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Hybrid vigor...or also called hetosis

December 17th, 2004, 12:04 PM
I've been looking into this and as much info there is for it there is enough to go against it. I'm looking at a dog that has both parents screened for health, both pure breds but different types that compliment each other.

If you have a cross between two pure breds, could this result in a stronger more sound dog than say a pure to a pure. Example Lab and Standard Poodle...vs two Labs or two Poodles.

Both groups are tested, but both have the same genetic problems that afflict the breeds. Hips, eyes, thyroid, heart. Both groups are cleared.

Which puppy born from these two groups has a better chance of being stronger and healthier?

December 17th, 2004, 12:15 PM
If all of the dogs involved in the breeding of these pups were tested, not just the parents, but the generations before, then I would think that it wouldn't matter if the pups were purebred or not.

But that leaves open the question - why breed mutts on purpose except to make money in the "designer dog" world that the rich and the press have created?

December 17th, 2004, 12:25 PM
That may be true, but I don't agree with all the "breeders" out there that keep dogs in cages for showing, not allowing them to be a dog...I have gone to check their stock, I was saddened by these dogs sitting in cages, I didn't care how many titles they recieved for best in show etc. Or that the preferred Lab in showing is over weight and stockier than the field bred dog. I am not paying for someone to have a show hobby.

So for the designer dog, if all they had was two dogs, but they took that time to do testing, these pups re raised underfoot, and the parents have free run of the home, yard etc...that means alot to me. Likewise I will not support someone who does no testing on their dogs.

The end decision, is when my dog grows up past that 2 yr agreement, and some genetics things don't appear until later in life...which of the two groups are most Likely to be healthier.

I'm looking for a non-biased answer. If that cross happens to be in the spca...I would chose it...but Spca dogs are a combination of unknowns and at best is a guess.

All I want to know is hybrid vigor something that is true or NOT. And why?

December 17th, 2004, 12:32 PM
IMHO hybrid vigor is a myth. Whether the dog is healthy or not depends on it's parents.

Any breeder that I enquire about getting a pup from would have to have both sire and dam titled on both ends of it's name. I want the parents to meet the standard (judged in the showring) and be able to do the jobs that the breed was intended to do. So if I was looking for a Lab, the parents have better have some type of field trial title as well as a Championship in the "beauty" part of the world.

December 17th, 2004, 12:37 PM
Thank you for your opinion, that's all I can ask for.

December 17th, 2004, 01:31 PM
Many breeders do allow their dogs to be "just dogs" when they're not in the ring. It makes for a well rounded dog whose not high-strung. Besides, unless the breeder is the handler in the ring, most times they don't even live with the dog. The dog usually remains with the handler, so the dog is used to the handler's commands.

Just a little background info on "some", not all, breeders that I hope helps in some small way. :)

December 17th, 2004, 02:01 PM
Here is an interesting article:

Lucky Rescue
December 17th, 2004, 03:23 PM
IMO, true "hybrid vigor" exists when two different species are bred, eg. horse x donkey = mule. With dogs, both parents are the same species, so there is no "hybrid". With hybrids of other species, like the mule, the offspring often has problems, like sterility. BUT when crossing these two animals the outcome is always a mule.

Cross breeding dogs is different. You may cross a poodle with a Lab and end up with something unexpected - like puppies who may look all Lab or poodle, or may have the temperament of either.

Any puppies from two health tested and well-bred dogs should be healthy and reasonably free from genetic defects, no matter the breed.

The problem is that no one who is deliberately breeding mutts for the pet trade is likely to be overly concerned or even knowledgeable about genetics or predisposition to genetic defects of certain breeds.

December 17th, 2004, 06:03 PM
RainGirl, thanks for the link, that's exactly what I'm looking for...the why's and who's included.

I've been looking at so many different breeders, and surprisingly there are those that do take the time to test the dogs. But they also say on those websites that the outcome is a hybrid dog. For example see this person's website in Australia..

So that's why I was confused, esp since this is a vet. Some people also use this as a selling point, and because I didn't know for sure, I was believing it. Even local vet asst's when I'd call, and people from the shelters would say this dog is better than a pure because it won't have the over breeding, genetic problems.