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20 June 2009


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Well, Shar-pei with anything would be the worst cross I can think of. Of particular awfullness - Shar-pei/Bulldog cross - yep, that's the worst idea of all.

H. Houlahan

The shep-a-doodle.

Yeah, we thought it up one night while entertaining this exact question. I believe the act of googling it made it come into being, for there it was.

Ferexample: http://shannons-shamrock-kennels.com/Shepadoodle.html

The permanency of coat that has dubbed my favorite breed the German shedder, combined with the continuous curly growth of the poodle. Recipe for a rank, stinking brillo pad overlaid on some dog meat.

The fantastic health that one finds in indifferently-bred poodles and indifferently-bred GSDS.

Temperament? Who knows?

Intelligent? Probably. Probably smarter than an owner who pays $1200 for a shaggy mongrel. That's not a formula for success in ownership.

And, sorry, personal opinion here -- that is one hell of an ugly dog.

I find both GSDs and poodles beautiful. But this is two great tastes that go awful together.

Christie Keith

Whimper... and what would you CALL a Sharp-pei Bulldog cross? I mean, other than a genetic disaster zone?

Christie Keith

One of those shepadoodles looks like a DEERHOUND!

Maria Shanley

The weirdest dog I ever saw was an Airedale/GSD cross - looked like a crocodile on stilts, hyper, high prey drive, and dumb as a bag of rocks!


Oh! I'd forgotten that we have a purposely chosen shep-adoodle that came in a few months ago. It was so ugly (and even worse behaved than a Ladradoodle, which is saying something!), I must have buried it - and you just brought it back. (Runs screaming.)

H. Houlahan

Oh for Pete's sake, I forgot about these:


As you can imagine, the English shepherd community was THRILLED when a couple of puppymills in S. Dakota started making these.

The reaction time, speed, and agility of an English shepherd, combined with the ... ahem ... stellar bite inhibition and mental stability of a puppymill American cocker, all packed into an ubercute fluffy puppy package.

This will keep the facial surgeons in business for years ...


Baskadors. Basset/Lab crosses. Everyone of them is a pig headed, hyper, scent hound with ADD, joint accident waiting to happen. They also do NOT look right. Basically every single one I have seen is a midget black lab with a basset head.


poorly bred giant molassar breed x puppymill yorkie. Very fierce.

(No, it doesn't exist. But it would give me nightmares if it did. I'm picturing a 200 pound neurotic evil yorkie.)

Can I chime in here with my favorite crossbred, though? I *adore* the farmcollie crosses (collie x ES, BC, Aussie)- I've met a lot of the purposebred ones and they've all been uniformly wonderful dogs. :P


Hey, I've got a chiweenie, and he's a gentle, loving little dog, good with other animals, reasonably obedient, doesn't bark too much and ... well, no back trouble, but he's got 'loose' knees, another problem I gather comes from the dachshund side.

I would never have specifically sought out a chiweenie, but I feel lucky to have found Bertie Woofster.

I don't know enough about dog breeds to play at that, but my nightmare cat cross just from a genetic standpoint is Devon Rex/Munchkin.

Gina Spadafori

Some dogs, like some people, turn out just great no matter what. But both the Chi and the Dach are a lot of dog, and the doubling up on that ... ohhhh, you got lucky with Bertie! (Really cute name, by the way. Do you have a Jeeves, too?)

On the flip side, when I was doing Sheltie rescue, we got a dog in who HAD to be a corgi-Sheltie mix. What a cool dog he was. I was so tempted to keep him for myself.

Susan Fox

Pit bull/border collie. Apparently some of the ranchers around here are crossing them to increase the border collie's herding drive and livestock "gameness". We get them into the shelter fairly regularly.

Physically an odd mix, which I don't find attractive for the most part. The border collie head ends up with a coarseness that just looks weird.

Temperments seem ok, though. Maybe a wee bit calmer than a lot of the BCs we get.

Anne T

Answer to Designer Dog from Hell question? All of them, because the focus is on 'cuteness' and what will sell to the clueless consumer. I can tolerate "legitimately" bred labradoodles for therapy/seeing eye work, lurchers for live game hunting, border jacks for small AG dogs better than I can tolerate random crossing of two breeds without any forethought, planning or genetic health testing just to make $$$ in the accessory department.

Sigh, Designer Dogs brings out my "effete intellectual snobbery" and makes me think that dogs should be owned only by people who have pasted my personal intelligence test! lol. It's similar to my personal intelligence test for prospective parents and requires common sense, something this society of ours is lacking. Met a woman today with 2 poorly groomed and trained "Bittyshitz" ( Bichon X Shih-tzu Xs) and had to bite my tongue when she said they were "purebred".


Honestly, I hate the labradoodles the most, but that's mostly because my undocked standard poodle is CONSTANTLY confused for one.

But for 'wow, this is a breed most people need', I'm going with the doodleman pinscher.


Ugly, hairy, terrible temperaments possible in poorly bred specimens of both breeds, lots of health issues, and will be way way way way way too smart for most people to deal with.

I love how they say on that web page that a doodleman pinscher will alert you to everything. That's a polite way of saying 'let's take the sheer overwhelming noise of a poodle and add to it the alertness of a doberman and see if you can create a dog that NEVER EVER SHUTS UP EVER. YAY!'

K. B.

Bo-jack. A cross popular with flyball and agility types, a cross between a border collie and a Parson (Jack) Russell terrier.

Let's take a high drive herding dog and cross it with a high drive terrier - and then let's sell it to people who don't do flyball, agility, or anything with their dogs, and wonder why the dog is as neurotic as hell. Poorly bred, under-exercised, and bored, bored, bored.

An acquaintance recently got one - bought (at 6 weeks old) because it was cute ("it was the face that sold me") off of a Craig's List-type web site. I told her to let me know before she drops it off at the pound in a few months, and I'll try to find a proper home for it.

Oh, and it's her first dog and she works 8+ hours a day...

Gina Spadafori

Labradoodles are very much the "it" dog in the upscale nabe where I love to have coffee and meet up with friends. And I have met some that were just wonderful, although it's just too much curly coat for me. (Not to mention, I don't like beards on dogs ... too drippy!)

Of course, the problem is when you have bad genetics on both sides. One of the Labradoodles I've met is already (owner informed me) destined for double hip replacement surgery. He wasn't much more than a year old. I asked her what the puppy-seller had to say, and she said, basically, they were told they were on their own. Although when they pushed, they WERE offered another puppy. Because, well FOUR hip replacements are twice the fun of two, huh?


Crestiepoo. Chinese Crested and poodle. Standard poodle., not mini or toy. The 65-pound spoo is the dad; mom is a 9-pound hairless Chinese Crested.

I am not making this up. However, in fairness I should mention that it appears to have been a clueless accident, not intent. Dad has bee neutered, and mom is scheduled to be spayed after the three pups are all placed. (Two hairless, one powderpuff.) Which I suppose disqualifies this from the "designer dog" category. But it's a disturbing mix.

K. B.

"Today’s crosses might some day be standard breeds"

Comment by Shauna — June 20, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

It's already happening.

The Cesky terrier is in the FSS of the AKC, and is recognized by the CKC (Canadian, not Con KC). It was a "breed" developed in the 40s and 50s by crossing a Sealyham terrier and Scottish terrier (and lets not even go into the fact that those two breeds are really, really, really similar to begin with, so why cross them...).

The Lucas terrier is recognized by the UKC. It was developed by crossing Norfolks with Sealyhams after World War I.

So yes, there is recent precedent for accepting mixes into kennel clubs, as long as they breed true, have a written standard, and an active breed club.

And I'm sure there are more examples!


I agree with the two previous comments re: basset-cross-anything (the dwarfism seems to be crazy dominant in these mixes, producing HUGE dogs with itty bitty legs and long bodies). These dogs are always crossed with something high on the activity scale (I know one basset-retriever and just met a basset-border collie). Whereas the basset is generally a low enough activity level to keep it from self-inflicted injury, crossing with working breeds is BEGGING for trouble.

Also, I have to speak up for purpose-bred mixes. I'm a huge fan of some of the herding mixes out there, although one must be very careful and FULLY aware that the litter will have a wide range of temperaments. My two girls are a rott/ACD (accidental breeding, and luckily the intelligence, agility and size of the ACD with the calm, stoic nature of the rott) and a purpose-bred ACD/Aussie mix (a great herding and searching dog capable of working with easier stock than cattle, still determined and energetic, observant and focused - all in an ACD sized, short haired variety).

I'm mixed regarding Golden-doodles and Labra-doodles. On one hand, I have met some from Australian lines who have been sturdy, nonshedding, steady dogs with great temperament and good health. On the other, I have known far too many north american line doodles that have been health *disasters* and fear-aggression seems to run rampant in both breeds (I've taken in a handful, all with the same issues, and just turned down another one this week because we're full). Also, they run the gamut from intelligent like a working breed mix to dense as a show-bred retriever.

Oh, and Christie - I HATE pug mixes. Sorry, Pug X owners - I've rescued a few and they've been interesting - but anyone who would mix such genetic basket cases with behaviour-challenging dogs (like every pug mix I've ever seen) with an obvious lack of knowledge regarding the *possible* outcomes is... well... I have no words.

Did I mention I also detest any mix that has a name, or at least any breeder/owner that uses that name as a selling point? Read: anything ending in -poo or -doodle is included. Your dog is a Yorkie/Poodle CROSS, not a yorkie-poo!

Leslie K

There's a sharpei/pit mix at 1 of the local rescues ,also a baskador. Its a shame,both seem like good temperment,but talk about ugly !I have a neighbor who drove 4 hours & paid $600 for a beagle/bulldog cross. That worked out about exactly how you'd think ! She's a sweetheart but chases everything,digs under the fence,is stubborn & doesn't listen.

Christie Keith

I'm of two minds. Most of these "designer dogs" are being bred by idiots who think that some magic will make their "hybreds" healthy and sweet natured. Their ignorance is epic.

On the other hand, I used to be totally against creating new breeds, figuring we already had all the breeds we "needed" and creating new breeds just to be companions or meet a need unrelated to work other than companionship was wrong. I've softened there considerably, and have considered several times getting a Silken Windhound, a newly created breed that was developed from the Borzoi being mixed with some established lines of Whippet X Sheltie (although the original crosser denied the Sheltie until DNA proved it).

I've also come around on purpose-bred working dogs, and no longer give a damn WHAT breeds they are. I used to, no lie. Now I have no idea what I was thinking.

And I'm even softening on crossbreeding for pets, as long as it's done knowledgeably and the breeders are otherwise ethical and compassionate. But there really has to be a better reason than OMG let's see what THESE puppies would look like, and the absurd and ignorant idea that I see again and again on the websites of these folks, that they can somehow just magically make the puppies have the qualities from each parent that they want.

Yo, breeding for specific traits is HARD and it takes GENERATIONS. And did I mention it's hard?

Nancy Freedman-Smith CPDT

Oh oh(raises hand) Pick me! When Pugles first came round the mix made no sense to me and I invented a joke. Ready? What do you get when you cross a pug with a beagle? A pug that runs away. The mixes that upset me most are all the Cavaleir mixes at the pet store. Cuter pups there are not, and I know they are health nightmares in disguise.


(Really cute name, by the way. Do you have a Jeeves, too?)

Not yet!

Kim Thornton

Years ago, I had a neighbor who had what she said was a 6-week-old Shar-Pei/Pit Bull cross. It was a sweet, adorable puppy and I have often wondered what it grew up to be like. Around the same time, I was turning down ads in Dog Fancy for "Ori-peis," which were Pug/Shar-Pei crosses (stood for Oriental Shar-pei). There was a "Beagalier" in Harper's puppy class. Sigh.


Anything mixed with a shiba inu is going to be a real problem child.

Some "breeders", or rather businesses, have "created" Minshi - a min pin/shiba cross who has to be the most manic-depressant dog on the planet.

I've seen Peke-Shis which just blew away my decree that no dog can be ugly. Yes, yes they can.

Shockers, shiba/cocker crosses that have enough ball and feistiness to actually be human aggressive.

Shibamos - Shiba Inu/'Eskimo' crosses - really, whats the point?

The list undoubtedly goes on and on and I just can't understand any of it! You're already a glutton for punishment by choosing the Shiba Inu breed as it is, why in the hell add to them? They are perfection to me as is.


Hybrid "Designer Dog" sales are now outstripping those of purebreds. I think that a lot of this has to do with the fact that all the scientific research shows mutts live longer and are healthier.

Most people just want a happy, healthy family pet. But say “Boxer” and vets think heart disease; say “Bernese Mountain Dog” and they think cancer. The incidence and severity of inherited diseases in purebred dogs increases every year, and yet traditional breeders continue with outdated practices (like inbreeding and line breeding) that continuously limit genetic diversity. The BBC program "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" that screened last year brought many of the health problems associated with purebred dogs to the attention of the general public (see http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=44215931)

In addition, changing fashions and fads in the show ring have caused some purebred breeders to exaggerate physical characteristics that make dogs more susceptible to health problems problems (bulging eyes in Pekingese, elongated backs in Dachshunds etc). Recently the RSPCA in the UK cut it's ties with the Kennel Club dog shows for "encouraging the breeding of deformed and disabled dogs" (see http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKGRI63987020080916).

However, it is possible for hybrid "Designer Dogs" to provie the best of both worlds, purebreds and mutts: the ability to carefully select the parent dogs for health and temperament, and test for inherited diseases (like purebreds); and the increased health and longevity provided by genetic diversity (like mutts).

Certainly you need to be careful. There are puppy mills and pet stores that have jumped on to the “Designer Dog” band wagon purely to make a profit.

However, there are also many dedicated hybrid breeders whose main aim is to produce healthy dogs, without the genetic problems that plague many purebreds. They carefully select the breeds they use, and test the parent dogs for any possible inherited problems. They aren't trying to produce a particular "look", or compete with purebreds - these breeders simply want to provide healthy, happy family pets.

Gina Spadafori

However, there are also many dedicated hybrid breeders whose main aim is to produce healthy dogs, without the genetic problems that plague many purebreds.

Comment by Gem — June 21, 2009

This is also true of reputable, ethical breeders of purebreds.

And for me, that's the point: Puppy-milling scum and careless, clueless hump-and-dump backyard breeders exist in both purebreds and trendy mixes.

In both cases, choosing the right breeder is the most important part of the equation if you're going to be buying a puppy.

Katie Bruesewitz

"Hybrid “Designer Dog” sales are now outstripping those of purebreds. I think that a lot of this has to do with the fact that all the scientific research shows mutts live longer and are healthier."

Can you please cite some of the actual peer-reviewed, published studies here?


Here's a lovely example of a 'healthy' designer cross -- Wiggles, the Sharpei/French Bulldog cross, as seen on "Dogtown".

Wiggles on YouTube

Leaving aside the part where Dogtown's idiot vet in residence says that Wiggles health issues are a result of 'inbreeding' (because nothing says inbred like a Chow/Frenchie cross), there are a myriad of health issues going on with this dog.

As someone (Gina?) said above, you get all of the health problems from BOTH component breeds, all in one dog. So much for hybrid vigor.


Jen said "Anything mixed with a shiba inu is going to be a real problem child."

Heh, heh, heh, don't I know THAT one! However, we got Pepper through an all-breed rescue 7 years ago and while the BC was obvious, we didn't realize the SI until later.

I just tell everyone it's a snob/snob cross -- Pepper KNOWS she's better than any other dog (except another herding dog or SI -- they are "acceptable" to interact with -- others are ignored). But both she and her sister are near-hysterical about strangers (they don't like them!), aloof with those they don't think are important and when training, do have a strong element of "what's in it for me?"

I seriously considered registering Pepper as an American Farm Collie, becuase she's a great worker, but I ended up spaying her because 1) the SI tail on the BC body gets limber tail too often and 2) the reaction to strangers is just too extreme to pass on in a working dog.

I think the SI has sharpened her hunting ability -- she's a great varmit dog for an agriculture setting, so with careful breeding, I'm not sure that adding some SI couldn't be useful to farm collies. However, my dog isn't quite that mix and I wouldn't encourage more like Pepper and Shyanne if someone didn't know what they were doing.


I know which breeds posses hairless genes, thanks. I understand genetics and breed type and, frankly, am a bit insulted by your condescending tone.

I do not know what mix my neighbor's dog is, and neither does he.


all this breed talk seems reminiscent of plantation owners comparing their stock and God knows that was offensive y'all.


Woof! Honest to goodness I have reread the comments here and am not seeing condescending or "racist plantation owner" anywhere.

I sure as heck was not talking down to anyone. Many people who skim through here don't make a habit of studying the difference between lethal dominant hairless traits and recessive hairlessness and so I apologize for trying to inform some of the more casual readers about how easy it is to introduce hairless to the mix.

I addressed my comments to Canis so that a casual reader or anyone who does not research esoteric canine genetics would get a quick overview of the whys and wherefores and know what comment sparked mine.

Francis, heavens, domestic animals are bred for advantageous traits. When I look at a pet dog, I want it to be healthy and mentally solid. That benefits everyone including and especially the dog. Careful selective breeding when considering any purposefully bred litter or puppy or adult dog helps assure this. People select particular breeds or crosses to fit needs and lifestyles, size, coat, activity levels, drive etc... Getting a good fit is a big part of keeping pets in homes. Mix breeds benefit from careful breeding of the parents, grandparents and so forth and all round mutts the same even if it's a few generations back.

How is a frank discussion of the best and worst of what cross breeding animals with long established genetic traits, behaviors and abilities is possibly going to produce unsavory? I love mixed breed and mutt dogs. But they are not all perfect nor is the idea of breeding with an eye towards good genetics, no matter what breed, type, cross a bad thing.

Gina Spadafori

Chiweinies. Bad attitudes, bark-bark-barkers and back problems.


Any cross that is made without thinking about the possible health and temperment issues that could possibly result from that cross is nightmarish and irresponsible. Crosses should be made just as purebred crosses -- examine the health and temperment of the parents and their breeds so that the resulting puppies have a high genetic chance of being happy, healthy, well tempered dogs.

You touched on a very good point -- "Maybe adding in some Pug to that would actually result in a dog more to people’s liking" -- this is very true. Our purebred dogs were once the 'designer' dogs -- somebody many years ago began crossing different breeds to create their ideal dog and now that breed is standard. But standard breeds don't necessarily fit with what modern city dwellers want in a dog. How many Shepherds do you know that actually have a pasture full of sheep? How many terriers hunt? Today's crosses might some day be standard breeds, and I'm hoping that anybody who breeds these crosses takes that to heart and tries to avoid the health problems that are currently in many of our standards. Again, crossing any dog without taking the health and temperment of the parents into account is just horrible.


bulldog/sharpei crosses are called bull-peis and regretfully do exist.

I have seen a bulldog/crested cross, and yep, hairless.

Hog hunters breed beagle or walker to fox and jack russell terriers. NOT a great family pet in most cases.

Scariest thing I ever saw advertised? Chow/timber wolf.


The only puggle that I've met is actually quite a nice dog, and if they were being bred by people who knew what they were doing and weren't just selling F1 crosses with no goal in mind, might be the basis of a fine new companion breed.

Sadly, a lot of "working" dog people seem to think that Purpose is Companionship=Has No Real Purpose. But at least I can get my mind around where they're coming from. What blows my mind is the people who are truly outraged by the idea of cross-breeding to produce dogs well-suited to real, working jobs that we didn't have for dogs 150 years ago. They seem to be just completely scandalized by the mere fact of crossing breeds, and there simply is no purpose, no matter how practical or how noble, that can redeem it.

That, I truly do not understand.


Personally, I think a Basenji/JRT cross would be the dog from hell. Or, how about a Dalmation/Border Collie mix? But I also can't imagine anyone doing either of these on purpose, the name combination wouldn't be cute enough. What really gets me though, is how much money people spend to buy mutts when they purchase these dogs!

H. Houlahan

The latter group gets upset and won't eat when different kinds of food touch on the plate, too.


Long, long ago when I brought one of my Dachshunds to a neighborhood vet clinic for a rabies booster, one of the techs mentioned that they were caring for a lost dog that someone had found wandering that morning - told me it was a "German Shepherd/Dachshund cross."

Contemplating the sheer unlikelihood that such a breeding could be accomplished, I asked if I could see the dog. Sure enough - Cardigan Welsh Corgi. I knew all three of the CWC breeders in a 300 mile radius, and contacted them to ask if they'd heard from any buyers that were missing a dog. One had, and Cardi and family were happily reunited.

There's a "however" to this story, though - a year or two later I was boarding a friend's Doberman bitch for several weeks. Jessie came in season, and since the only male in my house was a Dachshund, I was sure there was nothing more to worry about than the boy-dog needing to be reminded of his house manners. Until around Day 12, when Jessie found Ignatz lounging on the sofa, and conveniently backed up to him, twitching her you-know...

Mercifully, I was in the room at the time and averted the potential litter of Dober-hunds.

Gina Spadafori

Not to mention "all the scientific research shows mutts live longer and are healthier" is patently untrue. There are too many variables to make any "scientific" claim in this regard.

The best we have is anecdotal evidence and an "impression" that mixed-breeds live longer and are healthier. And in fact, there are quite a few breeds that can rival any dog in the health and longevity area.

Pets aren't appliances with brand names and warranties. They're family. And like all family, health and temperament is a highly individual thing, even with the best "breeding" and intentions.


Comment by Gem — June 21, 2009 @ 12:48 am

Hybrid “Designer Dog” sales are now outstripping those of purebreds.

Considering the fact that AKC stopped publishing actual registration numbers a few years ago, one has to wonder where the source of this little tidbit of information comes from.


"I think that a lot of this has to do with the fact that all the scientific research shows mutts live longer and are healthier.”

I've always been skeptical of this claim. The science of breeding seems to support that carefully bred hybrids (as farmers do with livestock) have fewer diseases.

But 2 randomly bred mutts.. say a boxer x Berner? You could as well end up with a dog with heart disease AND cancer.


BTW, here's a link to my personal rant about this episode:


And to Dogtown's own page on Wiggles:



Still shuddering just thinking about some of these. Here's something to lighten the horror just a bit: Do you know why they call the Poodle the Vodka of the dog world? Because you can mix them with anything and make it more fun.... ;-) (Gotta get me one of them Newfadoodles... insert retching sounds here)


Chiwtcharka - Chihuahua / Caucasian Owtcharka cross. Guaranteed to be a vicious killer.

As others have noted, my pet peeve is the fact that 99% of all designer mixes seem to be created only for the following reasons:

* to have a cute name

* to look cute as a puppy

* 'cause some irresponsible dolt has intact dogs of two different breeds and wants to make a little cash on the side

The healthier, non-shedding, hypoallergenic, smarter, longer-lived stuff is pure crap. When you breed crappy specimens of any two breeds together, you're just going to get a slightly different flavor of crap out of the mix.


Okay - so who knows the scoop on Silken Windhounds v.s. "Longhaired Whippets"?



In general, I love any and all dogs, purebred or mutt (and hybrids are indeed mutts, albeit with fancy names/price tags). One of the ugliest I've seen is my neighbor's Rott/Bull Terrier mix. Not a designer dog, just a shelter rescue, but picture the bullet head and bow legs on a rott's body, and a sort of tri-coloration. Nice dog, but man is she stubborn, not to mention strong as an ox.


I'm not sure what cross he is, but a man down the street from myself has the ugliest, nastiest dog I have ever met.

His dog is hairless, except a few strands here and there, with enormous bat ears, a brachycephalic muzzle, a kink tail, barky, and with snappy attitude.

He looks like a little grey, wrinkly dinosaur.


In defense of Silken Windhounds, it looks like they've basically done everything right in terms of creating a legitimate club and solid breed type. FOlks who loved Borzois but couldn't handle the size anymore and who discovered there were no coated small sighthounds did what was logical to them and filled that 'gap'. If you go to the official breed club site and read the breed timeline and look at the various health and genetic projects they are doing for their breed, you'll see their ethics are right up there with some of the best oldtimer breed clubs out there.

Just because a breed is newer than 100 years old doesn't make it a 'mix' anymore than the first 'purebreds' were. All dogs were 'mixes' at the start, no breed sprang from the ground 'pure'. But it takes a LOT more effort, planning, and teamwork to create a viable new breed than 90% of the BYB 'hybrid' breeders would ever stomach.

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