August 18, 2015 | Posted in Doctor Sigmund Furry Series

Best-and-worst-of-Both-worlds1Dear Dr. Furry,

What are the advantages of cross-breeding dogs?

Karen, Philadelphia, PA


Dear Karen,

Deliberate cross-breeding makes humans happy and proud!

When different doggies meet, fall in love and have puppies, they don’t necessarily know that they’re different — and/or if they do, they don’t really care!

Humans, however, take pleasure in producing and owning dogs who have been cross bred for the resulting physical appearance and qualities; hence: the “designer” dog, mostly popular with celebrities and the wealthy.

A common example is the Labradoodle (poodle/Labrador retriever); also Maltipoos (Maltese/poodle), Puggles (pug/beagle) and Shorkies (Yorkshire Terrier/Shitzu) among others.

The problem is in the actual outcome. While cross-bred or “designer” dogs may look unusually cute or appear to be the best of both breeds, the genetic mixture may not always produce the desired behavior or temperament of the dog of your dreams.

In many cases, you’ve combined both the best and the worst of both worlds!

Disreputable puppy mills combine breeds, often without researching their history and traits, and sell them for big bucks.

The truth is that these carelessly bred dogs are often unstable, physically and mentally, and are abandoned or eventually euthanized. Cross-breeding should bring out the best of both breeds. Instead, it can produce a host of problem breeds, with which most of us are unequipped and unprepared to handle.