I own a cross breed, I don’t pretend she is anything more or anything less than that. She is an Italian Spinone x Irish Water Spaniel, she doesn’t have a made up name like a Spinaniel or a Spanone.

When I bought her, I was led to believe that the mating was accidental, the events that followed then made me come to the conclusion that she may have been more of an experiment. About a year later a lady appeared in my garden with another cross breed puppy, the same as mine, from the same breeder.

Unfortunately this puppy had gone to a home that was unsuitable for that type of dog and the couple couldn’t cope with his needs. He was a big boisterous puppy that needed to be trained and he needed to have boundaries set for him because he had free run of their house and was slowly destroying it. He needed exercise and mental stimualtion, which he wasn't getting living with an older couple and at the age of nine months the couple felt like they could no longer cope with him and needed to rehome him.

What happens to cross breeds then? There is no breed club, no breed rescues for them because they are not a breed. If I hadn’t stepped in, he would’ve been taken to the local dog home. I couldn’t let them do that, so I took him. He is a lovely dog, who just needed someone who could love him and teach him some manners and basic training. I started on his training and he picked it up quickly and was keen to learn. I then set about finding him a permanent home because I knew that long term I couldn’t give him the time that he needed.

I got in touch with the Italian Spinone Society of Scotland to ask for help. This dog needed a special permanent home and I wouldn’t to let him go to just anybody. The Society put me in touch with a few people that were waiting for a rescue Spinone, and one lady came to my home to meet him and fell in love with him. He now has a loving home and family, he has been trained superbly, I have been to visit him and he is a very happy, well mannered boy.

Since then there have been more litters of Spinone x IWSs advertised and that worries me. There is no vetting of potential owners, so how many puppies go to unsuitable homes? How many dogs are ending up in the local dog home because of this?

it’s not just Spinone x IWS’s, the list of cross breeds is never ending now. They are NOT designer dogs, they are cross breeds and people should not be fooled by a fancy name. No one knows what the future holds and who would you turn to if you needed to rehome your designer dog? A breed club's first and foremost priority is to their own breed, that is why they are set up, they are under no obligation to help rehome a mongrel.