by Vicky Williams BVM&S MRCVS, Station House Vets
During the peak of the pandemic whilst homeschooling my two primary school age boys, I learned a good word: portmanteau! This is when a word is made by blending the sounds and combining the meaning of two others. Common examples we all know are brunch (breakfast and lunch) or ginormous (giant and enormous).
The dog world is full of examples—not a day goes by without me seeing a Cockerpoo, Cavapoo or Labradoodle.
When I graduated in 2004, I only saw a pedigree or a proper cross-breed: a Heinz 57, a mutt! (I have one of these myself!) But sometime later, maybe around 2010, we started to see more and more Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever x Poodle). The two-way cross had been around for some time—first reported in America in 1955—but suddenly hit real popularity. They were considered a good choice for people with dog fur allergies, nice-natured and attractive dogs—and with the theory that crossing the two breeds creates ‘hybrid vigour’ and reduces the likelihood of inherited health defects.
Then came the rise of the Cockerpoo (Cocker Spaniel x Poodle)—also attractive, fun, nice-natured dogs but smaller than the Labradoodle and probably an easier family pet dog for many due to the smaller size. The average weight is 12–15kg compared to 30kg for a Labradoodle.
The popularity of these two-way cross breeds, sometimes called designer crosses, is now huge. It still keeps us vets on our toes when we see a new two-way cross and try to work out what it could be.
Here are a few we see:
Jug: Jack Russell Terrier x Pug
Pomski: Pomeranian x Husky
Dalmador: Dalmatian x Labrador
Cavapoo: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Poodle
Golden Doodle: Golden Retriever xPoodle
Cavachon: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Bichon Frise
Any guesses what a Puggle or Shorkie is?!
There are many more lovely ‘designer cross breeds’ out there and they all make great pets- family-friendly and fun.
If you are thinking of getting a dog and would like advice our nurse team are always keen to talk you through choosing the right addition for your family. Just give us a call or drop us an email.