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12 Designer Dog Breeds And Their History (+ Photos!)

Designer Dog Breeds
Designer dog breeds

Designer dog breeds have become increasingly popular among pet owners all over the world in recent decades. But where did designer dog breeds come from, and what is their history?

These breeds were developed by mating two different purebred dogs together to produce a new hybrid breed with distinctive traits and qualities. From the Puggle to the Labradoodle, designer dog breeds have taken the world by storm.

But how did these breeds originate, and what served as the motivation for their development? We’ll dive deep into the fascinating history of designer dog breeds in this blog post and explore their origin, history, and rise to popularity.

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What is a designer dog breed?

Many people associate designer dogs with fashion, commercials, or celebrities, but this is not true and is far from reality.

A designer dog breed is one that is purposefully created by crossing two separate purebred dogs of different breeds to create a new breed with certain traits.

Designer dog breeds = mixed breed dogs

Developing a dog that combines the greatest qualities of its parent breeds is the aim of designer breeding. For instance, a Labradoodle is a hybrid or designer dog breed that combines the hypoallergenic traits of a Poodle with the high activity level, loyalty, and affection of a Labrador.

On the other hand, a purebred dog is one that has a documented pedigree and comes from a line of dogs of the same breed. This indicates that both of its parents, as well as its grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, are of the same breed. 

Kennel clubs, like the American Kennel Club (AKC), recognize purebred dogs, and to be certified as such, they must adhere to strict breed standards for appearance, temperament, and conduct.

Not all kennel associations recognize designer breeds as official breeds. The American Kennel Club (AKC), for example, only recognizes purebred dogs that meet specified breed standards.

However, certain kennel associations, like the Designer Breed Registry (DBR), focus specifically on recognizing and registering designer breeds.

For example, they have the German Shepherd Husky Mix aka Gerberian Shepsky on their recognized breeds list.

What Are Designer Dog Breeds?
This designer dog breed is a Gerberian Shepsky! 😍 Image from @katarasadventure

When did designer dog breeds start?

Designer dog breeds can be traced back to the late 20th century when breeders began experimenting with crossing different purebred dogs. 

The goal was to create a new breed that inherited both parent breeds’ desirable traits while minimizing their negative traits. As a result, a variety of new hybrid breeds emerged, which quickly gained popularity among dog lovers.

Designer dog breeds are a relatively new development in the world of dog breeding, with the first documented designer breed, the Cockapoo (a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle), appearing in Australia in the 1950s. 

However, the trend of creating designer dogs really took off in the 1990s and 2000s.

There are hundreds of different designer dog breeds available today, each with its own set of characteristics, appearance, and temperament. 

The Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle), Maltipoo (Maltese and Poodle), Labradoodle (Poodle and Labrador), Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle), and a few others are among the most popular designer breeds.

12 designer dog breeds and their history

Following is a list of different designer dog breeds along with their history.

1. Cockapoo 

The cockapoo, a popular hybrid dog breed, was developed in the United States between the 1950s and 1960s and is thought to be the first designer dog. 

They were created by breeding a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel to create a dog with the intelligence and low-shedding of the Poodle and the sociable and lovable nature of the Cocker Spaniel.

The breed gained popularity in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. The breed was initially referred to as a “Spoodle” in the United States, but the name Cockapoo quickly gained popularity.

Cockapoo Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is a Cockapoo! 😍 Image from @ruby.doothecockapoo
Pomsky Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is a Pomsky! 🥰 Image from @johnnyatys

2. Pomsky

Meet the Pomsky! This husky mix breed is a result of a Siberian Husky and a Pomeranian falling in love and having a cute little puppy together. While the first documented litter of Pomskies appeared in 2012, this lovable breed has since skyrocketed in popularity, becoming the most popular designer dog breed in 2017.

Not only do Pomskies possess the intelligence and energy of a Husky, but they also have the charming and irresistible looks of a Pomeranian, making them the perfect companion for anyone who loves small and beautiful dogs. However, breeding a Husky with a Pomeranian is no easy task. That’s why the artificial insemination method is used to produce Pomskies, ensuring that each adorable puppy is carefully crafted with love and care.

3. Labradoodle 

During the 1980s, there were few dog breeds that were hypoallergenic and had the potential to become excellent guide dogs. During that time, Wally Conron of Royal Guide Dogs in Victoria, Australia, decided to develop a dog breed with a low shedding hypoallergenic coat that was also easy to train and had a very affectionate and outgoing personality. 

To achieve his goal he bred a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle and the designer dog breed “Labradoodle” came into existence. Labradoodles did not become popular among dog lovers and people with asthma and allergies until 1989.

As Labradoodles became more popular, breeders began experimenting with different sizes and coat varieties. Standard, medium, and miniature Labradoodles are now available worldwide in a variety of coat styles, including curly, wavy, and straight.

Labradoodle Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is a Labradoodle! 😍 Image from @misterjameshond
Golden Doodle Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is called a Goldendoodle! 😴 Image from @bearthedoo

4. Goldendoodle

The first record of breeding Goldendoodles dates back to 1969, but the breed skyrocketed in popularity after the 1990s when Labradoodles became popular pets throughout the United States. 

The origin of the Goldendoodle is unknown, but they are thought to have originated in the United States and Australia.

Because Golden Retrievers were popular pets in the United States, it was a natural choice for dog breeders to cross a calm, loving, obedient, and playful Golden Retriever with a hypoallergenic Poodle.

People wanted to create a mini version of these designer dogs, so in 2002, a dog breeder named Amy Lane of Fox Creek Farm in Berkeley Springs, WV created Mini Goldendoodles by breeding the Golden Retriever with a miniature-sized Poodle, and the first litter of Mini Goldendoodles contained 10 puppies!

5. Malti-poo

This designer dog breed was developed in the United States in the 1990s. They are a cross between the Maltese and the Poodle breeds.

The Malti-poo was developed with the goal of creating a small companion dog with a hypoallergenic coat that could easily fit into any household, regardless of living space. 

They are also a low-maintenance dog breed that makes an excellent companion for people who have busy work schedules.

Maltipoo Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is called a Maltipoo! 🥰 Image from @teddy_maltipoo1
Goldador Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is called a Goldador! 😍 Image from @hyogo.moudouken2212

6. Goldador

Goldador is one of the most recent designer dog breeds, but their origins are unknown. However, some claim that they originated in the United States around the turn of the century somewhere during the late 1990s and early 2000s. 

The goal of developing this dog breed was to create a strong, energetic working dog with the sensitivity of a Golden Retriever and the energy and personality of a Labrador Retriever. 

When compared to some of the other designer dog breeds, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Goldador has not gained widespread popularity among dog lovers.

7. Maltese Shih-Tzu

This designer dog breed is relatively new in comparison to other designer dog breeds, and while its exact history and origins are unknown, it is believed to have originated in the United States in the 1990s. 

The goal in creating this dog breed was to combine the small size of a Shih Tzu with the low shedding coat of a Maltese. The Maltese-Shih Tzu is a small, cute dog with an outgoing and social personality.

Maltese Shih-Tzu Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is called a Maltese Shih-Tzu! 🥰 Image from @itssnowbeawr
Yorkipoo Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is called a Yorkipoo! So cute!! 😍 Image from @yorkiedaily_ins2

8. Yorkipoo

The Yorkipoo is a designer dog created by crossing a Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy Poodle. 

They were first bred 20 to 30 years ago, most likely in the 1990s.

Yorkipoos make excellent companions and are very playful dogs who enjoy participating in all activities and are very loyal.

9. Cavapoo 

The Cavapoo is one of the most well-known designer dog breeds in the world, having originated in Australia in the 1990s when most people were looking for a small companion dog that was also hypoallergenic. 

Breeders at the time decided to cross the hypoallergenic Mini Poodle with the most affectionate, social, playful, and easy-to-train Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in order to achieve the desired traits of both parent dog breeds.

Cavapoo Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is called a Cavapoo! 🥰 Image from @flik_thecavapoo
Cavachon Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is called a Cavachon! 😍 Image from @bailey_cavachon2021

10. Cavachon

The Cavachon is a small designer dog breed created by combining a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Bichon Frise. According to some records, this breed was first developed in North America in 1996. 

Cavachons have become extremely popular as companion dogs due to their friendly and affectionate nature and small size. Cavachons were bred so that people with small houses and gardens could have a beautiful dog that takes up less living space and has fewer medical issues.

11. Peekapoo

Peekapoo is a designer dog created by crossing a Pekingese and a Miniature/Toy Poodle. 

Although the name of this dog sounds similar to the popular game Peekaboo, it has nothing to do with it. 

Peekapoo is one of the oldest designer dog breeds, thought to have originated in the 1950s and gained popularity after the 1960s when there was a high demand for small dogs with hypoallergenic qualities.

Peekapoo Mixed Dog Breed
This cute mixed dog breed is called a Peekapoo! 🥰 Image from @epabruno
Puggle Mixed Dog Breed
This mixed dog breed is called a Puggle! 😮 Image from @wanderrudel2022

12. Puggle

The Puggle is a popular designer dog breed that was intentionally created in the 1980s by Wisconsin breeder Wallace Havens. 

The breed has grown in popularity in the United States over time, becoming one of the most sought-after designer breeds. They even set a record in 2005 as the most popular designer breed.

Despite their popularity, the American Kennel Club has yet to recognize Puggles as a distinct dog breed. Puggles have the wrinkles and eyes of a Pug, but their snot is longer like that of a Beagle, making them less prone to respiratory problems than a traditional Pug.

What happens when a dog is bred with a closely related dog?

Breeding dogs that are closely related can result in a higher likelihood of genetic problems in their offspring, due to an increased chance of inheriting the same harmful genes from both parents. This process is called inbreeding, and it can result in a reduction of genetic diversity within a population or breed.

When two dogs are bred, their offspring inherit one copy of each gene from each parent. If both parents have the same harmful gene (a recessive gene), their offspring have a higher chance of inheriting two copies of that gene, which can lead to a genetic disorder or disease. Inbreeding can also increase the likelihood of other genetic problems, such as hip dysplasia, deafness, or eye disorders.

Do designer dog breeds have more health problems?

Designer dog breeds can potentially have more inherent health problems compared to purebred dogs because they are often the result of crossing two different purebred dog breeds. When two different breeds are crossed, the offspring may inherit a combination of genetic traits from both parent breeds, which can increase the likelihood of genetic disorders or health issues.

However, it’s important to note that not all designer dog breeds are inherently less healthy than purebred dogs. Many designer breeds are created to address health problems that are common in their parent breeds, and responsible breeders will use genetic testing and careful selection of breeding pairs to minimize the risk of health issues in their offspring.

Designer dog breeds vs Purebred dog breeds

Designer dog breeds are different from purebred dogs in several ways.

Here are some of the key differences:

  1. Origins: Designer dog breeds are the result of intentionally crossbreeding two different purebred dog breeds, while purebred dogs are the result of breeding dogs of the same breed for many generations.
  2. Appearance: Designer dog breeds can have a wide range of appearances, depending on the specific breeds used in the crossbreeding process. In contrast, purebred dogs typically have a more consistent appearance within their breed.
  3. Health: Designer dog breeds may have a higher risk of inheriting health problems due to the combination of genetic traits from both parent breeds. Purebred dogs may also have a higher risk of inherited health problems, due to the practice of inbreeding to maintain specific breed characteristics.
  4. Popularity: Designer dog breeds have become increasingly popular in recent years, while purebred dogs have been popular for many decades or even centuries.
  5. Price: Designer dog breeds can be more expensive than purebred dogs, due to their novelty and rarity.
  6. Recognition: Designer dog breeds are not recognized by major kennel clubs, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), while purebred dogs are registered and recognized by these organizations.

It’s important to note that these differences are generalizations and may not apply to every individual dog or breed. Responsible breeding practices and proper care can help to minimize health risks and ensure the overall well-being of both designer and purebred dogs.

Designer Dog Breeds vs Purebred Dog Breeds
This happy designer dog breed is called a Huskydoodle, a mix between a Siberian Husky and a Poodle. 😊 Image from @louielikethat

What to look for when getting a designer dog breed

When considering getting a designer dog, it’s important for pet parents to look for certain traits to ensure that they find a dog that is a good fit for their lifestyle and needs.

Here are some traits that pet parents may want to consider:

  • Temperament: It’s important to research the temperaments of both parent breeds to get an idea of what the designer dog’s temperament may be like. Look for a breed with a temperament that matches your lifestyle and personality.
  • Energy level: Different breeds have different energy levels, so it’s important to choose a designer breed with an energy level that matches your lifestyle. For example, if you live in a small apartment, a high-energy breed may not be the best fit.
  • Size: Designer dog breeds can vary widely in size, so consider the size of the dog you want and make sure that it will be a good fit for your home and lifestyle.
  • Coat type: Different breeds have different coat types, so consider how much time and effort you are willing to put into grooming and maintaining your dog’s coat.
  • Health: Look for a breeder who takes steps to ensure the health of their dogs and puppies, such as genetic testing and proper veterinary care. Ask about the health history of both parent breeds and their offspring.
  • Trainability: Some breeds are easier to train than others, so consider your experience with dog training and choose a breed that matches your skill level.

By considering these traits when choosing a designer dog, pet parents can increase their chances of finding a dog that will be a good fit for their lifestyle and needs. It’s also important to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs and puppies.

Final thoughts: should you get a designer dog breed?

Designer dog breeds have become increasingly popular over the years, and are the result of intentionally crossbreeding two different purebred dog breeds. While there are some differences between designer dog breeds and purebred dogs, such as appearance and health risks, the most important factor in a dog’s overall health and well-being is the care they receive from their owner.

When considering getting a designer dog, it’s important to look for traits such as temperament, energy level, size, coat type, and trainability, and to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs and puppies. By taking the time to carefully research and choose a designer dog that is a good fit for your lifestyle and needs, you can ensure a happy and healthy life for your furry companion.

Ultimately, whether you choose a designer dog breed or a purebred dog, the most important thing is to provide them with the love, care, and attention they deserve. With proper care and attention, your dog can be a faithful and beloved companion for many years to come.

Do you have a designer dog breed?

Share your love for them in the comments below.

Further reading: 👉 Different Types of Huskies

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Max Jacobs
Max Jacobs is the owner and lead author of Husky Gifts. He loves spending time with his family, who have two huskies. Max loves to write and is passionate about creating interesting and engaging content. To learn more, visit the team section of the about page.

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