The *information on this page is courtesy of Lorraine Effa.
You have seen puppies for sale called Designer Breeds. They are usually represented as a truncation of the purebreds that have made the new ‘breed’. A Yorkie/Maltese is often called a Yorktese; a Schnauzer/Poodle will often be called a Schnoodle. These are not new breeds. These are mixed breeds. Mixes don’t always reflect the other breeds behind them, i.e., the Yorktese is not just Yorkie and Maltese; there are likely other breeds in the mix somewhere since the parents themselves aren’t generally registered purebreds.
Mixed breeds do not breed true. You won’t know what you are getting in a puppy when they are an adult. A Maltipoo, a mix of Maltese and Poodle, can be anywhere from very small (5 lb) to quite large (30lb.). It depends on what is behind both parents. Again, what other breeds may also be in the background of either parent?
Contrary to the rumours, “designer” breeds do not have hybrid vigour. Any of the genetic problems that can occur in any of the purebreds comprising that mix can occur in the mongrel puppy. Genes that carry genetic problems don’t care if they have the right combination to express the disease. An example is liver shunt, a genetic disease that can occur in Yorkies and Maltese. The disease will also potentially show up in the Yorkie Maltese mix. A goldendoodle can still have hip dysplasia or any other genetic problems in the Golden Retriever or Poodle. They are not always hypoallergenic. Too much Labrador or too much Golden Retriever will produce a dog that grows hair and sheds at the same time.
Grooming coated mixed breeds can be more challenging than grooming a purebred because the blends of coat on a mix can mat so much more. Again, it can shed and grow coat at the same time.
Bites can also be a big concern. Many small breed mixed breeds have severe under or overshot bites with the result that there could be additional dental problems as the puppy matures and ages.
Respiratory disease may be more prevalent. Mixing with Brachycephalic breeds can result in further, unique breathing issues and further distress on internal organs such as the heart. The Beagle and the Pug have completely different types of nasal cavities, yet the Pug is constantly being mixed and sold as a “designer” breed.
If the preference of the buyer is a mixed breed, that certainly is up to the buyer but he should be aware of exactly what it is that he is buying.
*Edited for content Aug 2018 by Web Chair