Should I Buy a Designer Dog?





Should I buy a designer dog? Since the first designer dog was created in Australia by Wally Cochran, the trend for producing designer dog breeds has increased dramatically. Some people are unhappy with the new designer dog trend and are concerned about the future health problems these dogs may face. This article aims to help people understand more about designer dogs, together with the darker side of the industry and how to avoid.



So First Question Should You Buy A Designer Breed?

Designer dogs are continuing to grow in popularity, but should you support this growing trend by buying one? There have been a number of reports warning people of the health problems faced by some of these dogs, and these include breathing problems, arthritis, and weak bones. Many of these designer breeds have hypoallergenic coats, and this may be one of the reasons why they have become popular family pets.

What is a Designer Dog?

I have two friends who live in Devon in the UK, they have recently purchased the most adorable Cocker Poo, (Lola,…the show girl) as the name suggests it is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle (in this case a Toy Poodle. With a whimsical name like

Lola the Cocker Poo
Me and Lola (the showgirl)

Cocker Poo it sounds adorable. It actually is adorable. But in meeting Lola I wanted to ask the question about is it ethically and morally right to purchase a mixed breed

A designer dog is basically a crossbreed that can come in just about every shape, colour, and size. The first designer dog was the labradoodle, and this was produced in Australia by a man called Wally Cochran who worked for the Royal Guide dogs in Victoria. His task was to produce a guide dog for a blind woman whose husband suffered from allergies. Wally eventually produced the labradoodle by crossing a Labrador with a standard poodle.

What Should You Look Out For If You Decide to Buy a Designer Breed?

Many people think that designer dogs have fewer health problems than purebreds and will inherit the best qualities from each of their parents. There is no guarantee of this, and crossbreeding can actually introduce health problems into the mix. Labradoodles, for example, are known to have a higher percentage of poor hips than Labradors and poodles. It is also a myth that all designer dogs come with a low-shedding coat.

When considering a designer dog, it is important to do all the usual checks you would do when looking to buy any puppy. You should also check out the breeder’s credentials to ensure that they are working within acceptable conditions.

Can You Guarantee the Eventual Size & Temperament Of a Designer dog?

The size and temperament of a designer dog cannot always be fully guaranteed, as the dog could inherit more genes from one parent than the other. It is always best to Pomeranian in a coatbuy your dog from a reputable breeder and ask to see the parents of the litter before making any decisions. It may also be a good idea to speak to other people who have purchased dogs from the same breeder.

Are Designer Dogs Expensive To Buy?

Many designer dog breeders are actually dedicated to producing the perfect breed standard and therefore charge high prices for their puppies. These designer breeds are not just crossbreeds with fancy combo names, as mating two crossbreeds rarely results in a 50-50 cross. To produce a 50-50 cross, a breeder needs to use two good purebred dogs, which then limits the number of people who can breed them. Prices are also determined by the popularity of the breed and can be further inflated if a number of celebrities are seen with a particular designer dog in tow.

Is a Designer Breed a Better Choice than a Purebred?

A designer dog does not necessarily make a better companion than a purebred dog. Many people are drawn towards designer dogs because they are influenced by the publicity many of these dogs receive. It is therefore best to decide what type of dog best suits your lifestyle before setting your sights on a particular breed. If you want a dog that will go running with you, for example, then you will require a low-maintenance and obedient dog that has lots of energy and endurance. If, on the other hand, you want a dog that is great with children then you will require a dog that is gentle, friendly, and easy to train.

Is There A Dark Side To Designer Breeds.


This required further research and sad to say there is a dark side, many of the cross-breeds are left with terrible debilitating pain, this because of genetic defects when breeds are mixed with unregulated breeders. The demand is for smaller and cuter dogs, just like those we often see accompanying celebs on their Instagram. Many of these tiny breeds suffer breathing difficulties weak bones and arthritis.

Kennel Club say “Rogue breeders are mass-producing the puppies to meet the latest Celebrity-driven trend” That is not to say the celebrities are to blame, far from it. Perhaps the breeders should consider their own part in this trade.

Puppy farming is always a risk, lately a new influx of designer puppies are arriving from Eastern Europe. These countries do not have to undergo the welfare standards we expect. So with a frightening statistic of between 50-75% of small designer dogs, together with the flat nosed breeds, they are suffering from chronic breathing problems. We need to look carefully at the moral and ethical implications together with the route your puppy took to arrive at your door.

With this in mind and with your own research you can avoid this trap. Granted it won’t stop the trade but it by doing the right thing it will reduce the criminal activity if the buyers are reduced.

I am a sucker for the cocker poos and the Westie/Cairns, (not sure if they have a witty name) but these are my two favourite cross-breeds. If you like small breed dogs you might find an article I have written useful.

Click on the link for further information about Small Breeds 

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully, this article will have provided you with the answers to most of your questions on designer dogs. You can now make up your own mind and decide whether you should buy a designer dog or not. Whatever dog you decide to buy, it is important to remember that all dogs require a large amount of work and should only be purchased if they fit into your lifestyle.

If you have ever considered owning an Adult Rescue Dog rather than a designer puppy, may I suggest you head over to an article I wrote recently. How to adopt a rescue dog – taking out the risks

Think you for reading thus far.

I would love to hear your comments. Other readers get real value from reading what others and you think. Comment below

Cordelia & Dolly

Cameo from Lola – The Show Girl.

Lola the Cocker Poo


Visuals: Own, Unsplash and Pixabay

Kennel Club Quote- Online story from Telegraph Newspaper 14th September 2017

NB apologies for the Lola picture quality but it never the less shows what a little beauty she is. I

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20 Replies to “Should I Buy a Designer Dog?”

  1. Wow, so nice to learn  more information about the beautiful designer dogs and what they really look like. My friend has been telling me that she wants to get a designer dog this Christmas but I didn’t understand what it meant. Sounded like a dog made out of designer clothes to me. I understand now what it means though and I feel I should get one too myself. You didn’t talk about the price of getting one. Are they expensive?

    1. Hello Henderson, 

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and read my post. 

      When you are looking for your future dog just ensure you trust the breeders background. There are many reputable breeders who take their role seriously. 

      I am sure you will get a great deal of pleasure. 

      Costs vary depending on the parentage it is not unusual for both parents to be pure breeds. Do your research and read up on the breed cross. Try staying away from the very small toy breeds. These and flat nosed breeds are the most at risk of health risks

      I would never recommend getting a puppy for Christmas, a puppy requires time and dedication in the early days and Christmas can be a fraught and busy time.  Many reputable breeders will not sell over the festive period. By all means choose your new puppy over Christmas when she is young (say four weeks old) then pick him or her up 4-6 weeks later. 

      Good luck and happy puppy days. 


  2. Even though you have something wonderful to read…I have to say every dog in my book is a designer dog…

    I volunteered at a few shelters, you be surprised how many designer dogs I come across at the shelters…People put in alot of money into these dogs & to see them in the shelter was devastating!

    But I definitely like your take on difference between a purebred & a designer dog, alot of ppl don’t think of difference..So educating is very important especially if you decide to buy from a breeder

    Great work! 

    1. Thank you Genia, 

      I loved how you introduced the Shelter Dogs into your reply. I am a real fan of owners looking at these environments. I included a link for readers to scroll through. What a wonderful volunteer job you do. I take my hat off to you. 

      Finally I liked your first comment. All dogs are designer dogs. Are’nt they indeed.. Thankyou for taking the time to read my post 🙂

  3. Hello Cordella, having a pet can be really lovely and having a designer dog seems a really great idea. 

    I once had the chance to take ownership of a cute and beautiful crossbreed puppy, however she had little problem because she couldn’t deal with cold very well and I was forced to hand her to someone in a better environment this was for her own good. It’s nice to have a designer pet but only if you do your research and can honestly care for it. 

    1. Thank you Benson, 

      You have let the other readers know just how easy it is to purchase a cute puppy,  without realising how a simple genetic defect like temperature control (often very small breeds) would impact you and your new puppy. 

      I am pleased you were able to illustrate how sometimes cross breed can be a problem. I am so sorry to hear about your little fella. 

      Hopefully he will have found a warmer climate being a suitable place to live his happy life. 

      Thank you for taking the time to share


  4. Hey thank you or the awesome post!!  I have been wondering about whether or not I have wanted to get a designer dog.  I have found that some are cheaper than pure breeds. Also, I was actually one of those people that thought if you breed two different dogs together, it helps eliminate some of the health problems.  I’m surprised to see that it may not do that.

    1. Hi Jessie, 

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post. 

      There are many occasions that breeding from two pure breeds may halt the genetic problem but equally it breeds into the mix a brand new defect. I lot is down to research the parents, look at the seller and understand the breed type and all its faults. 

      They are undoubtedly cute.. 🙂 

  5. Designer breeds look cute and are often loving dogs, but the  dark side of the industry is cruel and very real. The fact puppies and dogs are suffering simply because breeders are in it for the money ends in a genetically defective dog who may live a painful and short life.

    I had not considered that  some breeds suffer more than others. You do really need to do your homework. I love dogs a lot and their innocence and beauty is a wonder. Thank you so much for sharing Thumbs up 👍

    1. Rodarrick, 

      Thank you for taking the time and trouble to read and comment on my post. You are right about cuteness and innocence. They make a very desirable combination. As you say, homework and research will ensure the best in their class. 

      Once again thank you 


  6. It’s really amazing to have a designer dog, I’ve not had a chance to get one. This is the first time I’m ready extensively about it and I really love the kind of dog breeds that are coined out of different dogs. Beauty is one thing really common here but it’s really painful that they tend to suffer some health issues, I believe in the main time, it should be resolved. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you King Andrea, 

      I am delighted you took something from the post. Dogs are such a wonderful part of our life.

  7. Wow! I had a nice time reading through this should i buy a designer dog guide. I was wondering what a designer dog is until I saw you explained what a designer dog really is which is crossbreed (I literally laughed at myself 😆).

    I never had an idea that crossbred dogs usually have some health issues, this is not good. It really saddens me. See what people do all in the name of making extra money.

    1. Thank you very much for taking the time to both read and comment on my post. 

      Many people do not know what is meant when someone says “Designer Dog” why should they?  A lot of thought will go into the naming of the cross breeds, a whimsical witty name is part of the attraction. 

      You are right about how people are in it for the money. 

      Never the less there are many good and honest breeders so it they who deserve our custom. 

      Once again thank you for commenting. 


  8. Lola is adorable! I’ve actually been interested in buying the Puggle myself (Pug and Beagle). I own a black labrador Australian shepherd mix right now and I just love her. The puggles are super cute, but I have heard they also experience breathing problems. Your article touched on the breathing problems most cross breeds experience. I wonder what exactly in the genetic makeup creates this. I’ve read cross-breeding over the years has created a host of problems in dogs. Purebreds are extremely hard to come by anymore and you’re right, people want a lot of money for purebreds or cross-breeding these.   

    I was not aware of unregulated breeders abusing cross-breeding for gain. That’s terrible but makes sense with the push for designer dogs. I’ve rescued several dogs from puppy mills and know the conditions these animals are being mishandled in. My thoughts were if we don’t take action to shut down these unregulated breeders, buying them takes them out of the situation they are in and hopefully into a good home. I think this is where the dilemma lies. We don’t want to give these people our money, but we also don’t want the animal to stay in those conditions. I agree with your comment on buying a designer dog for the wrong reasons. You buy a dog to have a companion and a friend, one that matches your personality. 

    1. Thank you very much for a really quality comment. I do appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my post. You are right about Lola she is indeed a beautiful little lady. She is apricot cocker poo. 

      Puggle’s are actually quite a good cross. From your response I can see you are a caring person and will therefore look carefully at both the breeder and the parents (or at the very least the bitch) 

      The problem often lies with the flat nosed breeds and by crossing them with a smaller breed or indeed another flat nosed breed, this can cause health and breathing problems. Flat nosed dogs are those like a Pug, French bulldog, Boxer, Bulldog and similar. Beagles are a robust dog and a good cross. Beagles are real pack dogs and like a pack environment. They are also chewers.. 👀 

      Once again thank you for a good comment.. 👍

  9. Hi,

    Thanks for the insightful article I personally did not know the difference in a designer dog or pure breeds, nor did I know that designer dogs travel in such dangerous conditions from other countries. I have a pug that I have had for 5 yrs. he is such a loving companion. 

    And when I got him I was allowed to meet his wonderful parents. My partner’s mother had a designer dog a shiz-poo that was purchased from a pet store. I have heard horrible stories of pet stories also buying from puppy mills. This is a very good article to help anyone make a more informed decision when buying a companion.

    1. Thank you for your great response, I too am horrified at some of the horror stories that are as a result of puppy farms. 

      Pugs are a beautiful breed, often making them one of the best breed types for a busy family, they are gentle and love people, I always enjoy hearing stories of pugs. One of my favourite breeds, (after Westie’s)  sadly there are a few breeders who will cross them with another flat nosed breed like a French Bulldog, this cross can sometimes cause breathing problems. 

      I really appreciate you taking the time to post a comment on my site. 

      Keep coming back I would like to hear your Pug stories.. 👍

  10. It’s a major concern that bothers people, what will be of the health of these designer dogs in the nearest future as there are complaints about the unbalance health conditions. I’m really considering getting one of these crossbreeds and I think the information you have as per what to look out for when getting one will be of great help, I really hope something is done about the health of these dogs. 

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. 

      You are right Health issues are a concern that bother many people, problem is they look so darned cute and have such witty breed names,  even that can make the breed irresistible, a lot of clever marketing go into the naming. 

      That said there are many reputable breeders who have a long history of breeding cross breeds. I have nothing but the fullest admiration for these breeders. 

      Once again thank you for your comment. 👍

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