Is a Hybrid Dog Right For You?

If you are thinking about getting a puppy, you may be considering a hybrid dog, also known as a designer dog. In the last several years, hybrids have become very popular. A hybrid by definition is a combination breeding of 2 different pure breed dogs. The fact that the 2 dogs being crossed are pure is why they are not considered mixed breeds or mutts. The idea is to get a dog with the best characteristics of  the two separate breeds.

There is some controversy surrounding hybrid breeding. It has been determined that the first generation breeding of 2 different breeds can produce puppies with superior health and vigor. Vigor in this sense means that the offspring of two pure breed dogs will likely be healthier than the parents. The problem is, if you breed  2 hybrid dogs in order to create a new breed there is a greater chance of genetic health problems. A lot depends of the dominant genes in each of the 2 pure breed dogs. While combining 2 breeds to develop a dog with the best virtues of the parents can be a good thing, it is also possible to end up with a dog with undesired characteristics. For example, if you want a dog that doesn’t shed, there is no guarantee that a particular trait will be passed on to the puppy. Also, it is possible that puppies from a single litter will have different combinations of the parents traits.

Designer or hybrid dogs are popular for their looks and desirable traits. They are well suited for companions but the cross breeding gives no consideration to the original purpose of the breed, such as hunting or working. It  may be difficult to find an experienced, reputable breeder of hybrids. Designer dogs are often more expensive than their pure breed parents so you need to be certain about the motives of the breeder.

Although not recognized by the American Kennel Club, hybrid owners and breeders have established their own registry. There are currently over 300 cross breed dogs registered and there seems to be no limit to the combinations possible.

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