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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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