Wow, I can't believe the ignorance I hear from some posts on the topic of breeding two purebred dogs of different breeds together. It is either ignorance, or pride and neither are good qualities.
I would like to offer some common sense to this topic. A mix of two healthy purebred dogs creates a healthy puppy. They do not suffer from over breeding, or inbreeding traits that purebreds are accustom to. That's pretty well-known even by the general population. This is where the term "hybrid vigor" comes from. It is a constant and has become a common term. Educate yourself, don't just listen to what self-proclaimed experts say. Look at the evidence because it is factual. My personal favorites are Westiepoos, Peekapoos and Schnoodles!
Two dogs that appear to be healthy and are of different breeds can still be carriers of the same recessive genetic defect that can show up in their offspring. Many of these genetic abnormalities can be tested for, but the problem is that the vast majority of mixed breed dog breeders aren't testing their dogs at all. I can literally count on one hand the number of mixed-breed dog breeders I've encountered in my lifetime that do any genetic testing at all!
Instead they preach the hybrid vigor myth without doing any real health testing such as OFAs for hips, elbows, and patellas, or CERF for eyes. Then the new puppy owner reaps the downside when their puppy comes down with a debilitating health issue that might have been prevented, had the breeder actually cared enough about their dogs to test for these issues *before* breeding the dogs in the first place. Many of these same breeders don't even test their dogs for simple diseases like brucellosis before breeding. Heck, some don't even know what brucellosis is!
I'm not against mixed breed dogs, I love my mixed breed dog that I adopted from the humane society, he's a great dog. I AM against any and all breeders, regardless of whether they breed purebred or mixed breed dogs, who do not do health testing beyond "vet checked" on their dogs before breeding them. And the truth is, it's far far easier to find breeders of purebred dogs that love thier dogs and their breeds enough to health test, than it is to find mixed breed dogs with the same love and regard for their pets.
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
I agree, Minn. Unless and until "designer" dog breeders health test their breeding pairs (genetically, not just vet checks), "hybrid vigor" is a fallacy. They're either passing on known problems or adding them to the mix.
Hybrid vigor sounds good and is theoretically a possibility (I believe), but the vast majority of those touting it shouldn't, because it doesn't just "happen" without a whole lotta work behind it.
OP, you really should do some research on genetics before expressing your "knowledge." JMO.
"I would like to offer some common sense to this topic. A mix of two healthy purebred dogs creates a healthy puppy. They do not suffer from over breeding, or inbreeding traits that purebreds are accustom to."
Excuse me, who is ignorant? Common sense also says that two healthy purebred dogs of the same breed will produce healthy puppies. You'remaking a big assumption if you think "designer dog" breeders do health testing. Many wrongly assume that "hybrid vigor" means they don't have to bother. A Standard Poodle with HD bred to a Lab with HD gives you puppies with a very high chance of developing HD. Breeding two different breeds is no magic wand that erases genetics. Most ethical breeders don't sell dogs for breeding purposes period, much less to create mixed breeds.
For some reason, people tend to think that hybrid vigor means "healthy." It doesn't. Hybrid vigor exists when the offspring of two different species (or breeds) out-perform their parents. So, if you breed a dog with PRA and HD to a dog of a different breed with vWD and HD, and the resulting puppies have HD but no PRA and no vWD, the puppies have hybrid vigor (because they will outperform their parents), but the puppies aren't "healthy" because they have HD.
Mixing breeds automatically eliminates in the F1 any problems that are autosomal recessive and not common to both breeds. It does not, however, eliminate problems that are autosomal dominant (and expressed in one of the parents) or problems that are carried on the X. And here, I'm just talking about problems that result from a single gene; the polygenetic stuff is way more complicated.
Mixing breeds is a tool--nothing less, nothing more. And like any tool, it can be used wisely or unwisely. Most of what I've seen in the designer mixes is hardly what I would call wise breeding.
I have no problems with designer dogs, if they are breed right. The problem is most hybrid dogs come from backyard breeders and puppy mills. Having said that, I cant stand purebred breeder who don't do their health test either. As long as the breeder does the test they are supposed to do, take care of their dogs correctly, and place pups in good homes with spay/nueter contract, I really don't care what they breed. Most hybrid breeders, don't do any of the above. I have seen hybrids with the same health problems at purebreeds. So if you ask me "hybrid Vigor" is as much BS as calling a small toy dog a "teacup".
Hybrid vigor is not a myth but it has nothing to do with crossing breeds of dogs. It is the cross of 2 SPECIES such as horse to donkey. That kind of cross creates a mule-a hybrid-which has greater strength and health than either of its parents but in almost all cases it cannot breed. Crossing purebred dogs is simply making mixed breed dogs and there is absolutely nothing proving it makes for a healthier dog. You would be undoing the breeders' years of work to establish a healthy line of dogs. You would simply be creating an unknown mix of the genetic characteristics of both bloodlines and as stated already you risk doubling up on bad genes.
Thank you to arachyd1 for posting the true defination of a hybrid. I have been telling people for years that hybrid vigor is nonsense when applied to breeding canines,even some vets have been guilty of advocating this and they should know better.
Although the biological definitions of "hybrid vigor" and "hybrid" include the crossing of 2 SPECIES, the common dictionary definition includes the crossing of 2 BREEDS (see merriam-webster.com). I think that's how it's being referred to here. At least that's how I was referring to it, not being a biologist.
"Hybrid" is commonly used to refer to mixed breed dogs. Not biologically correct, but vernacularly correct.