An individual dog that is a cross between two purebred dogs of different breeds is known as a dog hybrid. These dogs are also commonly referred to as crossbreeds or crossbreds, although the term crossbreed is also used to refer to a mixed-breed dog – one that has a complex ancestry as the breed of only one parent or grandparent is known.
The term hybrid dog, also known as designer dog, does not have a consistent meaning as they may be first generation crosses from two purebred breeds, or any of various backcrosses, or the result of breeding successive generations of crosses in an effort to create a new breed of purebred dog, or outcrosses of any of those.
Some breeders are now selectively breeding dog hybrids. Such breeders are often criticised for being more interested in profit than in dog health and welfare due to the exorbitant prices often charged for these puppies. Those who oppose the process also state that the ‘impulse buy’ nature of such purchases leads to a high abandonment rate and argue that a lack of pedigree history means buyers will not be aware of genetic illnesses or defective genes in the breeding lines.
However, those in favour of dog hybrids argue all modern dog breeds were created from earlier breeds and types of dogs through the same kind of selective breeding that is used to create designer dogs. They also state that selective cross breeding helps provide pets for people with allergies and sensitivities.
Dog hybrids are not recognised by the major dog registries as crossbreeds are not one breed of dog, but two. If crossbreed dogs are bred together for some period of time, and their breeding is well documented, they may eventually be considered a new breed of dog by major dog registries.