National Purebred Dog Day 2021 is on Saturday, May 1, 2021: How did they decide which dogs are purebred and which are not?


Saturday, May 1, 2021 is National Purebred Dog Day 2021. National Purebred Dog Day National Purebred Dog Day

How did they decide which dogs are purebred and which are not?

That's an excellent question and one that not enough people take the time to think about.

Definition of purebred depends a bit on who is doing the defining. Typically a "breed" comes into being when a group of people establishes a breed standard, and typically a breed club (or sometimes clubs). Does it sound silly that a dog is just a dog one day and special breed the next? Well, it can be. Now, not everyone has to go and *recognize* that breed, which is what you see with the controversy over dogs like Labradoodles.

AKC is one organization that oversees the management of breeds, and oversees some 150 breeds. In order for AKC to recognize a breed, the breed must have I think 5 generations of records on dogs bred and must have a closed stud book, which means that all dogs that are available for consideration are on record, and you can't willy nilly bring in new dogs and call them X breed. This is good for overall consistency (who gets to decide what dogs to bring in?), but bad in that it creates some rather serious inbreeding problems. I will note that every AKC breed has a parent breed club that sets the actual standard for the breed... AKC just sets the overarching rules. There are breed clubs that have nothing to do with AKC, too, like Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA), which tracks its own pedigrees and has its own rules about what dogs need to do in order to qualify. Then there are organizations like CKC (Continental Kennel Club) and dozens of other junk registries who cheerfully hand out pedigrees but don't do anything to actually verify them... they just print out whatever information a breeder gives them. Some of these registries do serve a valid purpose, (like National Kennel Club, NKC, does performance events) they will NOT be verifying pedigree.

There are a couple of different ways a breed come come into being to the point where someone would choose to form a breed standard in the first place. One is that a certain "type" of dog develops in a given region due to conditions in that region and some level of indirect human intervention -- Basenji and some of the livestock guardian breeds are good examples of this kind. The second kind is a breed that someone deliberately sets out to create a breed of dog -- Shiloh Shepherd is one example of this, Labradoodle could fit in this category too if you count it as a breed. The third kind might be where a breed of dog emerges out of a breeding program to create a certain kind of dog without the explicit intention of creating a breed -- I can't think of any examples off-hand from today's AKC world, but dogs like the Border Jack and the Lurcher (popular in the U.K.) are a few that could possibly qualify here in the future.

The reason that AKC breeds tend to be recognized over many others is that AKC has very high standards for what can qualify as a breed. This isn't always for the best, but it does mean that a breed has to be pretty well established to qualify for AKC-recognition. You asked specifically about Labradoodles. IF the parent club for Labradoodles (which I'm not sure if one even exists) were to decide to push for AKC recognition, they could organize and apply for recognition when they meet all the requirements for establishment. The problem with most of the designer dog breeds, including Labradoodles, is that a majority of the breeders are only in it for the quick buck and not really trying to create a breed. Furthermore, my understanding is that most of the time, breeders always cross a Labrador and a Poodle to get the Labradoodle. You can't get down 5 generations if everyone is always starting with generation #1! The thrust seems to be in keeping Labradoodles as a hybrid rather than developing it into a true breed, which is what would happen by that fifth generation.

There's nothing inherently wrong with breeding dogs that are not part of an established breed if there is a plan and purpose around the breeding. SOME designer dog breeders, including the original Labradoodle breeder, meet this criterion. The problem is that the designer dog phenomenon is a puppy-millers dream... no one is asking for AKC papers, no one is asking for health clearances, dogs don't even have to look like any specific expectation AND you can charge full price or more? Sweet!

Want a dog. But no one is home for half of the day.?

Want a dog. But no one is home for half of the day.?

A DOG could be fine, a PUPPY could not. Either get a pup at the beginning of the summer so it is at least 6-8 months old when you get back to school or consider an older rescue dog. A dog that small will also have issues holding it that long - a slightly larger dog like a Bichon Frise or one of the spaniel breeds may be more suitable.

Dogs, ESPECIALLY toy breeds, should NOT be left outside unattended. The list of things that can go wrong is too long -stolen, predators, stray animals, severe weather, escaping the yard, etc, etc, etc. Litter box training is not ideal, either, it can be done, but most owners find that dogs trained in litter boxes/potty pads end up confused and think it is OK to soil in the house.

Finally, the "Yorkiepoo" is just a MUTT or mongrel dog. Don't get one from a breeder - you will be massively overcharged for a dog that is unpredictable in coat, type, temperament, health and more. If you can handle a bit of that unpredictability, get a puppy from a shelter - it will cost hundreds less and you will be saving a life instead of encouraging irresponsible breeding. If you need a predictable puppy, then you go and get a well-bred purebred from a reputable breeder that is a member in good standing of their national breed club. If you need predictable but want to rescue and/or are looking for an adult, the national breed club is also the best place to start looking at purebred or breed-specific rescue, or you can search by age, breed, size and more at .

Good luck!

How much is it to get a dog? Also if I adopt 1 how much is it?

How much is it to get a dog? Also if I adopt 1 how much is it?

Quality dogs are expensive to buy and take care of. An adopted dog may cost as little as $35 - a good purebred pup can cost $1000 or more. Puppy shots are another $200, then $100 a year for boosters. Annual Heartworm test and preventative medication $100. Professional trainer $600 and up. Going on vacation? Boarding kennel $40/day. Spaying? $250.

Dogs are terrific companions but they require training and discipline and exercise. You can't hang out and party all night with your friends, because you have to be home to take the dog. The smaller the dog, the more often they have to go out. What happens if you go away to college?

You could get a rabbit or a guinea pig - they're friendly, easy to keep, live in a cage, don't have to be walked or trained.

BEFORE you get any dog you should read some great books on training, so you'll know what to do. (Try not to pick books randomly - there are a lot of bad books out there also!) These are some of my favorites and you can get them on

What All Good Dogs Should Know - Volhard

Good Owners, Great Dogs - Brian Kilcommins

Dog Tricks : Eighty-Eight Challenging Activities for Your Dog from World-Class Trainers by Haggerty and Benjamin

Don't Shoot the Dog - Pryor

Training Your Dog: The Step by Step Method - Volhard

Dog Problems - Benjamin

Cesar's Way - Cesar Millan

Also, watch the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. Cesar Millan is the best trainer I've ever seen on TV.

Find a good breeder by going to or talking to people at dog shows. You can also find info about the breed clubs on the akc site - they probably have a rescue group where you can get an older dog for less money. The best breeders will be members of their breed club, promoting healthy dogs with great temperaments. They should ask you a bunch of questions to make sure their puppy will be getting a good home. If all a "breeder" seems to care about is whether your check will clear, you can be sure he won't care a week later when the pup is dying from distemper or parvo and you want your money back.

Whatever you do, DON'T go to a pet shop, a flea market or buy one sight-unseen off the Internet!!!! You'll pay top dollar for what is usually a poor quality puppy mill dog. And you'll be supporting one of the cruelest industries in the country. The breeding animals are often kept in deplorable conditions - spending their entire lives in small wire-bottomed cages. They probably haven't been vaccinated against contagious diseases or tested for any health or temperament problems or genetic diseases - that costs money and cuts into their profits. A female is often bred every time she comes into heat. When her poor little body can't take it any more, she is often clubbed in the head and tossed into a dumpster or an open ditch. Most puppy mills ship their pups to pet stores at wholesale prices and many pups die before they even get there.

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