Goldendoodle, Jackabee, and Raggle. At first glance, these names sound like they might be recently released Crayola crayon colours…right? Wrong! Those are actually the registered names of designer dog breeds as given by the International Designer Canine Registry.
You might be wondering if a designer dog is just an overpriced canine that you can find in the “fancy” section of the pet shop. Yes, you’re likely to pay a higher price for one of these breeds, but a designer dog is much more complex than just a mixed breed dog—they’re a cross between two purebred dogs, meaning they’re from the first generation of offspring.
Typically, designer dogs are given a name that combines the two purebred parents’ breeds. Take a goldendoodle, for example. A goldendoodle is a mix of a golden retriever and a poodle—both purebred dogs with sought-after qualities.
People often purchase designer dogs when looking for certain qualities from different breeds. A goldendoodle sheds significantly less than a golden retriever, due to the poodle gene, but often has the family-friendly disposition of a golden retriever.
Wondering if you have a designer breed on your hands? Or perhaps you’d just like to learn which parent your mixed breed inherited the most traits from. Dog DNA tests can provide valuable insight into your dog’s genetics. Wisdom Panel, in particular, receives high marks for accuracy.
Read below to see some of today’s most popular designer dog breeds.
1. Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever + Poodle)
These hybrid dogs are intelligent, friendly, and affectionate, with moderate activity levels requiring daily exercise. Just like their parent breeds, goldendoodles are fast learners and great companion dogs who love to be around their favourite people. Their friendly disposition makes them excellent therapy dogs.
Like many hybrid breeds, these dogs are considered hypoallergenic, which potentially makes them a better option for people who are allergic to dog.
2. Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever + Poodle)
This hybrid dog is a cross between two intelligent and friendly breeds—the Labrador retriever and the poodle. They sport shaggy, curly coats that require routine maintenance. This designer breed is often available for adoption in shelters, so check out your local rescue centre if you’re interested in a labradoodle.
3. Puggle (Pug + Beagle)
This darling designer crossbreed likes to be around children. Their beagle characteristics include speed and energetic activity, while their pug traits manifest as affection and cuddliness. On average, a puggle will live between 10-15 years.
They can inherit the trademark “squished mug” look from their pug parent, or they can have a longer beagle-esque snout. If they inherit the shortened pug nose, they might suffer from breathing problems common to pugs.
4. Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel + Poodle)
This scruffy-coated designer dog is a cross between two intelligent and loveable dog breeds—the cocker spaniel and the poodle. Their look can vary widely, with a weight range of 3-13kg (6 to 30 pounds), and a coat that can have a kaleidoscope of colours and markings and sometimes appears curly.
The cockapoo is people-oriented, friendly, and charming. They also need to exercise frequently.
5. Schnoodle (Poodle + Schnauzer)
The Schnoodle is a smart and attentive designer dog, deriving these traits from both of their parent breeds. These qualities make them exceptional watchdogs.
They have a curly coat of hair that requires regular trimming and maintenance.
6. Goldador (Golden Retriever + Labrador Retriever)
Due to the traits inherited from their retriever parents, the goldador is an easily trained designer dog, making them the perfect candidate for a variety of roles. They excel as guide dogs, on search and rescue teams, and with drug searches.
The goldador is a large and athletic breed, with an average weight between 27-36kg (60-80 pounds).
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for these hybrids to inherit some of the health problems found in retrievers, such as hip dysplasia.
7. Yorkipoo (Yorkshire Terrier + Poodle)
Hardly tipping the scale at 4-14 pounds, the yorkipoo is an energetic and playful crossbreed. These dogs like to be around people, but they’re not particularly cuddly. They can also be “barky.” They’re an intelligent hybrid, but they usually respond better to positive reinforcement.
8. Pomsky (Pomeranian + Husky)
A relatively new crossbreed, the pomsky looks like a miniature version of the Siberian husky—incredibly adorable and very popular. These are extremely small dogs, so pet owners with younger children need to make sure they’re handled gently.
The pomsky has a moderate activity level. They come in a variety of colours and have a double coat that needs to be brushed regularly.
9. Maltipoo (Maltese + Miniature Poodle)
It’s no wonder the maltipoo is such a popular designer breed. This adorably tiny hybrid dog keeps their sweet puppy look into adulthood. They tend to bark a lot, but if you work to limit this behaviour immediately, it shouldn’t be a major issue.
Make sure to get your maltipoo from a reputable breeder to ensure he isn’t at risk for certain health issues or prone to undesirable behaviours.
10. Chorkie (Chihuahua + Yorkshire Terrier)
Another tiny crossbreed, the chorkie typically clocks in at a whopping 3.5-4.5kg (8-10 pounds), making them more suitable for families with older children who will handle them gently.
Usually, chorkies have long silky hair that doesn’t shed terribly but does need to be brushed regularly. Like their parent breeds, chorkies are intelligent and trainable, but they can also be spirited and stubborn. They’re a bundle of energy, too—so be prepared for regular playtime!
11. Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Bichon Frise)
This sweet-natured designer dog is friendly, playful, and usually gets along well with children. Their silky, wavy coat can be on the longer side and can be a variety of colours. They’re also smart and eager to learn.
Finding a Reputable Designer Dog Breeder
Step number one: do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with a lot of online scams. Be aware of these, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.
Be sure to ask questions, make arrangements to meet the parent dogs, and ultimately—follow your gut. If something seems off when you visit a breeder, or a puppy seems too good to be true, there’s likely something fishy going on.
From goldendoodles to cavachons, designer dogs are becoming more and more popular. Just a few years ago, “designer dog” wasn’t even a widely used term. Now, according to Pet Care RX, there are over 500 designer dog breeds, and the list is still growing! That’s another 500+ dogs to love!