Why are hybrid dogs so popular ?
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Why are hybrid dogs so popular ?

Dogs
Breed Facts

The term “hybrid dog”,also sometimes referred to as designer dogs, means a dog that is produced by deliberately crossing two different breeds to produce a mixed breed dog that hopefully possesses the best traits of both. While the hybrid dog is not a pedigree and can most accurately be referred to as a cross breed dog, they are generally considered to be distinct from mongrel dogs, due to the fact that their parent breeds are known and carefully chosen, and the breeding process is deliberate and planned.

Hybrid dogs are incredibly popular within the UK, and their popularity is growing year on year. While some hybrid crosses are definitely more popular than others, with the Labradoodle and Cockapoo leading the pack, many different varieties of hybrid dogs are produced in the UK, with new combination breeds being trialled all the time. But why is the hybrid dog becoming so popular, and why are they so desirable as pets for many owners? Read on to hear our thoughts on some of the reasons behind why hybrid dogs are so popular.

Hybrid vigour

Hybrid vigour is the term used to refer to the beneficial effects of widening the gene pool of an animal, and out-crossing a dog to a totally unrelated breed is one way of doing this. This means that for dogs that belong to a breed that is particularly prone to genetically inherited health problems or issues with conformation, crossing them with an unrelated breed greatly reduces the chances of the undesirable issue replicating in the subsequent puppies, and strengthens the gene pool as a whole.

Two for the price of one

One of the main goals of breeding a hybrid dog is to combine the best traits of two particular breeds into one dog, something that has an undeniable appeal for many owners. If you particularly like two breeds of dog or are keen to own a dog with a combination of traits that are hard or impossible to find in one individual breed on its own, a hybrid dog might be the way to go.

Public awareness of dog health and not breeding to narrow standards

Particularly since the BBC’s programme Pedigree Dogs Exposed aired in 2008, the general dog-loving public has become much more aware of the affects that breeding and human intervention can have on the health of dogs, and has resisted supporting the breeding of dogs to very narrow breed standards that may be detrimental to canine health.

With many popular pedigree breeds such as the Pug and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel under the spotlight, many people who like dogs of these types become encouraged to consider a cross breed or hybrid dog containing parentage of one of these component breeds instead.

The ability to sell puppies of parents that may not be of a good breed standard

When breeding pedigree dogs and selling puppies, the viability of selling the litter and the price that they can command is greatly dictated by the quality of the dogs in question, and how well they conform to desirable breed standards. If a pedigree dog is not considered to be a particularly good example of the breed, generally they will not be bred from for profit, as the subsequent puppies will again not display the desirable breed traits and be harder to sell.

One option available to the breeder who finds themselves in this position with a healthy dog that simply does not fit the description of a supposedly desirable appearance is to out-cross them to another popular breed to produce a hybrid dog that is not expected to conform to any breed standard and will be saleable on its own merits alone.

The novel appeal of something different

Variety is the spice of life, and many dog owners are keen to find something a little different when seeking their potential new dog. Whether this is something with a strong visual affect such as the noble Husky or wolf-like Northern Inuit dog, or simply something that will get people talking, there is a hybrid dog for every occasion!

The rise in demand for hypoallergenic dogs

A great many of the popular hybrid dog breeds contain Poodle parentage, with the aim of passing on the distinctive Poodle coat to the subsequent puppies. The Poodle has wiry fur that does not shed much and tends to remain caught within the coat, meaning that less dander is shed around the home in the wake of the dog. This means that the Poodle and other dogs with a coat like the Poodle may be a viable choice of pet for people who suffer from allergies.

Less value placed upon pedigree

While the market for pedigree dogs is still thriving, less importance is placed on owning a pedigree dog with registration papers than historically it was. Up until the middle of the 20th century, for upwardly mobile families, if you were going to own a dog it was considered de rigeur that the dog be pedigree, and of a good quality and standard. This is much less the case today, and while many people still select pedigree dogs for a range of reasons, mainly being a simple love of the breed, it is no longer considered to be important for social status to choose a pedigree dog!

The appeal of having a dog with a designated type name

While pedigree appeal has to a great extend lost its social connotations, many hybrid dog owners still enjoy the fact that their dogs have an agreed name term that is readily understood and commonly used. For instance, while a Labradoodle is not a pedigree breed, the vast majority of dog lovers in the UK now know exactly what a Labradoodle is, and it rarely requires further explanation when asked “what breed/type is this dog?”

The enduring popularity of all dogs from mutts to show winners

Finally, one of the reasons for why hybrid dogs are so popular is the same reason behind why all dogs are popular; people, on the whole, simply like dogs! They are the most popular pets kept within the UK, and all types of dogs from the finest pedigrees to the Heinz 57 mongrels have their own appeal, and hybrid dogs of all types are no different!

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