[quote="insideitall, post:7, topic:237187"]
first, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog or a non-shedding dog (both terms are often used to mean the same thing).
people can either be allergic to proteins the dog produces (found in fur, dander, urine, and saliva) or to other allergens the dog picks up and carries around in its fur. individual dogs produce different levels of protein, but there is no breed where is can be guaranteed that every dog will have a level below that at which someone will be allergic to.
as far as not shedding goes, just think about that for a second - if the dog never shed, it would end up with huge mats of fur that just kept getting larger and larger and larger. I'm not really sure how people can believe this one.. :shrug:
generally speaking, long haired animals will pick up and carry around more foreign allergens, and short spiky fur is more likely to aggravate the skin of allergic individuals. also, dogs that never get bathed are more likely to cause allergies, no matter what the breed, as the allergens have a chance to build up.
so yes, there are certain breeds that are tend to produce individuals that are less likely to aggravate human allergies, but it is not guaranteed and they are not truly hypoallergenic.
now that I've gotten that out of the way..
all breeds came about because of selective breeding. some breeds are significantly older than others, but they were all bred for specific traits. so breeding, in and of itself, is not unethical.
the problem arises when you have people who don't care about the health of their animals or about how many they're churning out that will end up being killed in shelters. they are out to make as much money as possible. these are the places pet stores get their dogs from. these are what most of the puppies being sold in the paper are products of. "backyard breeders" and "puppy mills" are real problems that are very often overlooked because hey, puppies are cute, and the consumer doesn't see the conditions they were born in.
personally, I have a major problem with so - called "designer dogs" (labradoodles, cockapoos, etc) because that's exactly what they are. they are made-to-order mutts. people will spend up to a thousand bucks on one of these mutts when there are plenty available at the local shelter. the gimmick is that the breed is "hypoallergenic" or "has the good qualities of both parent breeds" but in reality there is no way to guarantee either, especially from early generation mixes.
let's use humans as an analogy. imagine a family with lots of children. do we expect them to all have identical physical characteristics? do we expect them to all have identical temperments (emotional characteristics)? of course not. there is absolutely no reason we should expect that from a mixed breed dog, either. even good breeders - of breeds that have been around for hundreds of years, where you would think all the undesirable stuff has been bred out - will end up with individual animals that do not meet breed standards for physical and or emotional traits. genetics, man..
although I respect that good breeders work hard to preserve the breed's bloodline, for most people there is no need to buy a dog. honestly, I think the only people who have any business going to a breeder for a purebred are those who still use the breed for what it was intended to do (police work, hunting, etc). there are breed specific rescue organizations for those who only want one particular type, and there are enough out there in shelters (yes, purebreds end up in shelters, too). there is no need to cause the creation of more animals that will just end up suffering or killed.
sorry if this post sounds harsh, but I've found that too many people just aren't aware of how many awful breeders are out there and how many animals are killed in shelters each year. many people use "I got my dog from a breeder" as a status symbol, too. :( it's not like buying a car, it's a living creature! seeing this stuff firsthand makes me very sad. :(
:thumbsup::thumbsup:Great post. No you are not being harsh but just telling as it is. Many people are not aware or do not want to know the horrible realities.
Just a small point, my toy poodle (adopted from Americans who were leaving) does not shed. His fur just gets longer and curls up to look like wool. I comb it out regularly but that only smoothens it. However since allergens are in dander too, have no idea if such a breed helps someone with allergies.