Ten Pet Hybrids Take Center Stage

A few years ago, if someone told you their family dog was a labradoodle, your response was probably “A labra what?” But more recently, these “designer dogs” have become more and more popular among people seeking a pet just a little bit different from every other Chihuahua and Labrador retriever in the dog park. “Designer dogs” are, in reality, mixed-breed hybrid dogs that, ideally (but not always) inherit the best traits of their two purebred parents. They’re not recognized by the American Kennel Club, but fans of these trendy new dogs have created myriad organizations and clubs devoted to their favorite designer pooches. And vets say that mixing two breeds can make the offspring healthier than its parents, since the pups probably have a lower risk of developing the many health problems that develop after generations of breeding purebreds. Interested in possibly adopting a new puppy and considering a hybrid dog? Read on for the ten most popular combinations (and their fun, cutesy names).


What it is: Labrador retriever X poodle

Qualities and characteristics: Labradoodles have a lower-shedding coat than labs, making them less likely to affect people with allergies, though no dog is truly hypoallergenic. Their medium-length coat can be wavy, straight or wooly. Generally friendly, energetic and great for families. Fond of the water. Very intelligent and trainable. Size varies depending on size of poodle cross. Miniatures can weigh 15-25 pounds, medium 30-45 pounds and standard 50-65 pounds. Can live 12-14 years.

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