What is a designer dog?
When some people hear about designer dogs, they picture celebrities’ little pampered pooches, wearing clothes most people can’t afford and snapping and yapping at anyone who comes near them and their owner. But the term designer dog actually has more to do with the animal’s dog parents than with their human parents. Designer dog refers to the offspring of two purebred dogs from different breeds, mated together specifically to produce offspring with a mixture of genetic qualities from each parent. Designer dogs get their breed names from the combination of both purebred parents’ breed names, such as Yorkipoo, a combination of Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle. Click here to see the full list of designer dog breed names recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club. The term designer dog is interchangeable with hybrid dog and crossbred dog. A designer dog can also be called a mixed breed or even a mutt, although these other terms more often refer to dogs without purebred parents, who were conceived unintentionally, without the orchestration of their human parents. Another common misconception about designer dogs is that they are all tiny. This is completely false. Just like with purebred dogs, if the parents are large breeds, the offspring are large. If the parents are from a small breed, the offspring are small as well.
Why would you want a designer dog?
Designer dogs were originally created to solve the problem of how to give seeing eye dogs to blind people with allergies. The first official designer dog was the Labradoodle, half Poodle, half Labrador, bred in Australia with the hope of creating a smart, family friendly, hypoallergenic guide dog. While no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, designer dogs that are half Poodle have a lesser chance of initiating an allergic reaction. This particular trait is why I chose to get a Yorkipoo. I’m highly allergic to any dog that sheds fur, but my Yorkipoo has hair that does not shed at all, and therefore does not spread allergens around my home. Another benefit of breeding designer dogs is the lessening of hereditary and breed-related disorders. Because designer dogs contain the genetic material from two different dog breeds, they are far less likely to develop many of the diseases and disorders that often affect purebred dogs.
In general designer dogs are like all other dogs – they come in many different sizes, colors, and temperaments. You need to research both parent breeds before deciding to bring a designer dog into your family.
This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
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