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Hybrid Dog Breeds: Facts You Should Know

Updated on June 14, 2012
A "morkie," a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Maltese
A "morkie," a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Maltese | Source

The newest trend among dog aficionados is the hybrid dog. You may be considering purchasing one of these dogs, and if so you will need to keep a few things in mind. Of course, information about hybrid dogs will be different depending on the breed mix, but there are a few main features that may influence potential dog owners and perhaps lead to a purchase of a hybrid dog.

When people refer to “designer dogs” they are commonly talking about dogs that have two purebred parents of different breeds. Hybrid dogs can be a few generations removed from a recognized breed and can be comprised of any mix of breeds. You may be wondering what the difference is between a mutt and a hybrid dog. A breeder can actually trace the lineage of a hybrid dog back to its purebred family; for the most part, a mutt’s heritage is unknown.

Why Choose a Hybrid Dog?

● Appearance – Designer breeds are often bred for specific physical attributes. In most cases, this leads to certain features which people find to be attractive or “cute”. Some people may be looking for a “cute” dog or a dog with a certain coat color or texture. Others may be looking for dogs that are taller, shorter, or more compact. If you can’t find the physical traits you are looking for in a traditional breed, you may want to consider a hybrid dog.

● Ability -- Many traditional breeds have been bred for certain tasks or jobs. Hybrid dogs blend the abilities of both parents, creating a mixture of talents. Those who are looking for a faster dog or a dog with increased stamina could potentially find these traits in a hybrid dog. For example, sled dogs and dogs who work with farm animals are usually mixed breed dogs because their work ability is more important than being purebred.

● Health -- It is true that hybrid dogs are generally healthier than purebred dogs. Many breeders don’t want this fact to be publicized, but over time, selective breeding can cause recessive traits to be concentrated. This can result in genetic disorders and serious medical problems. By mixing two breeds, the probability of these disorders is vastly reduced. Although you may avoid expensive and stressful medical conditions, there is no evidence that your hybrid dog will be “better” than a traditional purebred dog in other ways.

Know what to Expect from your Hybrid Dog

If you are interested in breeding hybrid dogs, you should understand a few basics. There is no guarantee that the puppies will come out looking a certain way. You will be disappointed if you think the puppies will look like the perfect combination of mom and dad. The puppies could look like a mix of the parents, but there is also a chance that some of the puppies will look just like one parent or the other. The dogs also may not inherit the personality or energy of their parents.

If you want to purchase a hybrid dog for your family, you will need to understand all the information pertaining to hybrid dog needs. You may love the traits in the dog breed, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the dog will be right for your family. The hybrid dog may present traits from both breeds or possibly favor one breed or the other. Keep in mind that you may end up with some traits of the parent breed that you don’t like. If you have the opportunity, you should familiarize yourself with the parents in order to fully understand what the puppy’s temperament might be.

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    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      6 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Yeah, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be too dangerous, more destructive, or...? I know I've had more challenge keeping that little mini schnaupin entertained than any other dog I've ever had, and all the others were coonhounds ;). Granted, I can take the larger dogs out to public lands and let them run loose for their exercise, but I won't with my little dog because she could fall prey to coyotes or eagles.

    • doberdog profile image

      doberdog 

      6 years ago

      How peculiar that weight makes a difference to how these people think! You wouldn't be able to keep my friendly fun living dobey simply because he's 2kg to heavy - that must make him a dangerous dog i guess? How strange some peoples thought are.

    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      6 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Yes, there are always some great dogs to fall in love with :D. The last one I REALLY wished I could take home was a beautiful red Bullmastiff. She was a handful and spent most of her life in the shelter, but after working with her I discovered she was the perfect running mate, and she did everything I asked at any speed once I'd jogged a few miles with her :). Alas, I live in a rental, and the landlord is adamant about no dogs over 35lbs.

    • doberdog profile image

      doberdog 

      6 years ago

      I agree. Am looking to possibly adopt a mate for my boy (not as in breeding mate).

      Its great that u help out at the dogs homes too. My partner and i recently went for a visit to the blue cross to speak to them about a charity we want to start and there was done lovely dogs in there - including a beautiful dobe! But unfortunately he had a home to go to - well unfortunate for me that is, i hope he's really happy in his new home

    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      6 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Yikes -- about half the dogs in our local shelters are Stafford crosses, some really gorgeous dogs with great temperaments and volunteers who constantly work on their training and socialization...for a $40 adoption fee. People sell litters of the exact same mixes with different names for $300-$350 per pup, with only first shots and not spayed or neutered. Makes no sense to me.

    • doberdog profile image

      doberdog 

      6 years ago

      Lol my brother spent a lot on astaffy Siberian mix - lovely dog but i can't understand paying for a dog which a coupler of years ago would have been a mutt and given away to a good home. He actually paid nearly the same as what i paid for a pedigree doberman. As i said, lovely dog but £££?

    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      6 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      I couldn't agree more :). I've tried my best to keep the article as neutral as possible because I know a lot of people don't share my views on so-called "hybrid dogs" or "designer dogs." I wrote this one as a favor for someone who wanted information on them, but I have a hard time refraining from the incredulous, "You spent HOW much on that?" And can't justify breeding mutts with a fancy marketing name for pets when there are more homeless dogs than most shelters can hold.

    • doberdog profile image

      doberdog 

      6 years ago

      Erm... All dogs are hybrid. They have been mixed by man since they became our companions thousands of years ago.

      Take my doberman, Louie doberman wanted the best protection dog possible so he made one using various dogs with the traits he wanted. In turn each of these dogs had been mixed over the years by other people. The difference is most people used to mix dogs for a real reason - a better hunter, Sheppard etc. now all that sadly seems to matter is looks - personally i find that irritating

    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      7 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Thanks :D. Yes, most of the ones I've seen are pretty pricey too. I got my miniature schnaupin from the local shelter after they found a backyard breeder keeping about 30 animals in a minivan :S. She was very malnourished and had a broken leg when I brought her home, but my husband's initial assessment ("you had to pick the ugliest dog in the shelter to fall in love with") still isn't far off :P. Her antics and expressiveness make her extremely cute to me, but someone that doesn't know her probably still just sees a multi-colored furball.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      7 years ago from Wales

      A great hub and beautiful picture of that little 'morkie.'

      I love anything to do with animals etc and dogs are my favourite.

      I push all the buttons here and rate up.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I looked into hybrid dogs and you have to be pretty well off to afford one, lol! Most breeders think they are worth over a $1000 and often they turn out to be pretty ugly dogs. I am still looking... I guess I am having a hard time "replacing" my Lorraine. She was one of those undemanding dogs that allowed others to claim the spotlight. But she was always there: loyal and sweet. Thumbs up and useful from me!

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