Dog Care 101

Mixed Breed Dogs – The Pros & Cons Of Choosing A Designer Dog Or A Hybrid Dog

Photo of author

By Regina

This is a Goldendoodle - a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. photo by Donnaphoto on Flickr

Hybrid dogs (what many are calling designer dogs) are canines that have purebred parents but each parent is from a different breed.

Some examples are:

  • Labradoodle – a dog that was bred to be a low-shedding dog with the behavior traits of a service or guide dog; a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle.
  • Borderjack – a dog bred from a Border Collie and Jack Russell Terrier; created to excel in dog sports.
  • Cockapoo – a dog that was bred to be low-shedding, good with kids, active, and a good watchdog; a cross between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel.

Here’s a list of hybrid dogs and their unusual names.



Cons / Downsides Of Designer Dogs

Most purebred dog breeders and dog clubs are adamantly against the creation of designer dogs and feel very strongly that, in the long run, such dogs are a danger to dog breeding in general.

Here are a few of the downsides of designer dogs or hybrid dogs:

  • Many breeders of designer dogs claim that when you breed 2 different purebred dogs, you create a healthier hybrid dog and eliminate some — if not all — of the health problems that some purebred dogs have. However, there is no scientific evidence that really backs this up. As with anything of a genetic nature, it’s like spinning a roulette wheel. You get what you get however the genetics line up. The truth is, some puppies can even have the misfortune of getting all the bad health traits from each of its parents.
  • No matter how wonderful a designer dog’s parents are or how many great personality traits they have, you can still end up with a designer dog that chews all your shoes up and barks all the time keeping your neighbors up at night. There is no guarantee that a designer dog — even one coming from parents with wonderful temperaments and dispositions — is going to also have a wonderful temperament and disposition.
  • A designer dog or hybrid dog can cost as much as $1,500, compared to a purebred dog which might cost as little as $250. Therefore, the cost is going to be prohibitive for many people. If you’re set on having a mixed breed dog, then you’ll be delighted to know how easy it is to adopt a “mutt” at your local shelter.

Here’s an interesting video about some of the hidden problems with designer dogs.


Pros / Advantages Of Designer Dogs

On the pro side of the argument, those who love designer dogs and hybrid dogs state these advantages:

  • Designer dogs tend to have a more even temperament. Supposedly, this is because purebred dogs are bred for particular reasons and their temperaments have been bred into them as well. In other words, a purebred dog might have been bred to dig, or to herd, or to hunt, and those traits will be very strong in a purebred dog. Whereas if you breed a purebred that was designed to chase with a purebred that has little to no aggressive tendencies, you’re going to get a dog with a more even temperament.
  • There are a large number of varieties of designer dogs to choose from. In fact, if cost is a factor for you and you really want a designer dog, then check with your local shelter or humane society. Chances are they will have the designer dog that you’re interested in for a fraction of the cost!
  • Designer dogs have hybrid vigor (extra strength that comes from the fact that they have 2 parents who are purebreds). Basically, this means that designer or hybrid dogs are less likely to inherit the genetic defects that come with all the inbreeding necessary to get a purebred dog — because the designer dog’s bloodlines are not as close.


As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to owning a hybrid or designer dog. Whether you decide to get a designer dog or not is entirely up to you. Personally, I don’t see a problem with it. If you do decide that you want a hybrid dog, check with the animal shelters in your area first. If you happen to find the designer dog you’re looking for, just try not to have any pre-conceived expectations about how you want the dog to look or act because they don’t always look or act the way you want them to. It’s important to love your dog all the same and train him properly to ensure that you and your dog have a long and happy life together!



A must-read: What’s The Difference Between Purebred, Mixed Breed, and Hybrid Dogs?