If you are thinking about getting a dog for yourself or your family you have probably already done a little research into the different breeds of dog. In your search you may have come across the term “designer dog” which refers to dogs that are a cross between two different breeds – the Labradoodle is an example, a cross between a purebred Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. While crossbreed dogs are becoming very popular, there is a great deal of debate regarding the use of the term “designer dog” – keep reading to learn why.
What Exactly Is a Designer Dog?
In the simplest of terms, a designer dog is a dog that is a cross between two pure breeds. The Labradoodle, for example, is a cross between a purebred Labrador Retriever and a purebred Poodle. What makes designer dogs unique is the fact that they inherit their genes from two separate breeds. While this can yield good results in some cases where the traits inherited are the best from each breed, there is also the risk that the puppies will inherit some of the bad habits or undesirable traits from the parent breeds. That is the most important thing you need to know about designer dogs – it is impossible to predict exactly which traits the puppies will inherit from either parent breed.
If you are considering a designer dog like the Labradoodle, you need to be very careful when it comes to choosing a breeder. Many hobby breeders prey on ill-informed dog owners, charging them exorbitant fees for so-called designer puppies when, in reality, they are simply crossbreed dogs. Many purebred dog breeders consider designer dogs to be nothing more than mutts and they believe that designer puppies should be sold at a discount, not at a rate higher than the price for a puppy of either pure breed. No matter where your beliefs fall along the spectrum, you need to be careful about choosing a responsible breeder.
Are Designer Dogs Healthier than Purebreds?
One of the biggest arguments surrounding the designer dog debate is in regard to the health of crossbreed dogs. Many breeders suggest that because designer dogs are bred from two separate breeds they have a larger gene pool to draw from and therefore a reduced risk for inheriting congenital conditions. While this may be true to some degree, if both parent dogs are carriers for the same condition the puppy’s risk of inheriting it is actually significantly higher. In the end, there is no solid “yes” or “no” answer to this question – it is up to the individual dog owner to do his research in order to ensure that the puppy he brings home is healthy and well-bred. This is true for all dogs, not just designer breeds like the Labradoodle.
Whether or not you choose a designer dog for your family, be sure to do your research to ensure that the breed you choose will be a good fit for your family and your lifestyle. Once you choose a breed, you also need to be careful about selecting a responsible breeder to ensure that the puppy you bring home is healthy and well-bred.
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