HYBRID VIGOR IN THE COCKAPOO
often misunderstood, hybrid vigor is a wonderful part of the f1 generation, but does not delete the need for careful breeding!
Although I plan to add LOTS more to this page in the future, and although I touch on it a bit on our page about why we only breed and recommend F1 Cockapoos here, hopefully this will get you the basics. Hybrid vigor is something very misunderstood and misrepresented among hybrid breeders! It is something we have decent knowledge of based on our backgrounds in farming, animal science, and raising other F1 hybrids on our farm (Hereford x Angus cattle). Please read here, and let it open you up to your own further research and thought.
There are two basic things to immediately understand about hybrid vigor and how it relates to the Cockapoo (F1) in relation to the misinformation out there:
Hybrid vigor is ABSOLUTELY a real thing. Although my intention is never to put another breeder down, any breeder who tells you that hybrid vigor doesn’t exist, is frankly not very educated about breeding. Hybrid vigor is also sometimes called “heterosis”, and you can read about it from way back in history. When George Harrison Shull put words to it in 1912, he described it as, “the interpretation of increased vigor, size, fruitfulness, speed of development, resistance to disease and to insect pests, or to climatic rigors of any kind, manifested by crossbred organisms as compared with corresponding inbreds, as the specific results of unlikeness in the constitutions of the uniting parental gametes." However, hybrid vigor is only reliable in the first generation cross, when the parents were (as Shull called it) “inbred”……or, for our purposes, “purebred” (which is, at it’s most basic, purposeful inbreeding). The diversity of the genes that are present for the F1 offspring causes it to have hybrid vigor. This is absolutely known and recognized throughout breeding.
In the video above, you can see that “A” is the 3 kernels on the left, “B” is the 3 kernels on the right, and “AB” is the 3 kernels in the middle. Hybrid AB is a first generation, or F1, cross of variety A and variety B. You can see the health, speed, and improved “vigor” with which the F1 hybrid preforms. There are more roots sent down, the original root grows deeper, and that is dependable across the samples. The differences you see in AB from either parent will go on to make AB a healthier, more resilient corn plant. This is exactly what we can see in F1 generations of animal species as well.
2. HOWEVER—please, please, please, please, PLEASE (!!!!) DO NOT (!!!!) EVER (!!!!) let someone tell you that hybrid vigor excuses the need for careful, researched breeding of high quality dogs from excellent lines!!!!!! Hybrid vigor is a pattern that ABSOLUTELY exists, but it is NOT a guarantee of health! The genetic diversity DOES mean that genetic illness will be less likely, but it DOES NOT mean that it still cannot happen. There are several life-altering genetic conditions that are present in both parent breeds, and a breeder MUST be looking into histories and pedigrees and not just depending on hybrid vigor.