The Morkie is often called a hybrid or designer dog. Cross-breeds or hybrid dogs are very popular advertised as designer dogs.
So what’s the difference between today’s designer dog and yesterday’s mutt or mongrel?
Today’s version is the combination – planned – of two purebred dogs. Popular crosses (such as cockapoos) are intentional and done by design — in this example, the cocker spaniel and poodle mix The mutt or mongrel on the other hand, has unknown origins and so the mix of breeds is uncertain.
The downside of designer dogs
Not everyone agrees that they’re great.
If you visit a message board like pets.ca — you’ll see that some dog owners disagree pretty strongly with the whole idea of “designer dogs” or hybrid breeds.
What’s their beef? Often so-called designer dogs are really just someone’s get-cash-quick scheme. They have a purebred, a friend has another – so let’s just mix them and see what happens. While there are many ethical breeders of hybrid dogs, a lot are fly-by- night and aren’t necessarily raising the most healthy, happy puppies.
Even worse… there’s a greater chance that your new buddy could have come from a puppy mill, which is a surefire way to heartbreak.
What is a hybrid dog?
Well, actually…..There’s really no such thing as a hybrid dog… unless you’re crossing a dog and a cat!
A mule is a hybrid animal, since it comes from breeding a donkey and a horse which are two different species.
All dogs are the same species, no matter how different they look from one another. That breed is called Canis familiaris. All dogs originate from a single species: the grey wolf. Scientists now believe that dogs first originated in Eurasia, between 12,000-14,000 year ago, from a smaller southern strain of a Gray Wolf which can still be found in India today. (Although called the “Gray Wolf,” the coat comes in a wide variety of coat colors.)
From the beginning of the Bronze Age, around 4500 BC, five distinct types of dog have been identified from fossil remains: • Mastiff • wolf-like dogs • Greyhounds • Pointer-type • Sheepdogs
This funny photoshopped picture of an ape and dog would be a dog hybrid – two different species. Or is this puppy-baby-monkey 🙂
These basic types of dogs, from the Sheepdog to the Greyhound — proliferated by natural genetic mutation and selective breeding — produced the approximately 400 different types of dog breeds we know today.
What’s a pure bred dog?
A “pure bred” dog is a group of dogs that look alike and are the product of parents with a similar appearance and which, when mated together, reproduce their kind. A mongrel or mutt is a dog whose parents are unknown or is not considered to be purebred.
Purebred dogs are the result of breeding the same lines decade after decade, so that every puppy is expected to look and behave in the way of that breed.
What is the difference between crossbreeds and mutts?
Actually very little – we’re splitting hairs here, but basically it’s assumed that the mutt’s parentage isn’t known, whereas we know who the parents are when we purposely cross breed them. (And those parents may or may not be purebreds)
Whew! It’s still confusing but one thing is clear: combining different breeds doesn’t mean you will end up with the best of both. For example, the popular Labradoodle, the combination of Labrador Retriever and Poodle, can result in a pup with a Labrador coat that sheds tons and irritates allergies!