Designer or "Hybrid" dogs are steadily becoming more and more popular, a good
part of that popularity is driven by Hollywood celebrities. Jessica Simpson has
a Maltipoo which is a Maltese Poodle mix and even mob boss "Soprano" James
Gandolfini has a Puggle which is a Beagle Pug hybrid.
A hybrid dog is not a breed of dog, it is a mix of 2 purebred dogs of different
breeds, for example a Border Collie and Jack Russell (BorderJack). A couple of
the most popular designer dog breeds these days are the Labradoodle and the
Cockapoo. Poodle crosses are especially sought after due to the hypo-allergenic
properties of their low shedding coats which are ideal for allergy sufferers.
Some hybrid dogs came about as the result of accidental breeding and some breeds
are the result purposeful crossbreeding, the Labradoodle was initially bred as a
guide dog for blind people with allergies.
This mixing of breeds causes a lot of anger among the purebred enthusiasts who
argue about inconsistent temperament, vanity purchases, the lack of a pedigree
and outrages prices. Labradoodles have been known to sell for $1500 or more and
a Puggle can easily command a thousand dollar price tag. Critics also say that
the label designer dog is nothing more than a fancy word for mutt.
In most cases breed mixes can be healthier and exhibit the desirable traits of 2
distinct breeds. That being said it is still important that the hybrid puppy
buyer does their homework and investigates the breeder thoroughly to help make a
smart purchase of a healthy pup.
There are many different hybrid breeds, the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
recognizes well over 400 different cross breeds. Much like a purebred dog
hybrids can also be registered and have papers.