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

Disadvantages of Designer Dogs

Like any type of dog, designer dogs have their disadvantages. Some of the same things that make designer dogs desirable can also make them less suitable for some households. Couple this with the fact that even though designer dogs were created in part to solve some of the genetically-based problems common in purebred dogs, depending on the breeding techniques used, designer dogs can have some of these same problems. Before you decide to get a designer dog, consider the following disadvantages: Crossbreeding is Somewhat Unpredictable. Crossbreeding has not yet reached the level where breeders can predict exactly which characteristics a puppy will inherit with accuracy. In simpler terms, crossbreeding is somewhat unpredictable. Designer Dogs Have Blended Traits. Some breeders of designer dogs claim their puppies inherit the best characteristics of both breeds. They emphasize positive temperaments, sociability, playfulness, and an easy-to-maintain coat that may come from one or the other of the parent breeds as being present in the puppies (and usually omit any mention of the negative characteristics of the two parent breeds entirely). In reality, crossbreeding purebred dogs doesn't provide the offspring the desirable characteristics of both breeds; it produces a blending of the characteristics of the two parents. If you cross a dog that is highly sociable with a dog that has strong hunting instincts, you are unlikely to get a highly sociable dog with superb hunting abilities. The offspring is much more likely to be moderately social and have moderate hunting abilities. As a result of this tendency it can be said designer dogs typically have closer to "averaged" behaviors and physical traits rather than the "best" traits of the parents - unless you breed two parents that both have the same or very similar characteristics. Shared Health Problems. When you cross two breeds with similar health problems, the resulting offspring are likely to have the same health problems. For example, if you cross two dog breeds known to have an increased incidence of hip dysplasia, the offspring will probably have a similar predisposition to having hip dysplasia. Crossbreeding dogs with different health problems can reduce or even eliminate those problems, but crossbreeding dogs with similar health problems typically produces offspring with those same health problems.