Also known as “mixed breeds” or “cross breeds”, hybrid dogs are the result of an intentional cross between two or more pure-bred dogs.
Scientifically speaking, the terms “hybrid” and “pure-bred” are misleading terms to use as all dogs are a sub-species of the wolf (canis lupus familiaris).
However, as “pure-bred” is currently used to denote a specific breed established through years of line breeding to meet certain traits, characteristics and looks, we have selected the term “hybrid” as it is the most commonly used and offers a sensible definition of a dog derived from mixing 2 or more pure-bred dogs.
Hybrids often display a mixture of their parent’s physical and behavioural traits and puppies of different litters between the same parents can also vary. It is important to take this into account when thinking of buying or re-homing a hybrid.
Hybrid dogs are not guaranteed to be healthier than their pure bred counterparts. However, it makes sense that if you put health tested adult dogs together that their offspring stand a good chance of being healthy.
Hybrid dogs are not hypo-allergenic as is often claimed. However, those hybrids that have a larger genetic percentage from a parent that has a wool coat (e.g. a poodle), are less likely to produce the allergens associated with human dog allergies.
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When researching hybrid dog breeds you may come across the terms “first” and “second” generation, to describe the type of cross. Even though the terminology may be difficult to get your head around, it is important, when it comes to establishing the health of any particular hybrid, that you know who their parents are and how they were crossed.
When you cross 50% of the DNA from one dog and 50% from another, reason dictates that you will get traits from both parents. This is true. However, although you can feasibly predict the outcome of crossing two well-known established breeds, like the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle to make a Cockapoo, you will find that the resulting hybrid litters can vary a great deal, with puppies within the same litter able to carry more traits of the poodle or the Cocker Spaniel.
Here’s a simple guide to help understand what this means
The Hybrid Breeders Association (HBA) is a voluntary registration service for hybrid dog breeders in the UK. Our goal is to promote responsible breeding of hybrid dogs, exercising the highest standards of animal welfare and raise public awareness of the basic precautions that should be taken when buying a puppy.