In the United States alone, the AKC’s dog breed list currently includes 190 dog breeds. Worldwide, the FCI lists 360 officially recognized breeds. These don’t include experimental breeds that have yet to achieve official status. Official lists also don’t include mixed-breed dogs, not even “designer” crossbreeds like the goldendoodle (a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle) or the puggle (a mix of beagle and pug).
As cute and as popular as these hip new pups are, the fact that they’re mixed breed dogs with no established standards for health disqualifies them for purebred certification. As with any wildly popular breed, prospective parents should work to make sure a puppy is healthy and a breeder is ethical before purchasing a dog. And any breed that winds up at your local animal shelter could end up being your forever friend.
With eight more breed hopefuls currently listed in the AKC’s miscellaneous class and enterprising dog breeders continuing to experiment with creating new varieties, the number of dog breeds is ever-expanding. But at the end of the day, whether a dog belongs to an officially recognized breed or is a mashup of a dozen different mutts makes no difference to his capacity to love you and make a fantastic pet.