Mixed Breed Dogs

A complete guide to mixed breed dogs

When thinking about mixed dog breeds, it's important to understand that the term "mixed breed" itself is actually a misnomer. Technically, the term suggests that the dog is the product of two parents of known breeds, which were intentionally mixed. This is rarely actually the case. Most often, mutts come from unknown or untraceable parentage, which can make it difficult to predict a given animal's disposition.

Types of Crossbreeds

Broadly speaking, dogs of mixed breed fall into one of four categories:

  1. Crossbreeds. The term "crossbreed" is often incorrectly used as a synonym for "mutt" or "mixed breed." Technically speaking, a crossbred dog is the offspring of purebred parents of two different breeds.
  2. Functional breeds. This term is used to described dogs of mixed ancestry that have been selectively bred because they excel at a certain practical task, such as leading the blind or detecting drugs.
  3. Pariah dogs. "Pariah dog" is a generic term that originated in India, used to reference animals that are descended from many generations of uncontrolled mixed breeding. The classic pariah dog is medium in height and weight, with nondescript features and straw yellow or light brown fur.
  4. Mixed dogs. This category is the one most people mean when they use the term "mutt" or "mixed breed." These dogs show strong characteristics of one or more ancestral breeds, but are not purebreds. They're normally referred to as a mix of the dominant breed – for example, "Labrador retriever mix" or "collie cross."

Pros and Cons of Mixed Breeds

Studies indicate that mothers of mixed breed puppies provide more milk and more attentive care than purebred mothers give their offspring. As a result, infant mortality rates in mixed dog breeds tend to be lower. Many mutt owners also take pride in their pets' distinctive appearances; there tends to be very little variance from one animal to the next in purebred dogs. Some research also indicates that mixed breed dogs tend, on the whole, to enjoy better overall health than purebreds, possibly because of a lack of genetic diversity in dogs of pure breed.

However, mixed breed dogs can be behaviorally unpredictable. Many owners prefer certain pure breeds because of desirable physical characteristics or dispositional qualities.

Mixed Breed Dogs and Good Health

Studies performed in Germany, Sweden and Denmark all indicate that dogs of mixed breed have a significantly higher lifespan than dogs of pure breed. The data generated by these studies seems to indicate that mixed breeds require less veterinary care and have hardier constitutions. It's also believed that they are in a lower risk category than purebreds for developing common canine health problems like Cushing's disease and distemper.

If you're looking for mixed breed puppies for sale, make sure you don't give your business to puppy mills. These facilities ignore ethical practices and show little regard for the health and parentage of the animals they sell.

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Posted by keilani on September 21,2012 at 08:13 PM
There to find are plenty of places to find a mix dog i found my boxer lab mix at a yard sale for free
Posted by Fed Up on August 20,2012 at 10:21 AM
People who breed "designer" dogs are making money off of the abuse of defenseless animals, "designer" is just another word for "mutt" and people who are shelling out money for these dogs are idiots who are supporting puppy mills. Get some common sense and have your dogs spayed and neutered, quit contributing to animal over-population and for the sake of the animals adopt a dog from a shelter, I hear that they have many many "designer" dogs there!!
Posted by tshirtdr1 on February 12,2012 at 10:03 AM
Idiots like most of those posting here are why we have so many animal problems in this country. Don't you people HEAR yourselves? "I'm looking for a breeder who specializes in mixed breed dogs." "I can't take care of my dog because I found out he's the wrong breed. I'm so sad now that I didn't get my breed. Do you want my dog?" Idiots.
Posted by bkw on February 18,2012 at 11:01 AM
Boy....you can say that again. No wonder our shelters are so full. (Proud parent of mixed girl and the "pick of the litter" from the surprise she was carrying at the time.)
Posted by Danice on January 14,2012 at 03:29 PM
An itnelligent point of view, well expressed! Thanks!
Posted by cheryl on June 13,2011 at 12:07 PM
I live in massachusetts. I have a 9 month old shephard, huskie mix. beautiful dog, extremely intelligent. Is verty sweet but has a very head strong, dominant side. I need to find him a good home. He is good with one person, better with males. He needs a strong, calm, assertive person.
Posted by val on March 22,2011 at 01:55 AM
need info on pekenese having chi-terrier pups,what would they look like my pekenese is having them soon
Posted by colton miller on December 05,2010 at 04:01 AM
I have 5 puppies. The breed is the only one of its kind. It is a pitbull and jack russell breed and i am tryin to sell them.
Posted by Sandy on November 15,2010 at 05:21 PM
I am looking for a Lab/ Shephard Mix puppy in the San Jose, CA Area. Does anyone out there know where I can adopt or buy one?
Posted by leasa on November 07,2010 at 12:32 PM
i am looking for pic of a mixed breed dog that is called beanie dogs?does any one have eany to show?my mom wants to know? thanks. leasa
Posted by Tammy Newberry on October 19,2010 at 12:11 PM
What breed will you get to breed a french bulldog with a bassett hound?? Pleas respond
Posted by lauri adair on October 08,2010 at 09:01 PM
we are looking for a toy goldenretreiver
Posted by John on September 27,2010 at 11:07 AM
My wife and I adopted a dog from our local animal shelter. We had a DNA test run to see what breeds she had since it was apparent she was a mixed breed. We figured that she had some Minpenn in her but were shocked when the DNA results showed 75% Rotweiller and 25% Minpenn. She is larger than a Full Minpenn but no where near the size of a Rotweiller. She weighs about 33 pounds. Has anyone know of another dog with this background ?
Posted by karen warren on September 13,2010 at 11:02 PM
I HAVE A BOXER WITH PAPERS THAT I NEED TO FIND A HOME ASAP. WHEN I TOOK HIM TO THE VETS HE TOLD ME THAT MY DOG WAS NOT FULL BLOODED BUT MIXED WITH A BULL MASSIVE. HE IS SO GENTLE WITH EVERYONE AND BASICALLY ALAZY DOG. COULD YOU HELP ME FIND A HOME OR A RESCUE THAT I COULD GIVE HIM AWAY TO. I'M HEARTBROKEN BUT NO LONGER CAN HOME HIM.
Posted by doglover3020 on August 15,2010 at 06:11 PM
hi im a fellow dog lover and my dog is turning1 on agust 28 but i m on vacation and i feel really bad about it he is a cross between a shitzu and a jack russell terrier his name is comet, comet looks similar to a petit basset griffon vendeen a PBGV sorry to say this is the end of my first comment BYE:)
Posted by kimberly on June 02,2010 at 12:43 AM
I have a puppy, that is trying to find a home she is a mixed breed. Her father pure Pit Bull and the Mom Malamute and Great dane mix. She has no physical features of the Pit bull and shows features of the Great dane and Does not look like a malmute at all. I am wondering if this would make a good dog to be around kids. She is very calm, loves to play and I do suspect she has been abused. she is about 3-4 months.
Posted by Phyllis Lucas on June 01,2010 at 11:51 AM
I have just got a new puppies which is Australia Sheppard and Lab mix. She looks just like a lab. What can I expect her size to be and behavior.
Posted by cindy on April 29,2010 at 02:20 PM
little over a month ago we acquired a beagle/collie mix breed puppy, that for the most part shows more beagle like features, with the exception of his chest area which is more to the collie size and we are just curious to know roughly how big will montana will get full grown and what is the general weigh avg. is for such a breed?
Posted by Donna Diekman on April 04,2010 at 08:27 AM
I have just been given a puppy and am told that he is cocker/poodle mix. What will he look like and how big will he get. Thanks
Posted by marjorie dodds on March 06,2010 at 09:47 PM
I am looking for a mixed neufy/pyranese or a mixed golden/standard poodle.
Posted by Reilly on February 06,2010 at 05:34 PM
I ? mutts. Mean people breed dogs. Nice people adopt dogs. 5 MILLION dogs are put to sleep because of no room in animal shelters! stop breeding and buy your next pet at the animal shelter!
Posted by cindy on January 14,2010 at 06:19 PM
i have a chihuahua and dachshund hound mix.. her name is peaches and she is for pretty. i love.she is 5 years old and she is a amazing mixed breed.....
Posted by veronica on November 12,2012 at 09:07 AM
no one cares!!
Posted by none of ur buisness on January 06,2010 at 06:49 PM
look i have tis american bulldog mixed wit a poodle is tat so hard to belive i mean really everywhere i look they say no such thn!!!!!!?!??!??!?????????!?!?!?!? like wat!!? if i have 1 thn there is such a thn and like helo? doesnt at least the ownere know wat to do i mean rly?!?!?!?!?!?1? jeezez plz people answer tis and plzzz help me! im in a knot a dilema and annoyed so help!
Posted by gordo bail on January 06,2010 at 12:30 AM
I have a female multi/poo and like to breed to a multese toy
Posted by nikki on November 18,2009 at 06:07 PM
I have 2 male and one female in the same pin. Two are brother and sister Beagle and Jack Russell and the other is a Beagle. We were away for a while so now the female is pregnant. So therefor we are not sure if the will be inbreed or not? Could someone tell me if they will be deformed or mental unstable as i have heard several things from several people that u can inbreed one generation and they will be normal but no more than one generation. Is that true? I just need to know if it will be ok or not?
Posted by marvin alston on November 10,2009 at 06:12 PM
please give me any information on finding a breeder that specializes in mixed breed dogs.
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