Designer Dogs New Trend

12-9-05 - There's a whole new dog vocabulary hitting the streets. Puggles, Golden Doodles and even Yorkipoos. The waiting list for these hybrid dogs is growing and the prices are not cheap.

They're cute and they're cuddly, and at five weeks old they are already looking a lot like mom and dad.

"The mom is a golden retriever, and she's about 50 pounds," breeder Danny Gann said. "The dad is a black standard poodle about 75 lbs."

So what would that make these precious puppies?

"This is a golden doodle," Gann said.

Yep, you heard right. A Golden Doodle.

The price tag on one is $350. That's right $350 for what most people would call a mutt, but compared to bigger cities, that's a steal. These guys would go for a couple thousand dollars in LA.

But the hybrid options don't end with these pups. A puggle is what you get when you mix a pug and a beagle. If a lab and a poodle find puppy love, you get a Labradoodle.

Amy Shojai is an animal behavior consultant who says this hybrid dog craze started with people wanting to breed out allergies from the dog's fur, so they bred in poodles which is a type of dog that doesn't' shed.

But she says it has gotten out of hand.

"In my mind it's pure marketing and people have come up with a great idea for selling a mixed breed, a wonderful pet for high dollar," Shojai said.

To the buyer, it is a matter of preference, and like most trends, it's how much is in the name.

Animal specialists say this trend is dangerous because people who don't know much about breeding dogs could start trying to mix all types of breeds, and there's just no end in sight.

They say the best place to find a mixed dog who needs a home is your local animal shelter, and you'll get a much better deal.

If you are planning on buying one of these hybrid dogs, it's important to know the bloodline and see the parents.