The growing trend in dog ownership is the purchase or adoption of designer dogs – those dogs that have been deliberately bred from two purebred dogs with an expected result. While I would never discourage the adoption of any dog, designer or otherwise, there are certain pros and cons that come with giving a home to a Designer Dog.
The pros to giving a home to a Designer Dog (besides the obvious good karma of giving a home to a dog in need) typically relate to the health of the dog in question. While many purebred dogs are prone to health problems related to the lack of genetic difference between one generation and the next, Designer Dogs, much like mutts, bypass many of the health problems that purebreds are known for. The difference between the Designer Dog and the mutt is that while a mutts heritage isn’t know, Designer Dogs often have papers stating what their heritage is, including the breeds and history of both parents.
Along with avoiding many of the health issues associated with purebred dogs, Designer Dogs are often bred to combine favored traits of two breeds, such as a lack of shedding and the size of one dog with the playful nature and affection of another. The hope with Designer Dogs is that the penchant that one of the breeds may have for chewing on your shoes will be countered by the penchant the other breed has for eating dog treats from your hands.
The cons to bringing home any dog of mixed parentage is that you never really know what to expect. You can breed two of the most affectionate, loving dogs, and at the end of the day you might still get a Designer Dog that sees your slippers and thinks chew toy. Temperament and size are very hard to judge with Designer Dogs, especially those that come from two dogs of largely varying sizes (you might end up with a Labrador/Dachshund mix that is either the size of the Dachshund, the Labrador, or somewhere in the middle). Poodle Designer Dogs are known to exhibit many of the Poodle’s often aggressive nature, in spite of being bred with a more docile breed. While giving you hope having a Boxer mixed with a Chihuahua will curb its need to chew on things better than giving it bully sticks, at the end of the day, you can’t know what you will get from the dog until you’ve spent time with it and tried to train it.
Don’t Go in With Any Expectations
When bringing home your Designer Dog, remember not to have any expectations. You may bring home the most perfect puppy that will be easy to train, have all the best traits of both their breeds, and be a ray of sunshine in you and your family’s lives. Or you may bring home a little terror that will drive you all insane…just like any other puppy. Don’t assume that the new trend in Designer Dogs means that you don’t have to put in the time to properly train your dog. Good genes are no replacement for proper training and love.
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