Great question! I think it's sort of splitting hairs. If you look at a litter of puppies, the chances of the entire litter coming close to meeting the breed standard in EVERY WAY (including the work ethic) is slim to none. So, you may have a litter of 8 puppies, but only 1 is truly a great representative of the breed. The other 7 ARE those companion dogs of which you speak. A poodle with no retrieving instinct, the beagle without a nose, the BC with no desire to herd. To breed away from what the breeds were bred to do, in my opinion, waters down the breed. When past humans bred for something specific that didn't exist, it wasn't to replace an existing breed- but to co-exist in the dog world. (Hence the reason we have so many breeds today) While I may not actually hunt with my duck dogs, I like the drive and temperament associated with the breed- to breed away from it is, in my opinion, diluting the breed- and changing it. Not ALL change is good! Some people are already trying to mix breeds for agility- border collies/jack russells- to get a smaller dog. I've met some of these dogs. The are WAY over the top! The mix is not a good one! 90% of the ones I've met are aggressive as well. Not to mention, there is a segment of the population breeding extremely high strung BC's- A vet friend of mine says he's seeing more and more behavioral issues with these dogs- and many are having to be euthanized because of it. So, I guess after all of that ranting up there- I'm gonna say no. Leave the breeds alone. If you want a standard poodle, but don't want a working dog- find a reputable breeder- chances are, they'll have a pup in the litter with less drive! Working with the right breeder- you can find the dog you want/need without sacrificing the special traits that make these dogs the dogs we love!