So called 'Designer Dogs' - as the media has labelled them,' are becoming more popular and there are to date over 200 different hybrid combinations.

A purebred puppy is one that has been bred over many many generations and each sibling will have the same looks so you know exactly what you are getting. You will know how big your puppy is going to grow, how much food it is going to require and what its grooming requirements are going to be. Respectable breeders also carry out appropriate health testing for their chosen breed.

So are hybrid dogs healther, in short, no, as you are crossing two first generation dogs, and you should be prepared for a combination of both hereditary conditions from each breed. Some mixes bring together breeds susceptible to similar inherited medical problems. In the case of the Labradoodle you can have a dog with the potential to have problems with hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and progressive retinal atrophy. Scrupulous breeders of purebred dogs are duty bound to improve the line, which means they must never mate a dog with such inherited diseases and must never pair, say, a Poodle, with another breed. Hybrid dogs dont have a breed standard, or any expectation of the breeders to carry out any form of genetic testing.

One of the first hybrids was a Labradoodle, (Poodle and Labrador Retriever), and their popularity arose as people wanted a Retriever like dog that did not moult. Whereas in reality, this is not the case as the puppies could take on either the coat characteristics of either parent. Some experienced breeders will claim they can give you a pretty good idea what type of coat the puppy will have, but this cannot be guaranteed, and will not become apparent until the puppy is older, which is unfortunately why a lot of hybrid dogs are in Rescue. See the Labradoodle Trust web site here. Hybrids can also inherit the worst traits of both parents. It seems that each week there is a new cross, some breeders will cross anything with anything and make up a name - Colliepoo's - Border Collies crossed with Poodles, both have different hereditary diseases, puppies could inherit both sets, and with the intelligence of both breeds, many are very highly strung and sadly all too common in Rescue Centres. Having owned a Border Collie myself, I know from first hand experience how highly strung these dogs can be, they need lots of exercise and mental stimulation, most suited to experienced households where someone is at home all day as they can be very destructive, add a Poodle cross into the mix, and you could have a very very demanding puppy/adult dog on your hands.

Designer crosses are produced for demand and as they are not KC registered, there is no governing body as such, with bitches being bred far too frequently with sub standard sires with bad hip scores etc, and dogs with aggressive tendencies. It tantamounts to low level puppy farming. Speak to any groomer and they will tell you what a nightmare these designer dogs coats can be, anything with a Poodle mix will need regular six weekly visits to a professional groomer.

I have come across some bizarre crosses when scanning bitches to confirm pregnancy, some breeders have even commented on the skin problems they have, but they still think it is ok to breed from them, sometimes on every season..

It seems that owners of two breeds are making up oddball breeds with a 'designer' name, and some also come with a 'designer' price tag too.

For Sale “Rare” colours, Blue Pied, Harlequin, Blue Fawn, Slate, Lilac, or some choose the word 'colourful' etc
There is nothing rare or unusual about any of the colours listed above.  They are uncommon because serious breeders who have the welfare of the breed at heart choose not to breed them. Rare colours are nothing more nor less than a marketing scam. 

Why ?  Some fad colours have been linked to health conditions, specifically, blues with  a condition called colour dilution alopecia this condition is so common in blue dogs of every breed  that it is often referred to as “Blue  Dog  Alopecia”.  This condition can result in hair loss and chronic  skin inflammation. This inflammation can lead to skin ruptures, cracks and injuries, leaving the dogs afflicted by it, prone to Staph infections, or even MRSA. In some breeds blue dogs can suffer from  an immune linked disorder which can cause puppies to die within the first few weeks after birth. Two dogs mated together that carry the 'merle' gene can have disastrous consequences. The merle gene can completely destroy most of the pigment including the pigment in the inner ear and the back of the eye, which is necessary for normal hearing and eyesight. Deafness and blindness, in this case, are a direct consequence of lacking pigment.

Very very occasionally a reputable breeder may unintentionally, get a puppy of a non standard colour in a litter. This puppy would simply be placed in a pet home, never to be bred from. In fact, past breeders who had odd colours appear would usually place the puppies for free, since their colour was considered highly undesirable.

Some people are attempting to hoodwink buyers into believing these so called rare puppies are highly sought after and will inflate their value.   These people are scamming you into paying a ridiculously high price for a puppy that, years ago, would have been given away for free.  They are taking advantage of the naivety of novice owners, who might be attracted to the idea of owning  something ‘different’, and who don’t understand the truth behind ‘fad’ colours. 

The hidden suffering of dogs bred to be cute............HERE

Puppy farms are located throughout the UK, but around 80% of them are located in two areas in Wales. On the 30th November, 2013 after more than 100,000 signatures on a petition, the Government announced they would debate the future of the battery puppy early next year.

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See more here and here

K9 Magazine - Hey Look I created a new Designer Dog, now give me your money click here

The Dog Trust recommendations when buying a puppy below

Good breeders will not let a puppy go until he/she is at least eight weeks old.

What to ask yourself and the breeder:

  • Can I see the puppies with their mum?
    Be sure mum is a nice, friendly dog because temperament can be inherited. She might be defensive of her puppies so take that into account. If you’re not allowed to see them together, it might be that they’re not really her puppies.
  • How old is mum?
    She should be over a year old, but not obviously very old.
  • Have the puppies been wormed?
    All puppies have worms at birth. Worming should start with the breeder at about two weeks old, be repeated every two weeks and be continued by you.
  • Have the puppies had any vaccinations? If so, when is the next dose due?
    Puppies should be vaccinated at 6-9 weeks of age and then again at 10-12 weeks. They will become fully protected two weeks after the second vaccination. You will need to do this if the breeder has not.
  • Does the puppy look healthy – clean eyes, ears etc?
    If the puppy is unwell, collect him another day. If he’s still ill then, do not take him and try another breeder.
  • What should I feed my puppy? Do you have a diet sheet to take away?
    A good breeder will give you enough food to continue exactly the same diet for a couple of days. They should also give you a diet sheet that shows how feeding should change as your puppy grows.
  • What sort of socialisation or experiences has my puppy had so far?
    Puppies should preferably be raised in a home environment with all the noise and through traffic of a normal home. Those raised in kennels away from the house will need more intensive socialisation training to ensure they can cope with daily life as a pet. If puppies have already met other dogs, domestic animals and people they will have more confidence than those that have not.
  • Can I return the puppy if there are any health problems or my circumstances change?
    You should take your new puppy to a vet for a health check within 48 hours. A good breeder will offer to take the puppy back at any point should you be unable to keep him.
  • Is the puppy Kennel Club registered?
    If so, make sure you are given the registration certificate and pedigree when you pick up your puppy. You may also get some free health insurance for the first few weeks.
  • When can I take the puppy home?
    It is absolutely essential to see the puppies with their mother. Some unscrupulous people claiming to be breeders might in fact be dealers who have bought the pups in. They are likely to be poorly bred, might be ill and are usually too young to leave their exhausted, ill-treated mothers. If they survive, these puppies rarely make good pets, and you will be fuelling this cruel trade where money is the priority and welfare of the dog is ignored.
  • If in doubt, you can speak to one of the members of your local breed club who would be more than happy to recommend a breeder.



  • NEVER buy from a pet shop
  • AVOID anywhere advertising more than three different breeds
  • DO NOT buy a puppy if you have any doubts about the breeder or situation – even if you want to rescue it.

    Interesting article from the Kennel Club regarding the small teacup designer breeds here