Designer Dogs: 10 Popular Pups

Goldendoddle puppy looking at camera lying in grass
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A designer dog is a cross between two purebred dogs, such as a labradoodle (Labrador retriever + poodle) or a maltipoo (Maltese + poodle). Designer dogs are bred for the desirable traits of purebreds, like a husky's coloring or a poodle's curls. Notably, the American Kennel Club doesn't recognize designer breeds, and prospective adopters should know that these crossbreeds are sometimes the products of puppy mills. Here are 10 of the most well-known designer dogs.

Millions of pets (including many purebreds) are available to be adopted from shelters. We always recommend adoption as a first choice. If you've decided to buy a pet from a breeder, be sure to choose a responsible breeder, and always avoid puppy mills.

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Puggle dog lying in grass with toy
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Pugs are often bred with beagles to offset the hound’s escape-and-roam tendencies. While they have shorter muzzles than the average beagle's, their snouts are normally longer than the average pug's, which helps reduce the risk of the respiratory problems that commonly beset the latter.

Puppies in the same litter can have a range of nose lengths. They also come in a variety of colors but are typically tan, brown, or black. One downside to this cute crossbreed is that its popularity has caused it to be a top moneymaker for puppy mills.

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Labradoodle lying in a grassy field
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This popular designer breed is the product of a Labrador retriever and a standard or miniature poodle. Breeders began crossing these dogs to combine the poodle’s low-shedding coat with the playful, intelligent, and friendly temperament of the Labrador. Because of this, Labradoodles make great guide and service dogs for people with allergies. Their warm and gentle demeanor also makes them ideal for families.

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Chiweenie standing outside on sidewalk
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Nicknamed “Mexican hotdogs” or "German tacos" after the respective origins of Chihuahuas and dachshunds, this compact mix of both is identifiable by its long body, short legs, and Chihuahua-like almond eyes and large ears. Breeders developed Chiweenies in the 1990s in hopes of minimizing the back problems that dachshunds — aka weiner dogs — often experience. Chiweenies are energetic, hypoallergenic, and perfect for singles or small families; however, they’re known for their frequent barking.

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Pomsky standing on barren, rocky ground

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These fluffy pups are husky-Pomeranian mixes and often look like miniature huskies. Typically, they inherit the husky's distinctive markings, but their fur can be any color that each breed exhibits — gray, black, red, cream, and brown.

Pomskies are energetic like both their Pomeranian and husky ancestors, meaning they require ample exercise. They are intelligent and may even howl on occasion. Pomskies usually cost between $1,000 and $3,000.

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Black maltipoo standing in the grass
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This little dog is a cross between a Maltese and miniature poodle. Puppies within the same Maltipoo litter can differ in appearance, with some having the curly coat of a poodle and others having the scruffy fur of a Maltese. They can be black, brown, apricot, cream, gray, or red in color.

Apart from their adorable appearances, Maltipoos are typically friendly, affectionate, active, charming, eternally puppy-like, and easy to train; however, these dogs are likely to bark frequently when bored.

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Goldendoodle lying on a hardwood floor
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Like Labradors, golden retrievers make great guide dogs, but their allergenic coats can pose a problem for some. So, breeders began crossing golden retrievers with poodles, known for their hypoallergenic fur, in the 1990s, and now, goldendoodles are often bred for careers as guide dogs, therapy dogs, or other types of assistance dogs. They're calm, easygoing, and tend to also make great family pets because they’re so gentle and patient with children.

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Chorkie walking on a leash
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Bred from a Chihuahua and Yorkshire terrier, these toy-sized pups have a reputation for being tenacious and yappy but undeniably adorable. Chorkies are tiny (eight to 15 pounds) and generally retain the long and silky hair of a Yorkshire terrier and signature big ears of a Chihuahua. They are intelligent and, for the most part, easy to train, but, like Yorkies, they can be difficult to housebreak.

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Senior bugg standing in snow
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A mix of Boston terrier and pug, these dogs usually weigh 10 to 25 pounds and have a short, fine coat that can be brown, black, or white in color. Because both pugs and Boston terriers are known for their good temperaments, buggs — also sometimes called pugins — are a good fit for families with children and other pets. However, some people report having difficulty housebreaking their buggs.

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Dog standing on a trail outside
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The cockapoo, a combination of cocker spaniel and poodle, is thought to be one of the first designer dog breeds ever. It emerged during the '60s, when breeders dreamed up a dog that was both people-oriented and hypoallergenic. Cockapoos are known for being sweet and friendly, like their cocker spaniel ancestors, while being simultaneously silly, a poodle characteristic. They can grow about 10 to 15 inches tall and come in a vast variety of colors.

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Close-up of grey schnoodle in the park
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Part schnauzer, part poodle, schnoodles are charming, smart, and versatile in size and color. A miniature schnauzer mixed with a toy poodle, for instance, will give you a four- to 10-pound schnoodle. A giant schnauzer mixed with a standard poodle, on the other hand, may result in an 85-pound schnoodle.

These dogs are loyal like schnauzers and playful like poodles. They are delightfully cuddly and protective, but prospective schnoodle owners should beware, as they're prone to excessive barking.

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At Treehugger, we are advocates of animal welfare, including our pets and other domestic animals. The better we understand our dogs, the better we can support and protect their wellbeing. We hope our readers will adopt rescue pets instead of shopping from breeders or pet stores, and will also consider supporting local animal shelters.