Designer Dogs-Not as bad as we once thought? (Found on www.dogbreedinfo.com) Designer Dog?? What the heck is a designer dog you ask?? A "designer" dog (as the media has labeled them) is a cross between two pure bred dogs. A pure bred dog is one that has been bred over many generations to breed true. Meaning each puppy that is born looks and has the same temperament and characteristics as one another. In most cases a standard is written and breeders must follow this written standard. Only dogs which make the written standard are to be bred. Pure bred dogs are beneficial in that, when you buy a pure bred dog you know what you are getting. You know how big your puppy will grow and you know basically what type of temperament and care the dog will need. You know the dogs limits, whether it is capable of agility, hunting, search and rescue, police work, herding, flock guardian, or just simply a companion dog. You have a pretty good idea if the dog will be good with your kids, you know if they will have a tendency to wander or if they will stick close to home. You have a pretty good idea if they will like strangers, or if they will fear them. When one breeds pure bred dogs great care must be taken to insure the lines to not become too thin. Even with all the best DNA testing available, genetic problems can occur, however with the proper testing these problems can be greatly reduced. To give you a simple analogy, let's say there was a law passed that stated only people with blonde hair and blue eyes with a high IQ could have children, with the end goal, everyone in the USA to be smart with blonde hair and blue eyes. If this were to happen, as you can imagine, our gene pool would eventually become thin, and many genetic problems would occur. This is why it is very important to ask breeders breeding pure bred dogs what types of genetic testing they perform. So what's up with these hybrid, "designer" dogs? Are they healthier? Hybrid dogs can still have genetic problems because you are still crossing two first generation dogs, however the percentage of hybrid dogs with genetic problems is much lower than pure bred dogs because the gene pool is mixed. Unlike pure bred dogs, when you adopt a hybrid, you do not know exactly what the temperament, size of the dog, or exact look of the dog will be. When you breed two pure bred dogs together you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. If you are stuck on a hybrid dog how do you know which one to choose? Read the temperament and care for both breeds in the cross and be prepared for any combination of the two. If everything about both breeds matches you and your families personality and lifestyle, than you can most likely assume this cross will work for you. If there is ANYTHING about either breed in the cross that you do not feel matches what you are looking for, avoid that cross. Do not assume or take the chance that only the good characteristics will emerge. You may be in for a big surprise and it is not fair to the puppy to chance that. Dogs are not to be disposed of like old toasters when they do not perform as you wish. They are living creatures. Cross a Labrador with a Poodle (Labradoodle) and you may or may not get a dog that sheds. Most experienced breeders can give you a pretty good idea what characteristics in a pup will emerge as the puppy grows. For example, in the Labradoodle, some breeders are able to tell which coat the pup will have, the Poodle or the Labrador, but still, this cannot be guaranteed. Sometimes it is harder to tell what type of temperament the pup will take on, as some characteristics do not appear until the pup is older, past adopting age. Whether or not you choose a pure bred dog or a "designer" hybrid mix, do your homework and research, research, research. Remember, adopting a dog should be a life long commitment and not something that should be taken lightly. Before you adopt a dog ask yourself, Are You Ready for a Dog?