It doesn’t sit well with me when owners of long-recognised breed dogs mock the new “designer” breeds as being mongrels.
“That’s not a cockapoo, it’s just a mongrel!”
Surely all currently recognised breeds were once mongrels until a human being created them and convinced enough other humans to agree that this is a good set of characteristics?
What are designer breeds made from? Dogs with certain characteristics. Who decides they are an official breed or not? Some kennel club.
All of the existing, recognised older breeds were bred for a purpose or function that primarily served human beings and only secondarily served the welfare of the animal itself. That is, these supposedly superior recognised breeds would never have existed if left to natural selection alone because they all have negatives, it’s just a question of degree. And those breeds are kept in existence again by human desires, not through any higher power. A “purebred” dog exists because humans wanted it to, just as a designer breed dog exists because humans wanted it to. Who cares what it’s called?
If someone shows me their new designer breed puppy and wants to call it a cockapoo because it was bred from a cocker spaniel and a poodle, I don’t care. Am I supposed to respect a kennel club and say “that’s not a real thing”? No, it is a real thing, it’s right in front of me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be sad, because it’s yet another puppy farmed for human pleasure with no regard to its health or future, when there’s tens of thousands of healthy dogs that no one wants already in rescue kennels. Doubly so if the pairing has created something that health-wise is going to have a really hard life. But it’s not a mongrel. In some cases it could dream of being a mongrel because it would have a better life.
The name of the breed isn’t the issue. There are certainly some kennel club recognised breeds that from a welfare point of view just shouldn’t exist as their whole life is a torment, the way certain human-desired traits have been so excessively selected for. A lot of times when the “mongrel” rebuke is brought out, I think it is just something intended to annoy the owners and to convey the idea that a dog should have been rescued, not a puppy farmed. In those cases maybe a new word is needed but I don’t know what that word would be.
I just don’t get the designer breed snobbery though. When it is purely a breed issue or when it’s the owner of one type of established breed owned from birth disparaging another owner of a farmed puppy I feel like it’s really hypocritical. It’s not established vs designer, it’s rescued vs farmed.