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Designer dogs are dogs which have been intentionally bred from two or more recognized dog breeds. They are also known as cross breed dogs. They are not dogs with no purebred ancestors, but are not otherwise recognised as breeds in their own right, and do not necessarily breed true.

Many people think it is not important to have a pedigree dog and don’t care what mix of breeds their dog might be. But the new fashion trend for ‘specified mixes’ has a number of implications for the health of dogs in general.

The first and probably most popular hybrid to be produced was the Labradoodle, which is a mix between a Labrador and a standard poodle. In this case, the name first appeared in the 1950s but did not become popular to the late 1980s

Know The Difference

Mixed Breed Dogs

A mixed breed dog, as the name implies, has more than one breed in its bloodline. Most mixed breed dogs have unidentified parentage. In other words, there is no valid documentation of who their ancestors were, or how many different breeds contribute to their genetic make-up. A mutt is a mixture of many genetic traits and may have any combination of his ancestors’ characteristics. The potential for variety in appearance, conformation, and temperament is endless.

Purebred Dogs

Unlike the average mixed-breed dog or “mutt,” a hybrid dog has purebred parents who, in most cases, were deliberately bred to one another in order to create the desired hybrid.

A purebred dog is one that has been bred over many generations to breed true: every puppy looks and has the same temperament and characteristics as another. In most cases a standard is written and breeders must follow this written standard.

Purebred dogs are beneficial in that when you buy a purebred dog you know exactly what you are getting. You know how big your puppy will grow and you basically know its temperament and what kind of care it will need.

Popular Designer Dog Breeds

Popular crossbreeds include:

  • cockerpoo – very popular, Cocker Spaniel/Miniature Poodle
  • Labradoodle
  • sprocker – Springer and Cocker Spaniel cross
  • maltipoo – Maltese/Poodle cross
  • puggle – Pug/Beagle cross
  • schnoodle – Miniature Poodle/Miniature Schnauzer cross
  • jug – Jack Russell/Pug

Breeding Designer Dogs

Creating a new breed requires careful, purposeful breeding. When breeding two purebred dogs, there is no guarantee that the offspring will come out the same each time. The size, coat type, color, temperament, heath and other attributes can vary much more than breeding two dogs of the same breed.

Not all hybrid dogs are 50% of each breed. Only first generation (F1) hybrid dogs are 50/50. Some breeders will breed a 50/50 hybrid to a purebred that represents one of the hybrid’s breeds, resulting in a 75/25 hybrid.

Advantages of Designer Dogs

It’s commonly believed that hybrid dogs are usually healthier than purebreds and suffer from fewer genetic problems, such as hip dysplasia. This is indeed often the case — breeding among purebreds can tend to prolong and exacerbate existing genetic tendencies in the purebred line, while mixed breeds are less likely to have two parents with the same genetic predispositions.

Disadvantages of Designer Dogs

Kidney disease, eye and sight conditions, hip dysplasia and epilepsy are just a handful of diseases that affect a large number of dog breeds (potentially all of them at different levels). This means, that unless you can be certain that neither parent is a carrier (which is harder to trace in crossed dogs); there is still a strong chance that their puppies may suffer from inherited health issues in the future.

Another complication that can arise from cross-breeding is the creation of brand new health problems. For example, many of the breeds we know today have been bred to look a certain way (e.g. have shorter snouts, to be smaller in size, etc). However, whilst these altered appearances may improve their appeal to prospective pet owners; trying to shrink all or parts of their body can cause health issues.

Also, Designer dog’ puppies sometimes bring higher prices and are costly than the purebreds from which they are bred.


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