Hybrid dog types offer a lot of versatility and choice for prospective dog owners, and in many cases, enable the best traits of two pedigree breeds to be combined into one, with potentially less desirable traits bred out.
There is certainly a lot to be said for hybrids, and this helps to explain why certain hybrid dog types are even more popular than either one of their two parent breeds, and why they’re in such demand among dog owners from all walks of life.
As is the case with any pedigree dog breed and even any individual dog, there are pros and cons of ownership, or choosing any dog or dog type in favour of another. However, before you can weigh up the pros and cons of choosing a hybrid dog type or narrow it down to any individual dog, it is important to make sure that you get the facts.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about hybrid dog types doing the rounds at any given time, and some of them are even partially true, or true in some instances – but are not blanket rules.
With this in mind, this article will comment on five common misconceptions many people have about hybrid dog types like the Jug and the Cavapoo, and share the truth behind them. Read on to learn more.
The facts: You might fairly expect that buying a hybrid dog – which is at the end of the day, a cross breed – would be less costly than buying a pedigree dog, particularly a pedigree dog of a similar size or even of one of the two parent breeds of the hybrid.
However, whilst this is true in some cases, it is not true for all or even most of the most popular hybrid dog types! The average advertised price of some hybrid dog types like the Cavapoo is actually higher than that for either one of its two parent breeds.
Many hybrid dog types cost around the same to buy – or more – than their nearest pedigree equivalents.
The facts: A lot is said in relation to hybrid dog types about the benefit of hybrid vigour, and this certainly has some truth behind it.
Hybrid vigour refers to the benefits (vigour) achieved by a high level of genetic diversity, which is achieved in hybrid dog types by virtue of the crossing of their two unrelated parent breeds.
This means that in theory and on paper, a hybrid dog should overall have better health (due to less chance of inherited health problems) than either parent breed, regardless of hybrid type or dog.
However, this is still no guarantee of health. A hybrid bred from two parent breeds that are themselves close cousins, or two parent breeds that share common hereditary health issues, will have poorer odds of health than some other hybrids.
Additionally, a lack of health testing in hybrid dog types as a whole compared to pedigree parent breeds can mean that the chances of unhealthy litters that could have been prevented may even be higher in some instances.
The facts: The whole point of naming a dog type rather than referring to it as a mixed breed or mongrel is that the name tells you something about the dog – in linguistics terms, that a “labradoodle” is a cross between a Labrador and a poodle, and in a deeper sense, that for those who know about such dogs, what they are likely to look and act like.
It is certainly true that in hybrid types that have been around a long time and that there are lots of, there is often a high degree of uniformity across the board. However, these are still comparatively new dog types, and hybrids do not guarantee uniformity in every trait.
Additionally, there is no formally recognised umbrella breed standard for any hybrid type to dictate what they should ideally look like, and so every breeder may breed for different priorities.
The facts: The middle ground for any hybrid or cross breed dog is of course the mid-point between any two traits of the parent breeds – like coat length, energy levels, and anything else you can think of. However, hereditary traits from two parent breeds tend to be inherited along a scale, and some dogs of any hybrid type will favour one parent breed in certain traits much more than the other.
The further removed a dog is from parent breed ancestors, the more middle-ground and uniform they are apt to be, on paper – but you also have to factor in that many breeders deliberately breed to enhance or remove certain traits of one parent breed (like a coat style) and so no hybrid will be a dead centre representation of their two parent breeds.
The facts: There is every possibility that some hybrid dog types will be afforded pedigree status in the future, as their populations become larger, more stable, and more uniform.
However, many people wrongly assume that having a designated name (like labradoodle) that is widely understood, and a level of uniformity that enables many people to identify specific hybrid types by name when they see them means that they are pedigree dogs in virtually all but name.
However, this is false, and represents a poor understanding of what a pedigree dog actually is, and the different elements of this.
Hybrids don’t have a breed standard, breed register, health database, formal oversight, eligibility for formal dog show entry or official advocacy organisation in place for them, which are just a few of the elements that form the framework of pedigree status for recognised breeds.