THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall

DE­SIGNER dog la­bels for mixed breeds are on the rise. Named to ap­peal to pet lovers, Moo­dles and Spoo­dles have been joined by the Dashalier, a cross be­tween a Dachs­hund and a Cava­lier Spaniel.

Jugs ( Jack Rus­sell and Pug) have also en­tered the field, not to men­tion Silky­huahuas ( silky ter­ri­ers crossed with chi­huahuas).

With catchy breed names and cute looks, de­signer dogs are ri­valling pure­bred dogs in pop­u­lar­ity, de­spite com­ing with a sim­i­lar hefty price tag.

Much like pure bred dogs, the health and tem­per­a­ment of de­signer dogs can de­pend largely on whether the breeder has the knowl­edge, ex­per­tise and mo­ti­va­tion to op­er­ate a sound and re­spon­si­ble breed­ing pro­gram.

Across Aus­tralia, states are scram­bling to reg­u­late the breed­ing of com­pan­ion an­i­mals to elim­i­nate dis­rep­utable puppy farms.

A re­cent re­view of pro­posed leg­is­la­tion in Vic­to­ria drew more than 20,000 sub­mis­sions in the quest to clean up dog and cat breed­ing op­er­a­tions.

Right now though, thou­sands of de­signer dogs and pure bred dogs await adop­tion in pounds and shel­ters across the coun­try.

So if the time is right for a dog, don’t for­get the pet adop­tion op­tion.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar opin­ion, an­i­mals can end up in shel­ters through no fault of their own. Most are un­lucky, not unlov­able. Mov­ing over­seas, fi­nan­cial hard­ships or a ma­jor change in life cir­cum­stances are some of the rea­sons pets are sur­ren­dered to shel­ters.

Shel­ters keep notes on each pet’s per­son­al­ity, health and so­cia­bil­ity, which is valu­able in­for­ma­tion for a prospec­tive new owner.

Adopt­ing an adult dog means the per­son­al­ity is more de­vel­oped and be­hav­iour traits are usu­ally eas­ier to iden­tify than those of pup­pies.

Nei­ther a breeder nor a shel­ter can guar­an­tee an an­i­mal’s long- term health, but an­i­mals up for adop­tion in shel­ters un­dergo a gen­eral ve­teri­nary check.

A res­cue dog, like any other, will need a pe­riod of ad­just­ment, but usu­ally flour­ish when placed in a loving home.

And the big­gest benefi t of all? You helped save a life.

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