Chapter 4
How To Know What Type Dog Is Best For You

What You Need to Know About Designer Dogs

Three Generations of Crossbreeds. Crossbreeds can be categorized based on how they are bred. With a crossbreed, you could have a first-generation cross (sometimes referred to as F1), a first-generation backcross (sometimes referred to as an F1B), or some other combination of crosses. Not all of these are equally desirable. First-generation Crossbreeds. First-generation crossbreeds, (F1 crossbreeds), are generally considered to provide the most benefits. In a first generation cross, the mother and father are purebred dogs of different breeds. For example, a Labrador Retriever bred with a Poodle is a first-generation Labradoodle cross. Conceptually, half of the genes in the resulting puppies are Labrador genes, and half of them are Poodle genes. The dog inherits one gene from each parent governing everything about the puppy. Although crossbreeds inherit genes from both parents, the resulting dog may not look or behave like a perfect blend of the parents. The physical and behavioral characteristics will be determined by which genes are dominant. Therefore, even a crossbreed dog that inherits one gene set from each breed may not look like a perfect blend of the two different breeds, instead of displaying more characteristics from one breed or the other. To further complicate things, sometimes a dog will have more genes from one parent than the other. A similar effect is seen in children who look much more like one parent than the other. First-generation Backcrosses. In a first-generation backcross, or F1B, one of the parents is a purebred of a type used in the original cross, and the other parent is the offspring of a first-generation cross. For example, a first-generation backcross might consist of breeding a Labradoodle with a Poodle. The resulting dog has 75% Poodle genes, and 25% Labrador genes. An F1B has stronger characteristics of the backcross breed; for example, a Labradoodle F1B that is 75% Poodle has stronger Poodle characteristics than a first-generation cross between a Labrador and a Poodle which gets 50% of genes from each parent. Other Designer Dog Crosses. Anything other than a first-generation (F1) or a first-generation backcross (F1B) crossbred falls into a general category of "all other types of crossbreed crosses". Second-generation, third-generation, and other crosses can have health problems similar to those of purebred dogs in general. The most desirable designer dogs are the F1 and F1B crosses, in that order.