Celebrity carrying her dog - looks like a yorkie mix

Pedigreed pooch or custom-designed mongrel:
Which designer dog fits you like a glove?


In terms of fashion, “designer” is often referred to a commodity that’s custom-fit, impeccably assembled, follows a trend and inevitably adds up to heavy price tag. The new “designer dogs” are no different.

These days, hybrids are no longer viewed mutts in the fashion world, but a cute,  controversial and lucrative fad.

Hybrid dogs, the first generation offspring of two purebreds, became a growing trend a little over a decade ago. Though a controversial issue among die-hard pure bred breeders and animal advocates, designer dogs were created by breeders who custom-design a useful and more convenient dog to suit the owner’s needs and preferences.  

If you love the Labrador, but hate the shedding, you might opt for a Labradoodle, which is part Labrador and part Poodle. The mix results in a hypoallergenic coat.

While it sounds like a match made in dog heaven, the demand for crossbreeds can result in irresponsible breeding, puppy mills and can contribute to overpopulation of homeless pets, or even worse, animals with health defects. 

The American Canine Hybrid Club lists recognize hybrid crossbreeds, and there are often rescues for these hybrids, where you can purchase a dog that needs a home with a nominal rescue fee.

The designer dog can be a genius way to customize your pooch with the desired traits, size, temperament and look that meets your needs, but be prepared for the designer price tag which is often comparable to that of a pure bred. Like with any new dog, it’s essential to research the crossbreed and find a responsible breeder before you commit, otherwise you may end up with a designer pooch full of problems and supporting unethical breeding.

 

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 Now that you know a bit more about their origins of the designer dog and what to be wary of, decide which marvelous “mutt” suits you best.

1. The Pomapoo - Pomeranian and Poodle

A pomeranian bred with a poodle makes a pomapoo        Straight, curly or wavy hair, the designer Pomapoo is relatively small in size, weighing 10-15 pounds. Depending on its coat, the Pomapoo may need frequent brushing and grooming.
        Highly-playful dogs, Pomapoos are not only easy on the eyes, they’re easy to housebreak, very social, energetic and capable of being entertained both indoors and outdoors. 
        If you don’t like a barker, the Pomapoo may not be for you. Their temperament is a good mix between the Poodle's more passive nature and a Pomeranian's somewhat aggressive personality. They are known to bark incessantly, which makes them great watchdogs. 
        The barking can also be curbed with sufficient training as a puppy.

Well-suited for people with:
    -  Small children or senior citizens
    -  Other household pets
    -  Small apartment
    -  Time for attention and play
    -  Time for frequent grooming and brushing 
            Average Cost: $200 - $1500

A pug bred with a beagle makes a puggle2. The Puggle - Pug and Beagle  
        Puggle rhymes with snuggle, which is what you’ll want to do with this lovable lap dog. Short legs, curled tail, smooth coat and a deeply wrinkled forehead give the Puggle an adorable appearance. Originating back in the 1980’s, the Puggle is the ultimate designer dog and currently the most popular crossbreed, notorious for being sweet-tempered, very social, energetic, intelligent and playful.  
        Relatively small in size, the Puggle grows to be between fifteen and thirty pounds and does well with 30-40 minute daily walks to release excess energy. The Beagle traits make Puggles very curious with a keen sense of smell. They have also been known to howl on occasion. 
        While they are relatively easy to train, Puggles can be difficult to potty train.

Well-suited for people with:
  -  Small children
  -  Other household pets
  -  Time to devote to 30-40 minute daily walks  
  -  A fenced area for them to run and play
  -   Small apartment
  Average Cost:
$600 - $2000

3. The Bug - Boston Terrier and Pug
A boston terrier bred with a pug makes a bug.
        Pugs are gentile, sweet-natured, playful and lovable. The endearing Bug has the best of both parent breeds, known for their good temperament, playful nature, energy and intelligence. If bred by responsible breeders, Bugs can be a lovely lap dog for families with small children. However, if bred by an irresponsible breeder, a Bug may exhibit health problems associated with both breeds such as corneal infections and respiratory issues. 
        This particular breed is sensitive to extreme heat and cold leading to overheating or chilling easily, which can be deadly to the breed. Watch out! Bugs can be chow hounds and are said to eat anything anytime, so don’t over feed them or you’ll wind up with an overly plump pooch.

Well-suited for people:  
  -  With small children 
  -  People without other household pets 
  -  Small fenced yard to play and run
  -  Time for regular exercise and walks 
  -  A temperate climate
       Average cost: $400- $1800

4. The Jack-A-Poo/Jack-A-Doodle - Jack Russell Terrier and PoodleJack Russell Terrier bred with a Poodle makes a Jack-A-Poo or Jack-A-Doodle
        Ask any Jack Russell Terrier owner and they’ll most likely equate having a Jack Russell Terrier to having a extremely energetic, smart and often mischievous small child. They grow to between 15-25 pounds.
        The hybrid crossbreed is fairly new, so there isn’t much information available about them. However, the intent behind mixing the Poodle with the Jack Russell Terrier is easy to understand. Jack Russell Terriers are notorious for their exceptional intelligence, extreme high-energy and need for constant stimulation. If not well-trained at an early age, this fearless dog can be a recipe for disaster and destruction.
        The Poodle is also one of the most highly-intelligible breeds, with more of a docile temperament. Jack Russell Terriers also shed a lot, while Poodles are a low-shed breed whose coat is nearly hypoallergenic.
        While there’s no guarantee on their temperament, the Jack-A-Poo can make a smart pet, choc-full of personality.

Well-suited for people:  
  -  With experience training dogs/Experienced dog owner
  -  People without other household pets or children
  -  Who spend most of their time at home
  -  Who are physically active and enjoy bringing their dog to participate
  -  With a fenced yard to run and play
        Average Cost:
$400 -$1000
 
5. The Labradoodle - Labrador and Poodle
A labrador bred with a poodle makes a labradoodle
        When it comes to the perfect family pet, the Labradoodle takes the cake. Friendly, sociable, non-aggressive and exceptionally intuitive, this crossbreed offers all of the characteristics of the perfect companion.
        A fairly new crossbreed developed in Australia in 1988, these highly-intelligent and trainable, dogs are often used as guide dogs, therapy pets and other assistance dogs. Their hypoallergenic coat make for an excellent dog for those who have allergies or simply for people who loath shedding. 
        Labradoodles come in three sizes: the Standards, the Mediums and the Miniatures and range from 40 - 77 pounds. 
        One of the most interesting features of the Labradoodle is their coat. Some have a Fleece coat, which has a fleecy feeling distinct to the crossbreed. Others have a Wool Curly coat, resembling a wool sweater.  These dogs are in high-demand and can be very expensive.

Well-suited for people: 
  -  With small children
  -  With disabilities
  -  Who are allergic to dogs
  -  Who have other household pets
  -  Have a yard and plenty of playtime to prevent boredom
         Average cost:
$400- $2500

6. The Shorkie - Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu 
A yorkshire terrier bred with a shih tzu makes a shorkie
        Despite the goofy name, the Shorkie is social, sweet-tempered and playful. Originating in the United States, the Shorkie crossbreed has been around for roughly twenty years. They interact well with children, but play should be supervised. Children can play rough and unknowingly hurt the dog during play.
        Intelligent and relatively easy to train, the Shorkie is an affectionate, friendly and a small dog, weighing between seven and sixteen pounds. A companion dog, the Shorkie can get attached to its owners and often protective.
        Occasionally stubborn, the crossbreed is well-mannered and a relatively low-maintenance dog who is well-suited in a small apartment. If you live in a cold climate, due to its small size, it’s often advised to provide the dog with a sweater. In warmer climates, owners might want to keep the dog’s hair short.

Well-suited for people:  
  -  With small children (supervised play)
  -  With a small apartment
  -  Moderate training
  -  Regular grooming every 6-8 weeks
  -  With other animals
     Average cost:
$750-$900
 

7. The Mastador - Labrador Retriever and Mastiff 

A labrador retriever bred with a mastiff makes a mastador        Though the name sounds like a type of dinosaur, the Mastador is a relatively gentle giant. Weighing in well over 100 pounds, Mastadors are best suited for families with older children, due to their size.
        They make terrific family dogs if they are accustomed to family members.  It’s recommended that they have a larger living space, since they are inclined to knock things over when overly excited. 
        Well-built, lean and muscular, Mastadors love to play, but can be destructive if frequently left home alone and with insufficient exercise. They require a large fenced yard, since they are excellent jumpers and have been known to clear a four-foot fence.

Well-suited for people: 
  -  With older children
  -  With a house with room to stretch 
  -  A high-fenced enclosed yard
  -  Who can afford to feed them: Mastadors require lots of food
  -  Mastadors require daily exercise
     Average cost:
$400 - $800

Whether large or small, designer dogs can be a fuzzy, burley or a tiny companion. Be sure to research the breeders before you buy to make sure they’re using ethical breeding practices. Also, search your local shelters or rescues to see if they have the crossbreed you’re looking for.  It’s always fashionable to rescue a life.