Designer dogs

Okay I know I said I was going to talk about tiny micro dogs today but that will have to wait; I want to talk about "Designer dogs" today. The definition of a designer dog is a mixbreed or mutt. Two purebred dogs bred together resulting in the "designer dog" or mutt. There is a good chance that you know someone with a designer dog; they are everywhere. But not only are people scooping up this little 1/2 & 1/2s now they are breeding three breeds in to make even more of a mix; even more "rare." And folks unfortunately you are all buying it, the hype, the false advertising, the whole enchilada.

When I saw an adorable puppy the other day I simply said cute and asked her name; but the proud guardian felt compelled to tell me "she's a chiweiniepoo." Oh wow, you have a chiweiniepoo? I just smiled looking at this obviously very poorly bred dog with runny eyes and a gimp back leg. The guardian was beaming with pride; poor little thing I thought to myself. The young lady had no idea what evil lay behind the whole operation where her puppy came from. People pumping out whatever they can for a buck.

So are these designer dogs really healtier than the purebreds of today? Nope. By breeding two dogs together you do infact produce a larger gene pool but if they are bad genes then that is the bottom line. Breeding must be done with alot of research behind it; health and temperament lineage must be researched well before mixing dogs together whether they are of the same breed or not.

Unfortunately I have only met two really great ethical breeders of the "designer dogs." All others pumping out the large array of mixtures are in it for the money; I'm sorry to lay it on you like this but that is the fact. You may think by my stand on this topic that I am against the designer dog but I am not. What I am against is the unscrupulous people who are pulling a fast one on all the innocent people out there. Just as I am against all the people breeding purebred dogs and doing no health testing, no anything, simply pumping out puppies for a buck.

I stumbled onto a website this morning; a Designer dog breeds website. This was their actual web address even. There are pages of "designer" puppies listed and you can buy them right off the web like you would any other piece of merchandise. This is so sad; and the idea that people think that they are going to get a healthy puppy at the end their purchase is even more disturbing. This is where the puppies come from in your local pet stores as well people; the same horrific puppy mill.

The bottom line is buyer beware; do your research and if you want a mixed breed dog that's great. Just don't be fooled into buying a mixed breed dog for big bucks buying into the "healthier" line. There are lots of mixed breed dogs out there that don't cost thousands of dollars waiting for a new home. And please; don't buy a puppy from a display list online; ethical breeders don't have pictures of puppies set up with cute backgrounds that you choose from.


  1. Hybrid "Designer Dog" sales are now outstripping those of purebreds. I think this is largely because all the scientific research shows mutts live longer and healthier lives than purebreds.

    Most people just want a happy, healthy family pet. Say “Boxer” and vets think heart disease; say “Bernese Mountain Dog” and they think cancer. The incidence and severity of inherited diseases in purebred dogs increases every year, and yet many traditional breeders continue with outdated practices (like inbreeding and line breeding) that continuously limit genetic diversity. The recent BBC program "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" has done much to bring the health problems in purebred dogd to the attention of the general public (see

    In addition, changing fashions and fads in the show ring have caused some purebred breeders to exaggerate physical characteristics that make dogs more susceptible to health problems problems (bulging eyes in Pekingese, elongated backs in Dachshunds etc). Recently the RSPCA in the UK cut it's ties with the Kennel Club dog shows for "encouraging the breeding of deformed and disabled dogs" (see

    However, hybrid "Designer Dogs", can provide the best of both worlds, purebreds and mutts: the ability to carefully select the parent dogs for health and temperament, and test for inherited diseases (like purebreds); and the increased health and longevity provided by genetic diversity (like mutts).

    You are quite right that you need to be very careful. There are puppy mills and pet shops that have jumped on to the “Designer Dog” band wagon purely to make a profit.

    However, there are also many dedicated hybrid breeders whose main aim is to produce healthy dogs, without the genetic problems that plague many purebreds. They carefully select the breeds they use, and test the parent dogs for any possible inherited problems. They aren't trying to produce a particular "look", or compete with purebreds - these breeders simply want to provide healthy, happy family pets.

  2. Gem; I agree that hybrid produce genetic vigor but that does not mean healthy dogs. The ones who are testing and only breeding healthy dogs with amazing temperaments are the ones I commend. It makes no difference to me whether a healthy dog is a mix or a purebred. The breeders doing it right are the good ones.
    Thanks for your feedback.


  3. I have been a Sheltie person for multiple decades. My first one came, like many, from a pet store. After I educated myself, I have had several Shelties from Rescue (my last rescue died about a year ago at age 15) and several from breeders (my current three are from breeders). An ETHICAL BREEDER will give you a HEALTH GUARANTEE with your dog. This means thay have tested the dog/the dogs parents for ALL GENETIC DISEASES which are commonly found in the breed. They post their dogs results (by dogs name and kennel name) on the OFA web site right out there for all to read. This alone tells you that they have done their homework with regard to the particular lines they are using in their breeding program, and that they are committed enough to their particular breed to make every effort to stamp out said diseases. They also will ALWAYS take their dogs back for any reason for the life of the dog. Try and get that one from a pet-store or back-yard breeder.
    It is very easy to google any breed and find out what the health issues are for each one... and each and every one of the breeds has its own particular health issues. If you have either a mutt from the local shelter or from a breeder of designer dogs you are not always sure which genes are going to become dominant and what particular health issues might arise from them... and you have little or no recourse for any of them. My brother bought a "pure-bred" basset from a pet store years ago and within one calandar year had replaced both her dysplastic hips at huge expense. One of my Shelties here now recently popped positive for Hypothyroidism (less common in the breed now that breeders are trying to eradicate it) and her breeder offered to take her back (I declined). Good luck with that at ABC Pets in your local Mall.
    I am a real softie for the animals and currently have 4 cats living here that weren't with us when we moved one year ago. And I am happy to do and have done purebred rescue and my heart aches when I think about all the animals who didn't aske to be born and are out there sick and starving. Even the "well-bred" dogs get sick/cancer/cushings etc. But I want to know generally which health issues are potentially coming into my home so that there are fewer surprises down the road.

  4. I do not understand people paying big bucks for the designer dogs when the pound, humane society, rescue groups, craigs list and even your local papers are full of "designer" dogs aka mixed breeds aka mutts (and yes thera are purebreds there as well)that are free to a good home or for a low cost adopetion / rehoming fee.


Love to hear from you.