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What Are Designer Dogs?

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It seems like someone is always announcing the latest new Designer Dog Breed.  Pretty awesome, but you might be asking “what are designer dogs?” and does it really mean much to everyday dog parents like you?  Actually, yes….yes it does. And, if it doesn’t seem important to you then think again. It really should matter a whole bunch to you.

Why?  Because as a dog lover and owner it is important that you understand all of the so-called “designer dogs” are simply purebred dog crosses.  For example, the Labradoodle is just a cross between a Lab and a Poodle.  That’s right–Like all of the modern dog purebreds, designer dogs are true hybrids–nothing more and nothing less.  

This is a series devoted to designer dogs, you can read part two Designer Dogs: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em here, part three Designer Dog Breeds: List and Traits here and part four Designer Dogs Need Proper Care and Training here.

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05/19/2024 04:16 pm GMT

So then, what is the designer dog dislike by some folks really all about?  What is it about designer dogs that drives some purebred dog breeders and professional dog show trainers up the wall?  After all, every dog breed derives from prehistoric wolf ancestors and all internationally recognized dog breeds began at some point in time as hybrids.  

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So, what exactly is a designer dogAfter all, we are talking about living, breathing dogs–not jeans.

Designer dogs are simply the lucky result of accidental matings.  Or, are they? These hybrid dogs are really the result of someone’s mad mixing of genetic traits.  Really?  Could it all be a sinister plot to mass-confuse the world’s dog lovers?  I think not.  Designer dogs are really just newly popularized pet dogs with phenotypic traits that people desire and love for many reasons.

Stop the bus!  

Speaking of confusion–What makes some crosses popular among dog lovers while other mixed breed pooches are not well liked?   Please sign up to our newsletter to learn more about this coming soon.

The Importance of Designer Dogs

To fully understand and appreciate the importance of designer dogs, we first need to appreciate the history and purpose of them.

Reality check–designer dog breeds are nothing more than purposely crossed (hybridized) registered dog breeds.

Are designer dogs a new thing?  Not hardly–well maybe in name.  Natural hybridization of plants and animals has been around as long as life itself.  Purposeful dog hybrids, which came about from man’s manipulation of valued dog traits, have been done for centuries. For example, dog breeds like Pointers, Setters and Retrievers (needed for pointing, setting, and retrieving small wild game) are all man-created hybrids developed specifically for hunting purposes.  

What Are Designer Dogs and When Did They Originate?

Like it or not, since the 19th century dog breed hybridization has exploded into a myriad of unique dog shapes, sizes, colors, skills, etc.–all to satisfy the specific needs and wants of us humans.  We now call these canine hybrids “Designer Dogs”.  Sounds grand doesn’t it?  However, looking back, the first introduction of designer dogs began with a whimper rather than a bang–not very grand.  Believe it or not, the first official recognition of the now very cool Labradoodle was a rather ho-hum reception back in 1955. 

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There are quite a few new designer dog breeds now and they are all the first generation offspring of two unique purebred parents.  The designer breeds are the F1 hybrids resulting from a planned mating of two phenotypically different purebred parents.  So, if you want a litter of true Labradoodles, then you must breed a purebred Poodle to a purebred Labrador Retriever.  There are no if, buts, or ands–that is the way it must be done.

So we have answered the question, “what are designer dogs?” But next we must ask, are designer dogs necessary as modern man’s trained herding and hunting companions?

Probably not.  Are designer dogs useful to man?  Yes. indeed.  How so?  They are useful as loving companion pets that reward their owners with wagging tails and pure happiness each and every day.

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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