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

Advantages of Designer Dogs

Designer dogs have some important advantages. Designer dogs tend to be healthier, have better temperaments, and may yield a better combination of characteristics for the average home than any other type of dog. If you're considering a designer dog, here is a detailed look at their most important advantages: Designer Dogs Are Typically Healthier. Genetic diversity results in real, measurable health benefits, including longer lives and potentially lower vet bills. Purebred dogs are prone to many breed-related health conditions due to their smaller assortment of genetic possibilities. But this small gene pool is needed to produce the characteristics that make the breed unique. As a result of crossing two dogs from different breeds, genetic diversity is increased with the result that properly selected designer crosses can escape many of the genetic health problems suffered by purebreds. This is one of the significant advantages that designer dogs have over purebreds. Two breeds can be selected based on their desirable traits and, as long as both breeds do not suffer from the same genetic problems, the cross can significantly reduce the chance the genetic diseases that are common in either breed will be passed on to their puppies. In addition to overcoming purebred genetic health problems by crossing dogs with potentially disease-causing genes with dogs that have a greater chance of having normal genes, crossbreeding yields another genetic benefit- hybrid vigor. In purebred dogs, generations of inbreeding leads to a condition known as inbreeding depression. Over many generations, the accumulation of defective genes that are passed down from parent to offspring lead to a general decline in the body's overall function. Inbreeding depression can lead to a compromised immune system, shortened lifespan, and temperament issues. In crossbreed dogs, breeders combine different gene pools from the two different breeds involved with the cross, which revitalizes the puppy's DNA. Although technically not a hybrid, with this influx of dissimilar genes, a healthier dog can be produced. First-generation crossbreed dogs are apt to be healthier and can have a more stable temperament than either purebred parent. The more dissimilar the parent breeds, the more pronounced this effect can be.