Thursday, 1 April 2021

Oodles of doodles, shnorkies and puggles! The rapid rise in popularity of the crossbreed

No, we haven’t invented a new language, although it does sound like the cast of characters from the next Harry Potter film. These are just a few of the names for crossbreed dogs, a growing trend in dog breeding and ownership. It is where two established breeds are crossed to make pups with the characteristics of both breeds in one dog. The results combine, for example, the coat and build of one dog with the temperament of the other. 

                                          The popular Labradoodle crossbreed © Purely Pets

There are now many crossbreed dogs, from the popular Labradoodle (Labrador/Poodle) with its distinctive soft curly coat and friendly, gentle temperament, to the rarer Chorkie (Chihuahua/Yorkshire Terrier), and even the exotically-named Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Bichon Frise).

                                        This cute chap is a Puggle, a Pug/Beagle cross © Purely Pets

However, if you are thinking of taking the plunge and owning a crossbreed puppy, it is worth reading up carefully to know what to expect. Many crossbreeds, whilst undeniably cute and attractive dogs, may inherit characteristics or hereditary health issues that are less desirable, and may put the dog at risk of unnecessary suffering. As with any decision about a new puppy, check out breeders very carefully, research first, and ideally see the puppies with the mother in their own home before parting with any money. Be wary of puppy farms, and try to avoid importing a dog from a breeder abroad. 

Sadly, with the increase in popularity of dogs, including crossbreeds, unscrupulous breeders will try to make fast money at the expense of the dog’s health and well-being.

Which crossbreed is right for you?

Think about the characteristics of the breed of dogs that combine to make the crossbreed. For example, the Puggle (Pug/Beagle cross) has the Pug’s chilled personality, but also his squashed face that can give rise to breathing problems. The Beagle characteristics make for a livelier dog who will require more exercise, and they can be stubborn.

The highly-popular Labradoodle, with his usually golden curly coat, teddy bear appearance and good-natured character, can have hereditary health problems, even though this is a well-established crossbreed. The Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever/Poodle cross) can end up matted due to the combination of a coat that is both long and curly, so will need regular grooming.

                                               The Goldendoodle, undeniably appealing, but prone to matting

© By Gullpavon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Carefully consider both the pros and cons of a crossbreed dog. Talk to owners if you can, do your research (there are many online forums and reputable websites), and find the best and most reliable breeder before taking the plunge. It’s easy to be swayed by big brown eyes and a silky coat, without thinking of the longer term responsibilities of crossbreed ownership.