To the average person words such as cockapoo, yorkipoo, and dorgi may seem inappropriate for polite conversation, but in actuality they are the names of mixed-breed dogs. Previously, many of these mixed-breed dogs (formerly referred to as mutts), would have been of little interest. But in recent years more and more people have become entranced with having these animals as household pets. The labradoodle, for example, was originally bred in Australia in the 1970s, and was used as a guide dog for allergy sufferers. These dogs are not at all cheap however, as some of these labradoodles can cost up to $4000. Another interesting development is that the labradoodle may become eligible for American Kennel Club recognition if there are at least 300 of them in at least 20 states with three substantiated generations of labradoodle to labradoodle mixing. Some dog experts are also touting the merits of these new mixes, claiming that the are in fact healthier than purebreds. Other experts in the field remain skeptical, such as Allan Reznik, editor-in-chief of Dog Fancy and Dog World magazines, who opined thusly: "It's indicative of a society that loves labels. Having a dog that is part spaniel and part poodle isn't enough -- it has to be a cockapoo."
The first link leads to a news story from CNN.com that documents this latest trend in designer dogs, along with a nice table that deciphers what the names of these mixed-breeds mean exactly. The second link leads to another story about these new hybrid dogs from the National Geographic website, authored by Bijal P. Trivedi. The third link will take visitors to the homepage of the American Kennel Club, where they may read about various purebred dogs, browse a calendar of related events, and learn about the upcoming national dog championship event sponsored by the Club that will take place in Long Beach, California. The fourth link leads to a page devoted to the Schnoodle (a cross between a poodle and a schnauzer) provided by the Dog Breeder Info Center website. The fifth link leads to a site created by Catherine N. Ball (an adjunct professor of linguistics at Georgetown University) that offers a list of the words for the sounds that dogs make in several dozen languages, including Croatian, Esperanto, and Bengali. The final link leads to a fun site that allows visitors to engage in a virtual dog simulation game where they can prepare their animals to compete in the show ring.