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Designer Dogs: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em

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The latest craze among today’s dog parents has to be the so-called “Designer Dogs’–a.k.a., hybrid dogs. These are relatively new dog crossbreeds which have become very popular in the last few years.  In our last post we answered the question, “what are designer dogs?” and today our attention turns to whether these dogs are a good fit for your home and family life.

These designer dogs are the result of mating two entirely different breeds of purebred dogs. The resulting puppy litter will often have the more desirable traits of both the male and female parent breeds.  The major upside?  These designer dogs are often hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed much—or much less than their parents anyway.  The major downside?  More pronounced and/or more frequent health issues than the purebred parents. 

This is a series devoted to designer dogs, you can read part one What Are Designer Dogs? here, part three Designer Dog Breeds: List and Traits here and part four Designer Dogs Need Proper Care and Training here.

While designer dogs may seem like a great idea and not a craze to many, there are real concerns about the individual pup’s fitness and well being as they grow up. One big issue is the designer dog pups are sometimes produced at puppy farms. Such places are usually poorly managed, illegal, and more interested in making big bucks than properly raising puppies. This can certainly result in illicit practices including cruelty, rampant disease, and malnourishment causing the sickness, stunting, and often the premature death of the puppies.

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Designer dogs remain a popular choice even though there are obvious concerns.  In fact, many people see this as a good reason to rescue puppy farm designer dogs.  Designer dogs come in many shapes, colors, sizes, and dispositions.  This means that designer dogs are a good choice for all kinds of owner lifestyles. But, If you’re thinking of buying one of these hybrids then do your research carefully.  Choose the kind of dog that’s a good fit for you.  And, only buy from a reputable breeder or go to a pet rescue center in your town.

So What are Designer Dogs?

Designer dogs are a relatively new kind of hybrid dog.  

These aren’t mutts, they are carefully selected first generation hybrids.

They are the Fhybrid pups of unrelated and unlike male and female purebred parents.   The main purpose of designer dogs is to get pups that inherit the prized traits of the carefully mated parents–the best of both worlds!  For example, a cross between a Standard Poodle and a Labrador Retriever creates a litter of Labradoodles.  The supposition is that the pups will be hypoallergenic and smart like a poodle but will have the easy-going and curious nature of a Lab.

Designer dogs are red hot now, especially with urbanites who want a go-with pet dog rather than a herding, guarding, or breeding purebred dog.  In fact, lots of youngish folks are seeking out these very well mannered and often high-in-demand pets. Some of the very popular U.S. designer dogs are the Labradoodle, Cockapoo, and Goldendoodle.

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Do your homework!  Some folks think designer dogs are healthier and better suited as pets than purebred dogs, but this is not always true.  Believe it or not, designer dogs are often more likely than registered purebred dogs to suffer certain health problems.  Maladies like jaw problems, some cancers, and even dystocia may occur frequently likely due to genetic anomalies in their ancestral pedigrees. If you’re thinking of getting a designer dog then you should research the breeds involved then find a well known breeder in good standing. 

Remember: Don’t jump at the first designer dog you come across. And, always do your research before bringing home a new designer dog.

This includes researching the breeder, the purebred dogs that were used in the crossbreeding, and the potential health issues that the designer dog may face.

Stay tuned for other useful information about designer dogs including a big list of the most popular designer dog breeds.  Also, please sign up to our newsletter to read more about why otherwise sane folks like or dislike the so-called designer dog breeds.

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