline), the WCF (World Cat Fedderation), to which the KÖ (Katzenunion Österreich) is affiliated. The ÖVEK (Austrian Association for Breeding and Keeping of Edelkatzen) and the DEKZV (German Edelkatzenzuchtverband).
These associations award breeding approvals with regard to health, appearance and behaviour.
One speaks of 100% purebred only if both parents belong to the same breed, are registered in a breeding federation and admitted to breeding and a pedigree is available. Their offspring are registered in the stud book. The race affiliation is documented by the pedigree, only so the pure breeding is provable over the generations. Breed animals are bred according to genetic selection, i.e. animals with desired characteristics are paired.
If there is no pedigree, the purity can be checked by a DNA analysis.
+ History known
+ parent animals known and tested
+ Appearance, temperament and health reasonably assessable
– Not every animal adheres to its breed standard (surprise packages occur)
– Not every breeder breeds responsibly
– Partially small gene pool – breed typical hereditary diseases
– Overbreeding, especially of “musty” breeds
– It is bred with breeds that already show diseases (animal welfare relevant breeding) and have health problems.
– Often the breeding is mainly based on appearance.
In general, all animals that are not from a breed in a federation, with mixed papers. Also, they are created by crossing different breeds and often have more than two breeds among the ancestors. There are a lot of combinations. Usually such animals are born through unintentional or uncontrolled pairing.
+ Variety of characters and appearance
+ Surprise package
+ Unique animals
+ Larger gene pool
+ Can bring out the positive characteristics of the parent animals
– Surprise package
– Can get “negative genes” from both parent animals
– Parents not health-checked
– Usually the father in particular is unknown
– Often carriers of gene errors (if two carriers pair, the offspring can be carriers of characteristics – not healthy)
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Designer – or hybrid animals
Designer breeds are not recognised breeds, even if the name suggests it.
A hybrid animal results from the planned pairing of two pure-bred animals or from a wild animal and a breed. For example, the Labradoodle = Labrador + Poodle is known here. The aim of these breeds is to bring together the characteristics of two breeds in order to obtain non-hairy animals, for example. If you mate the 2nd generation, e.g. Maltipoo with Maltipoo, you will not get Maltipoo. Therefore you always need the two original breeds to breed a “hybrid breed”.
Hybrid cats even cause problems relevant to animal welfare, since the crossing of wild animals with domestic animals is only possible through forced mating. Since the animals differ in body size, gestation period, …, it often comes to extreme stress, miscarriages and stillbirths and pain. The keeping of these animals is forbidden until the fourth generation of offspring in Austria. From the fifth generation onwards they count as “tamed” and may be kept as pets.
+ First generation “F1” of dogs fairly predictable
+ Dogs often fitter and more disease resistant in the F1 generation, through hybridization
+ often allergy sufferer friendly, because they are bred on a little hair
+ Dogmix in which parent animals are carefully selected
– Not always desired result (“wrong genes” prevail)
– The second generation “F2” is hardly predictable, i.e. if you cross two identical designer breeds, you will usually not get the same designer animal
– Frequent malformations
– No guarantee for allergy sufferers not to react allergic, as one reacts to protein bodies (saliva, …) and not to the hair per se
– Frequently skin diseases because breeds with different fur types (other hair change type) are crossed
– Often bred by people who know too little about genetics.
– Cats only count as pets from the 5th generation onwards, wild animals in front of them (mating relevant for animal welfare)
– Awakens the belief that they are purebred dogs, but as the names already say, they are hybrids of two breeds.
Humans have been breeding animals for hundreds of years and initially had little knowledge of genetics. They simply took animals with the characteristics they wanted. In the meantime, breeding is being carried out according to breed standards, which not only has advantages. This is because, in addition to inbreeding, the small gene pool also gives rise to numerous hereditary diseases and animals with severe physical impairments. In breeding, the welfare of the animal should always be the first priority and not what man finds beautiful. It also requires a genetic understanding.
Become aware of why you bring an animal into your family. If you want to take part in exhibitions or breed an animal yourself, you need an animal from a serious breed. The question whether the animals like this is another. With pedigree dogs you usually know better about their history and also about their later appearance and partly about their character. A mixed breed is often a surprise package. The question which animals are the healthiest can best be answered with “that depends”.