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


The Large Potential Number of Designer Breeds. When selecting a designer dog, clearly you want to select a combination of breeds whose offspring will likely have the traits that will fit well in your household. Like all dogs, designer dogs display a mix of traits contributed by each parent. However, with about 14,000 possible combinations of the AKC recognized breeds, the number of possibilities is truly mind-boggling. Even if you reduce this number to the crosses recognized by either the Designer Breed Registry or the American Canine Hybrid Registry, perhaps the two largest designer dog registries in North America, you would still need to consider between 450 and 625 different Designer Crosses. Managing the Possibilities. One way to try and manage the large number of possibilities is to us a "breed encyclopedia approach". This would require reading a breed book that contained descriptions of the various designer dogs in an attempt to choose one that will meet your needs. This approach has a number of disadvantages including being difficult and time-consuming. But I will suggest a much better approach would be to use the Breed Selector Software to search for breeds that have the traits you are seeking in the normal manner. Once you have this list of breeds any cross between two of these breeds should also have the traits you want. To reduce the chance of passing a genetic disease to the pups of the cross, select breeds that have dissimilar genetic issues as shown in the health section of each breed's description. Beware of Shared Health Problems. When you're researching purebred dogs, either for considering a dog from that breed or for using that breed as a potential seed breed for a designer cross, you should research what genetic health problems are common in each breed. If you are researching a specific crossbred dog, you must learn what genetic health problems are common in both of the parent dog breeds. If both breeds share a high incidence of a specific genetic problem, the resulting crossbreed is more likely to share those same health problems. To find a healthy crossbred puppy, look for crossbreeds whose breed-specific health problems are different. As previously discussed, when dogs with different defective genes are bred, the resulting dog's 'normal' genes tend to govern how the body functions. This means that when you crossbreed two breeds with different health problems, the offspring are likely to have fewer genetic health problems than either of the two parent breeds. However, if one of the parent breeds is frequently a carrier for a health problem that the other breed also possesses, the offspring have an increased possibility of suffering from that genetic health problem, even if neither parent shows signs of the specific genetic medical condition in question. Information on the genetic diseases common in each breed is available from the breed descriptions contained in the Breed Selector Software included with this eBook. Adult Crossbreeds Have Fewer Risks. When you get a crossbreed puppy, you don't know exactly what traits will be expressed in the pups until they grow up. You don't know whether the adult dog might be big for its parent breeds, or small. You don't know for certain what temperament it might have, especially if the parent breeds had many dissimilar physical features and behaviors. Getting a designer puppy carries certain unknowns. If you'd rather not accept those unknowns, consider getting an adult crossbreed. With an adult crossbreed, you can see the dog you'll live with for the next decade or longer. You'll know exactly how big it is, and can determine if its temperament and grooming requirements will mesh with your household's desires. If you want the certainty of knowing exactly what you're getting, an adult crossbreed is a much better choice than getting a crossbreed puppy.