Well to put it plainly, a designer breed is a mutt. I am not sure what started the trend, however, pet stores and other “breeders” will charge astronomical prices for what is nothing more than a mix of two established breeds. Allow me to expand but know that as dog trainers, we believe all dogs are worthy of (and need) love, respect, and boundaries.
There are currently 178 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). In addition, there are another 19 breeds waiting for the breed to be further established before the AKC will formally recognize them. What makes a breed recognizable depends on each individual clubs requirements. However, all clubs have specific requirements and need to have proof of several generations of consistency with the breed. The AKC is not the only club that tracks and maintains records for dog bloodlines, however, they are one of the oldest most notable organizations.
A designer breed is often the mix of 2 dogs where each parent is a recognized and established breed. A cute name has been devised to package the puppy as something other than it really is….a mix. Below are some examples:
· Puggle (Pug and a Beagle)
· Shih Tzon (Shih Tzu and a Bichon)
· Maltipoo (Maltese and Toy Poodle)
· Morkie (Maltese and Yorkie)
· Doodle (Dachshund and Toy Poodle)
· Bug (Boston and Pug)
· Buggle (Boston and a Beagle)
· Labradoodle (Labrador and Standard Poodle)
· Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle)
Mixed breeds and mutts are wonderful dogs. The concern comes in when owners have unrealistic expectations, whether of their own creation or because a breeder misinformed them. The lack of history or standards for these designer breeds can leave a wide range of personality and appearance. For example, Puggles tend to be quite a bit more enthusiastic than a Pug and Morkie can be downright crazy when they are young.
As with any mixed breed, it is important to recognize that you may be bringing in a dog that has a different personality or energy level then you anticipated. For any new dog owner, it is important to be prepared but for designer dog owners it is equally important to be accepting of the unexpected. Find a local dog trainer who is capable of helping you find a happy medium in meeting your dog’s needs and enjoying your new canine companion.
Written by Megan Ventura