Designer dogs have taken the UK by storm. More accurately described as crossbreeds, these marvellous mutts are now so popular that their numbers have risen eight-fold in less than a decade. But can you tell a doodle from a poodle and what on earth is a shorkie?
Cockapoos, Maltipoos and Puggles
Vets are reporting that they have more than 115 different crossbreeds registered with their surgeries which makes life both interesting and confusing! Waiting rooms are full of puggles, maltipoos and all sorts of other poos as dog lovers can't get enough of these cuties. The cockapoo, a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle, is the most popular choice of all but what is the attraction of these designer dogs?
Cute, friendly and Hypoallergenic
Well, for start offs, the dogs have tended to inherit the good traits from both sides of their family tree and so they are generally friendly pooches that make excellent pets. They are hypoallergenic too giving people who are usually allergic to dogs the opportunity to own a pooch for the first time. it doesn't hurt that these dogs boast adorable looks too!
Indeed, anyone would struggle to remain immune from the charms of the average labradoodle. These Labrador/poodle crosses are sure to steel your heart. If a smaller dog is more your thing, then a shorkie might fit the bill. Shorkies are undeniably cute shihtzu/Yorkshire terrier crosses that you would want to cuddle instantly. Or what about a maltipoo? Yep you've guessed it, that is a cross between a Maltese terrier and a poodle.
Poos, Sprockers and Sprollies
Poodles and spaniels are being crossed with just about anything to produce a huge range of designer poos together with a liberal sprinkling of sprockers, sprollies and the like. But where did it all start?
The First Designer Dog
You might think that the new breeds of dog were the inevitable consequence of our taste for designer labels but not so. The first of this type of breed to emerge was the labradoodle and the first puppy was bred to provide a guide dog for a woman whose husband was allergic to most dogs.
Wally Cochran, of The Royal Guide Dogs in Victoria, Australia, had been contacted by a blind woman in Hawaii whose husband's allergies were preventing her from having a guide dog. After hair and saliva testing for allergic reactions, Cochran crossed a Labrador with a standard poodle and the labradoodle had arrived.
Abandoned Designer Dogs
Sadly the RSPCA is reporting that the trend for designer dogs, and people's desire to copy favourite celebrities, has led to even more pooches being abandoned. There has been a rash of designer doggies, pugs and French bulldogs arriving at their rescue centres. People are seduced by the cute looks or the fact that TV stars own these dogs. They rush to buy them and then realise that they cannot cope with or afford their new pets.
Designer dogs are simply fabulous but their winning looks and friendly natures do not mean that they are any less demanding on your time and your wallet.