About Designer Puppies

 

 A "purebred" refers to a closed gene pool that has been bred only within itself for a sufficient number of generations so that the breed is relatively true. A "Designer Dog," on the other hand, is usually the first-generation hybrid offspring of two purebred dogs of different breeds. The first generation (F1) crosses look and behave predictably alike.

In contrast, many of our purebreds were developed over the years by crossing one purebred with other purebreds to obtain somewhat different traits. The Silky Terrier, for example, was derived from a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier, and the Bullmastiff was derived from a cross between the Bulldog and the Mastiff. Likewise, the Doberman Pinscher was a cross between the German Shepherd and the German Pinscher, and probably later crossed with the Greyhound. The Black Russian Terrier was bred from the Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler and Moscow Water Dog. This is an example of how different dogs were developed by crossing specific purebreds. These are not Designer Dogs because most Designer Dogs are first generation hybrids, and most Designer Dogs are a result of crossing only two breeds.

            First generation hybrids and Teddy Bears tend to be fairly uniform in type with a few variations, because each has one set of genes from one parental breed and one set from the other, and each original type has limited genetic variations. However, this uniformity is lost when first-generation hybrids are bred to one another (F2) because they are a sampling from parents, each with more variability in each gene.  That’s why second-generation progeny tends to be a mishmash of characteristics of both original parents.  

In the 1930’s researcher Charles Stockard confirmed these findings when he crossed two dogs of the same crosses.  He discovered that the dogs were unpredictably different in physical and behavioral traits, many times looking nothing like the first generation crosses and sometimes unpredictably bizarre. In an effort to discover physical and behavioral characteristic changes when crossbreeding purebred dogs, he also crossed the F2 back to the F1, yet he was not able to recapture the traits with consistency either.   This has also been demonstrated many times since Stockard’s experiments.

Poodle hybrids and Teddy Bears have become very popular in the past few years. They play a big role in the current Designer Dog trend. The cross with the Poodle is usually because of the Poodle's non-shedding coat and high intellect. Hybrids, or Designer Dogs, have not been recognized by the American Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club. At this time The American Poodle Club will expel any member they find who crosses a Poodle with another breed.

For those who are advocates of Designer Pups and Teddy Bears, the goal to cross breeding two different purebred dogs is what is called "hybrid vigor," the breeding resulting in a healthier dog with superior genetic constitution. We also see that the personality tends to be gentler and more compliant. Designer pups are not "just" a mixed breed and certainly not mutts. They are a specifically chosen breeding of pure bred parentage, and for that reason, demand recognition of a purity of their own.