Top 13 Designer Dog Breeds

Designer Dog Breeds

What Is a Designer and Mixed Dog?

A designer dog is born when two purebred parents are crossed to create a mixed-breed dog with the positive attributes of both. A mixed-breed dog is known as a “mongrel” because the parent breeds aren’t intentionally crossed by humans.

Designer dogs became popular in the late 1980s. Mongrels, also known as mutts or mixed-breed dogs, can have three or more breeds in their DNA.

How Are Designer Breeds Developed?

A designer breed is a hybrid of two purebred canines. The tricky part is that puppies may inherit different features from each of the parent breeds. The hybrid dog is refined more with each generation as the breeders cross the offspring that have the desirable traits.

The lineage is from purposeful breeding to produce dogs with more consistent traits and the best characteristics.

Designer Dog Breeds 

The first designer dog was born when Australian Wally Coonron bred the Labradoodle to combine the personality of a Labrador retriever with the practically hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle. Then, the demand for popular designer breeds exploded. In many instances, a Poodle and another purebred dog are crossed to create designer breeds.

After three generations of documented breeding, a designer breed is recognized as an official breed. These hybrid dogs can be as expensive or more expensive than pure breeds.

Let’s take a look at 13 popular designer dog breeds.

1. Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever + Poodle)

designer dogs
Height21-24 inches tall
Weight50-65 pounds
Lifespan12-14 years
Coat and ColorsCurly, medium to long in chocolate, cafe, parchment, caramel, apricot, apricot cream, red, cream, raven black, light blue, parti, phantom

The Labradoodle was developed in the 1990s by crossing a Labrador with a Poodle. They are friendly, intelligent, affectionate, playful, loyal, versatile, energetic, easy to train, and good with children and other canines.

They need mental and physical stimulation and love fetch, swimming, agility, and walking. Many are therapy and assistance canines.

Mini Labradoodles are bred with Miniature Poodles.

2. Puggle (Pug + Beagle)

designer dog
Height13-15 inches tall
Weight18-30 pounds
Lifespan10-15 years
Coat and Colorsshort in black, fawn, gold/yellow, red

The Puggle is a mix between a Pug and a Beagle. They are playful, friendly, willful, athletic, have a loving nature, and are good with children and other canines. They can live in apartments but need to walk or get some form of exercise.

This mix of Pug and Beagle likes to dig and bark. Some have less of a smushed face than others, so they don’t have the respiratory issues that purebred Pugs have.

3. Yorkipoo (Yorkshire Terrier + Poodle)

pure bred dogs
Height7–15 inches tall
Weight5–15 pounds
Lifespan10-15 years
Coat and ColorsCurly coat in apricot, black, gray, cream, brown, red, silver, white, chocolate, blue, liver

Yorkipoos are bred from a Miniature Poodle parent and a Yorkie parent. They are affectionate, a bit bossy, curious, highly intelligent, playful, may inherit the Yorkie’s prey drive, and tend to bark. You can train this small breed not to bark a lot.

They need mental and physical stimulation. They can live in an apartment. Here are more types of Yorkies if you’d like to see additional furry and spunky small dog hybrids.

4. Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel + Poodle)

designer pets
Height10-15+ inches tall
Weight6-19+ pounds
Lifespan12-15 years
Coat and Colorssoft curly coat or wavy coat in cream, white, apricot, red, chocolate

The cockapoo is a hybrid of a Cocker spaniel and a Poodle. They are active, intelligent, trainable, funny, need daily exercise, are good with children and other pets, are friendly, and affectionate.

5. Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever + Poodle)

designer breed
Height22-25 inches
Weight50-75 pounds
Lifespan8-12 years
Coat and Colorscurly, medium to long in brown, red, gold, cream, black, white

Goldendoodle hybrids were developed in Australia. They are gentle, playful, friendly, and smart dogs. The Mini Goldendoodle is also adorable and forever small.

6. Chiweenie (Chihuahua + Dachshund)

designer puppies
Height6-10 inches tall
Weight5-12 pounds
Lifespan12-16 years
Coat and Colorsshort to long in black, fawn, brown, white

The Chiweenie is social, spunky, playful, energetic, and stubborn, loves attention, and barks- but you can train them not to. These pups prefer small dogs to larger pooches.

7. Schnoodle (Poodle + Schnauzer)

what are designer dogs
HeightToy 10 to 12 inches tall
Miniature Schnauzer 12 to 15 inches tall
Standard 15 to 26 inches tall
Giant 18-28 inches tall
WeightToy 5-15 pounds
Miniature 15-30 pounds
Standard 30-50 pounds
Giant 50-70 pounds
Lifespan12-15 years
Coat and ColorsIn grey, brown, white, apricot, parti

Schnoodles are bred by combining a Schnauzie with a Poodle. These companion dogs come in four sizes and are active, intelligent, friendly, cheerful, agile, stubborn, loyal, good with children and other pooches, and bark a lot unless trained not to.

They love puzzles, car rides, and fetch and need exercise. They are good for people with allergies.

Toy Schnoodles are Schnauzers bred with Toy Poodles.

8. Goldador (Golden Retriever + Labrador Retriever)

what is a designer dog
Height22-24 inches tall
Weight60-80 pounds
Lifespan10-12 years
Coat and ColorsShort to medium coat in black, brown/chocolate/liver, cream, gold/yellow

Goldadors are a combination of a Golden Retriever and a Labrador Retriever. They are known for intelligence and being gentle, very trainable, loyal, friendly, playful, active, willful, and good with cats, children, and dogs.

They need exercise and love water, as Labrador retrievers and Golden retrievers do. They are great family pets and good for first-time owners. No Poodle parents or silly names here.

There are even more types of Labradors, and they make great guide dogs.

9. Pomsky (Pomeranian + Husky)

dog breed meaning
Height10-15 inches tall
Weight7-38 pounds
Lifespan12-15 years
Coat and ColorsFluffy or soft in blue, brown/chocolate/liver, gray, red, white

Pomskies have a Siberian Husky parent and a Pomeranian parent breed. They are playful, loyal, stubborn, affectionate, energetic, intelligent, and very trainable. They shed. Pomskies need exercise and mental stimulation.

10. Shih-Poo (Shih Tzu + Poodle)

luxury dog breeds
Height8-15 inches
Weight7-20 pounds
Lifespan8-15 years
Coat and ColorsShort and curly coat in black, brown/chocolate/ liver, cream, gold/yellow, gray, white

The Shih Poo is an affectionate companion, friendly, eager to please, playful, confident, and good with cats, dogs, and children. These lap dogs can be yappy, so you may want to train them not to bark a lot.

11. Maltipoo (Maltese + Miniature Poodle)

what is breed
Height8-14 inches tall
Weight5-20 pounds
Lifespan10-15 years
Coat and ColorsStraight, wavy, or curly coat in creamy white and apricot to chocolate and silver

The Maltipoo is half Maltese and half Poodle. They are friendly, active, intelligent, affectionate, adorable, and very trainable. They love interacting with their people and are happy to learn tricks, go to the park, cuddle on the couch, etc.

12. Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Bichon Frise)

fancy dog breed
Height9.5-13 inches tall
Weight9-18 pounds
Lifespan10-15 years
Coat and ColorsMedium length, wavy coat in black, brown, fawn, cream, white

Cavachons are a mix of Bichon Frise and Cavalier King Charles spaniel. They are intelligent, sweet, gentle, happy, playful, affectionate, calm, trainable, and good with kids and other animals.

13. Chorkie (Chihuahua + Yorkshire Terrier)

designer breed
Height6-9 inches
Weight9 pounds
Lifespan12-15 years
Coat and ColorsCoat can be long, medium, or short in black, blue, brown/chocolate/liver, fawn, gold/yellow, gray, red, white

This mini watchdog is confident, loyal, friendly, intelligent, trainable, energetic, playful, possibly stubborn, and great with cats, kids, and dogs. These tiny pups are good for first-time owners and need exercise.

Pros and Cons of Designer Dog Breeds 


  • Crossbreeding is healthier because the health issues a breed is prone to are less likely.
  • The pups are bred to obtain positive traits.
  • They are adorbs.


  • Watch out for backyard breeders who don’t care about the pups but want to cash in on them.
  • Designer dogs are expensive and can cost $2,000.
  • Because designer dog breeds are created by mating two different breeds, inherited features can vary. You never know when recessive traits will pop up. Designer breeding is a bit unpredictable.
  • There’s no registry for these dog breeds, so it’s difficult to see their lineage.

How to Find a Reputable Designer Dog Breeder

Backyard breeders are not particularly concerned about the puppies’ health. To verify that a breeder is reputable, request documentation of health testing and vaccine records, meet the parents and look at the area where they keep their pups.


Are Designer Dogs Recognized by AKC?

No, only purebred dogs are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club only register pedigree dogs.

What Is the Most Popular Designer Dog?

The Labradoodle continues to reign as the top designer breed.

What Is Considered a Designer Dog Breed?

A pup bred from two purebred dogs.

What Was the Original Designer Dog?

The Labradoodle.


Mixed-breed dogs are adorable, and breeders can breed to include good characteristics and eliminate bad traits. There are so many Doodle dogs to choose from. There are many more mixed-breed dogs that are designer dogs.

Having volunteered at an animal shelter, I love to see people adopt a dog who needs a home. Also, the creator of the Labradoodle has expressed regret because so many backyard breeders take advantage of the phenomenon of hybrid dogs.

Elise Margulis
Elise Margulis is a talented animal writer and a devoted pet parent residing near Manhattan in a cozy suburb. With a Chow mix and a rescued Siamese as her loyal companions, she's been animal-obsessed since childhood. Penning informative articles on pet nutrition, health, and animal welfare, she's also an avid advocate for adoption and animal rights. When she's not writing, she serves as the editor of two local online news sites. Working from home with her fur babies, she advocates adoption and animal welfare through volunteering and social media. A true animal lover and vegetarian for over 31 years, she's on a mission to raise awareness and make the world a better place for all creatures.

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