Our cookies

We use cookies, which are small text files, to improve your experience on our website.
You can allow or reject non essential cookies or manage them individually.

Reject allAllow all

More options  •  Cookie policy

Our cookies

Allow all

We use cookies, which are small text files, to improve your experience on our website. You can allow all or manage them individually.

You can find out more on our cookie page at any time.

EssentialThese cookies are needed for essential functions such as logging in and making payments. Standard cookies can’t be switched off and they don’t store any of your information.
AnalyticsThese cookies help us collect information such as how many people are using our site or which pages are popular to help us improve customer experience. Switching off these cookies will reduce our ability to gather information to improve the experience.
FunctionalThese cookies are related to features that make your experience better. They enable basic functions such as social media sharing. Switching off these cookies will mean that areas of our website can’t work properly.

Save preferences

pigs faceCharacterising the acquisition of designer crossbreed puppies in the UK


Year: 2021

Erin Burnett
Nottingham University, UK

Supervisor(s): Dr Rowena Packer, Royal Veterinary College, UK


Demand for intentional crosses of purebred dog breeds (eg Labrador Retriever X Poodle, the ‘Labradoodle’) have recently increased in the UK, often labelled ‘designer crossbreeds’. This study aimed to explore this phenomenon by comparing pre-purchase motivations, pre-purchase and purchase behaviours of UK owners of designer crossbred puppies purchased during 2019-2020 with owners of purebred puppies purchased during the same period. Data from UK-based respondents were collected in an online cross-sectional survey between November-December 2020. Responses from n=6293 puppies (designer crossbred puppies: n=1575; purebred puppies: n=4718) were analysed. Perceived hypoallergenicity was cited as a motivator for breed/crossbreed choice by almost half of designer crossbreed owners (47.1%), almost six times more than purebred dog owners (7.86%) Designer crossbred puppies were more likely to have been acquired via a general selling website (e.g., Gumtree; 13.8%) compared to purebred puppies (7.67%), or an animal-specific selling websites (eg Pets4Homes; 55.7%) compared to purebred puppies (37.4%). Designer crossbreed owners were less likely to see their puppy in person prior to purchase than purebred owners (60.4% vs 67.0%, respectively), and at purchase, designer crossbred puppies were less likely to be seen with their mother (dam 73.1% vs 79.8%, respectively), littermates (67.7% vs 78.1%, respectively). Designer crossbreeds were significantly more expensive, with over a quarter (25.7%) of designer crossbred puppies costing between £2,000-£2,999 compared to 15.1% of purebred puppies. Differences in puppy purchasing have the potential for both immediate and long-term welfare issues in the designer crossbreed population.