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White Cross Vets explores the rise in popularity of designer cross breed dogs

The so called “designer dog” has created an evolution in dog ownership with more than 500 species available combining the traits of a variety of breeds. In this article we explain what a designer cross breed dog is, the use of portmanteau names and also provide some evidence to the recent surge in popularity of designer cross breed dogs.

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What is a designer cross breed dog?

A designer cross breed is a type of dog which as the name suggests is bred by design. Virtually always a designer cross breed dog is originally bred from two different pedigree breeds. Thereafter a designer cross breed dog could be bred from two cross breeds (e.g. two Labradoodle’s breeding together).

Portmanteau names

A portmanteau name is simply a new word which is formed by the blending together of two separate words, a couple of well-known examples would be:

Camcorder – a camera and a recorder

Smog – a portmanteau word derived from smoke and fog

Portmanteau names are all important in the world of designer cross breed dogs where the names of two separate breeds are joined together to form new cross breed names. Here are fifteen examples of popular designer cross breeds (in alphabetical order), all of which use the portmanteau naming convention:

1) Beaglier – Beagle / Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

2) Cavapoo - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Poodle

3) Cockalier – Cocker Spaniel / Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

4) Cockapoo – Cocker Spaniel / Poodle

5) Goldador – Golden Retriever / Labrador

6) Goldendoodle – Golden Retriever / Poodle

7) Labradoodle – Labrador / Poodle

8) Maltipoo – Maltese / Poodle

9) Morkie – Maltese / Yorkie

10) Peekapoo – Pekingese / Poodle

11) Pomchi – Pomeranian / Chihuahua

12) Puggle – Pug / Beagle

13) Schnoodle – Schnauzer / Poodle

14) Yorkipoo - Yorkshire Terrier / Poodle

Rising popularity of designer cross breeds

The popularity of designer cross breeds has grown in recent years; in the section below we cite some research on the subject which evidences the recent surge in popularity:

a) After 140 years the Kennel Club is debating whether to accept some designer cross breeds as legitimate breeds in their own right. [1] This may lead to a number of designer cross breeds eventually being able to exhibit at Crufts. If designer cross breed dogs are eventually recognised by the Kennel Club this will only fuel popularity even further

b) According to 2016 research and an infographic from White Cross Vets [2] there was a substantial growth in popularity of designer cross breeds when comparing their database records for 2016 vs 2006. The following growth in breed registrations were published:

a. Cockapoo – Growth from 8 to 299 registrations

b. Labradoodle – Growth from 87 to 120 registrations

c. Jug – Growth from 1 to 82 registrations

d. Cavachon – Growth from 0 to 80 registrations

e. Cavapoo – Growth from 0 to 79 registrations

f. Sprocker – Growth from 12 to 43 registrations

g. Maltipoo – Growth from 1 to 37 registrations

h. Puggle – Growth from 0 to 30 registrations

i. Goldendoodle – Growth from 1 to 26 registrations

j. Shorkie – Growth from 2 to 22 registrations

c) According to a website article by Pet Website [3] the demand for puppies in general (but especially designer cross bred puppies) has been far exceeding supply

d) Interesting trends were revealed in the 2015, British Dog Groomers’ Association (BDGA) Grooming Survey [4], this revealed:

a. According to 61% of salons, as a group poodle cross breeds (Cockerpoos, Labradoodles and Poochons, etc.) were the third most popular breed visiting grooming salons

b. Designer cross breed visiting grooming salons were easily exceeding some established pedigree breeds

c. Chairman of the BDGA, Stuart Simons commented "The Survey reveals an obvious growth in designer dog breed popularity; breeders had long since suspected this to be the case. The survey confirms this.

The future for designer cross breed dogs

Designer cross breed dogs look to have a bright future. The RSPCA has expressed some concerns about unscrupulous breeders which need to be addressed, but this affects the wider dog community in general.

We must remember that the pedigree dog breeds we know today (in many cases) started their lives as cross breeds and DNA results have shown mixed parentage. The large majority of pedigree breeds were created, after all every breed descends from the wolf. This gives hope that the most popular of the designer cross breeds such as the Labradoodle and Cockapoo may receive official pedigree status at some time in the future.


The following source articles have been used to evidence the rise in popularity of designer cross breed dogs:





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