Demand for designer dog breeds has sky rocketed in the last 10 years. Cockerpoos, Goldendoodles and Cavachons are just some of the crossbreeds that make popular family pets and continue to melt our hearts. It’s clear we’ve all gone designer dog doolally and many of us are prepared to pay thousands for our favourite breeds.
But if you’re thinking about getting one of these trendy pooches, it’s important to do your research first and ensure you buy from a reliable breeder. Breeding designer dogs is a complex process and unfortunately sellers aren’t always as honest as they appear. You could end up with a very different pooch to what you first imagined. But what really is a designer pooch and which breeds are the most popular in the UK? Ready for the big reveal…
What is the most popular mixed breed dog?
The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. This lovable pooch just misses the top spot and takes second place.
The Cavapoo is a cross between a King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. This adorable pooch is the fourth most popular designer dog.
What does a designer breed mean?
A designer dog breed is a cross between two purebred dogs. These desirable pooches are intentionally bred from two purebreds to create a specific crossbreed. The purebred parents are usually registered with a breed registry and chosen for their looks, traits and temperament.
All purebreds have been bred over many generations to create a puppy with the exact same looks and characteristics which form the breed standard, a practice in itself that isn’t without controversy or criticism.
Designer dog breeds claim to combine the top qualities of two specific breeds. For example, the Cockerpoo is intentionally bred for the loving and loyal nature of the Cocker Spaniel, with the low-shedding qualities of the Poodle. But with all crossbreed dogs, there’s no guarantee you’ll get all the positive traits of both dogs. You could quite easily end up with all the negatives from both parents.
Designer dog breeds can be expensive – far more than the pedigree dogs they came from. Because the demand for designer dogs is rising, breeders often seize the opportunity to sell them at inflated prices. A Goldendoodle puppy can easily cost up to £1700.
Do designer dog breeds have any health issues?
Since the idea of designer dog breeds came about, the RSPCA has raised many concerns over the welfare of these crossbreeds. The animal charity is concerned that the health and welfare of designer dogs is compromised as they’re being bred purely for their appearance. Some breeders are selecting purebred parents with exaggerated physical features, which when carried over to the puppy, can cause pain and suffering due to the way they’re bred.
The RSPCA has also announced their concerns about teacup dogs and the range of health risks they can have. Because teacup dogs are selectively bred to be very small, they can suffer from brittle bones and respiratory problems. This means they’re susceptible to fractures, dislocations and ongoing breathing issues. Teacups are often sold at half the normal size and weight of the standard breed. But although they may look adorable, people looking to buy a teacup puppy should search for a reputable breeder and ensure no health issues have been reported.
What is the difference between a mutt and a designer dog?
In reality, there’s not a whole lot of difference between mutts and designer dog breeds. While the term mutt can have a negative association, both are essentially the same thing but with a different name. Whereas a designer dog is deliberately created from two purebred parents, a mutt is usually a dog without a purebred background with two or more breeds in its DNA.
The typical mutt is often born from an accidental mating and are usually not registered. They are often made up of unknown breed mixes and make up the biggest percentage of dogs in shelters across the UK. And although it’s difficult to tell how the puppies will look and behave, they can make fantastic family pets and can be bought or adopted for a fraction of the price compared to some designer dog breeds.
Anyone looking to purchase a designer dog breed should tread carefully when searching online. If your mind is set on a particular breed, speak to other dog owners and ask them where they bought their puppy. Breeding designer dogs can be unpredictable, but by getting a few recommendations you’ll have a higher chance of getting the pooch you hoped for.