Adorable enough to inspire baby talk in even the most jaded of fashionista, hybrid or "designer" dogs are the new superstars of the canine world. From celebrities to ordinary folks, lately everyone seems to want their own hybrid hound. Torn between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle? Have the best of both breeds in a gorgeous Goldendoodle. A Pug or a Beagle? A snuggly Puggle might be the pooch of your dreams. Today, more people are custom odering their canine companions to suit their lifestyle, elevating the designer hybrid dog to the position of one of today's most in demand pets. And getting hyper over a hybrid is a trend that shows no sign of running out of steam anytime soon.
By definition hybrids are created by the educated crossbreeding of two purebreds- differentiating these dogs from the ubiquitous mutt. "More people are turning to designer hybrids because of their temperament and because they want something out of the ordinary," says Garry Garner, president of the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC). "Also they see that many celebrities have designer dogs and desire to emulate them."
Presently, the ACHC has registered and recognizes more than 350 hybrid dog breeds.
Poodles, standard or miniature, rank highly as top choices in the mating match, both for their intelligence and allergy-friendly appeal.
As the hybrid population expands and the canines become more coveted, the names are increasingly creative and chic- and as cute as the dogs themselves. Gaining admirers by the minute are Chiweenies (Chihuahau/Dachshund), and Zuchons (Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise).
Puggles are also very popular. Everyone in the know seems to agree that Puggles, with their smooth coat, sweetly wrinkled foreheads and floppy ears, currently reign as the creme de la creme, with proud owners including macho guy actors, Sylvestor Stallone, and James Gandolfini.
A dog hybrid is a cross between two different breeds ( selectively bred varieties ). Hybrids are also known as crossbreeds or crossbreds, although the term crossbreed is also used to refer to a mixed-breed dog where the breed of only one parent or grandparent is known. A dog of unknown parentage is called a mongrel .
In biology , the word hybrid refers specifically to a cross between two different species e.g. the dog and coyote . In less technical conversation and particularly in the dog world, the word refers to selective crosses and their progeny, even if outcrossed to other breeds. For example, the Queensland Wild Dog Management Strategy, September 2002 , states that hybrid will also refer to the descendants of crossbred progeny.
Some dog hybrids are now being selectively bred. The term designer dogs has been coined to refer to these crosses. The practice causes much controversy; opponents cite the often exorbitant prices charged for these puppies, the 'impulse buy' nature of such purchases (which leads to a high abandonment rate), the unpredictability of temperament or type and the lack of pedigree history, particularly any defective genes or genetic illnesses in the breeding lines.
Proponents argue that supply follows demand, and point out that there are bona fide reasons for the breeding of some of these crosses, notably to provide pets for people with allergies .
Among the better known dog hybrids are Labradoodles and Australian Bulldogs , which each have their own breed fancy associations. Poodle crosses are popular.
Dog hybrids are not recognized by the main registries. They should not be confused with independent breeds, which are also not recognized. The difference lies in the longevity of the breed, the numbers of breeders and the existence of a legitimate breed club, the number of specimens of the breed past a certain number of generations, whether or not it breeds true to type, for how long a breed registry has been maintained, and the reason for the non-recognition. Often independent breed clubs oppose recognition, for reasons which usually concern maintaining independent control of the qualities of their chosen breed.