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Here’s How You Can Choose A Mix Breed in 2024

At A Glance

Looking for a new addition to your family? In all honesty, it doesn’t matter if you choose a pure-bred or mixed-breed dog - both have several advantages and disadvantages.

  • For instance, mixed breeds tend to be healthier than their parents. On the other hand, the mixed pup may have an uncertain temperament.
  • There are several mixed breeds to choose from, like Maltipoo and Shorkie, to name a few. Knowing which is right for you takes some due diligence and research.

Last Updated on: Aug 24, 2023




Breeding dogs has been around for around two centuries. Back then, people bred dogs for practical reasons, such as guarding, herding, and hunting. Royalty also had dogs bred as companions.

As a result, people started to mix standardized breeds to get a breed that would meet their needs and be unique. Sometimes, it could be a mix or more than two breeds to get specific traits and characteristics. While some mixed breeds have been around for decades, some are fairly new.

The American Kennel Association (AKC) officially recognizes 190 dog breeds in the U.S. Meanwhile, the World Canine Organization, which comprises various kennel clubs worldwide, has 360 dog breeds on its official list.

There are around 300 types of mixed-breed dogs. We have listed five of them, but you can refer to this list by 101dogbreeds.com for other mixed breeds.

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Chabrador

The Chabrador, also known as Chowbrador and Lab Chow, is a Chow Chow mixed with Labrador Retrievers. The mixed breed gets some of its best traits from both its parents.

For instance, Chabradors have a sense of independence that Chow Chows are known for, and the friendliness of the Labrador Retriever.

Maltipoo

how to identify mixed breed dogs - maltipoo

One of the most popular designer dogs around, the Maltipoo is a cross between the Maltese and the Toy or Miniature Poodle. Both parents are known for their small size, making the Maltipoo a perfect pint-sized pet.

Maltipoos are gentle and playful like the Maltese and highly intelligent like the Poodle.

Shepsky

Gerberian Shepsky, or simply Shepsky, is a mix between a German Shepherd and Siberian Husky. These worker–class dogs can guard homes, take on police work, and even help in search-and-rescue missions.

Since they are large, they need a good-sized yard to run around and exercise, much like their parents.

Poogle

Poodles are a favorite breed to mix because of their intelligence and hypoallergenic fur. Poogles, a Beagle mixed with Poodle, are adorable, intelligent, and perfect dogs for people with allergies. They also don’t shed too much.

Shorkie

Those with small homes may want a Shorkie, a cross between two small purebred dogs: Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. They are joyful, alert, and loyal, much like their parents.

How To Choose A Dog?

No stringent guidelines exist for choosing a pure-breed or mixed-breed dog for your home. It is all about preference and what you need. But a few tips will help you and your pup live a fulfilling life.

Know What You Need

Do you need a guard dog? Or a playful dog that can entertain and amuse children? Also, do you have time to take care of the dog hands-on, or will they be left at home most of the time?

Each pure and mixed breed dog has different personalities and temperaments. Knowing what type of dog you want and need at home can help you pinpoint the right mixed breed for you.

Pick the Right-Sized Dog for Your Home

The size of a dog, and its characteristics are important to note. Large dogs are appropriate for large homes where they can play around freely. However, if you live in an apartment, you need to choose a mixed-breed dog that’s tiny and will thrive even with minimal exercise.

Age

If you want a pet, choose one between eight to ten weeks old. It’s the perfect age for a puppy to move into a new home, as they can still easily adapt. It is also an excellent age to start training the pup.

You should also socialize dogs between three and fourteen weeks old for an even, sweet-tempered puppy.

How To Identify Mixed Breed Dogs?

types of mixed breed dogs - how to identify mixed breed dogs

Remember, no two mixed breeds may look alike. This is because one of the original breeds will come out more dominant than the other, giving the pup a different look.

That said, designer dogs are usually easy to identify, as their breeders would have a complete family history in their records. Mutts and mongrels, on the other hand, may be harder to determine. So, how to identify a mixed-breed dog?

DNA Test

You can order a DNA test kit for your dog. The test needs a simple inner cheek swab. Once the sample is sent, it will be compared with existing breeds, so it usually takes weeks before results are available.

Research

You can also research your dog’s ancestry based on physical characteristics and temperament, albeit time-consuming. Canine enthusiasts love this because they get to know more about dog breeds.

To make research easier, take note of the following characteristics:

  • Size
  • Muzzle shape
  • Tail characteristics
  • Coat color and pattern
  • Ear shape

These will narrow down the possible breeds. The next step is to take note of your dog’s behavior. By doing so, you can short-list your dog’s breed according to their dog breed groups:

  • Herding group – They are bred to help gather and move livestock
  • Hound group – They love to chase after prey
  • Non-sporting group – They are dogs that are hard to categorize and are mostly bred as companion dogs
  • Sporting group – Also known as the hunting group because they were bred to assist in hunting
  • Terrier group – They hunt rodents, so they are great at digging to catch those living underground
  • Toy group – They are known as lap dogs because they are small and perfectly fit on your lap
  • Working group – They are muscled, as they are bred to pull sleds and carts or guard homes

The Pros and Cons of Having Mixed Breed Dogs

shorkie dog

Pros

The following are the advantages of getting a mixed-breed dog:

The Best of Both Worlds

The goal of designer breeds is to get the best characteristics of both parent breeds to create a superior breed. It also presupposes that the negative trait of a particular breed will be removed when mixed with another breed.

Better Health

Mixing breeds typically results in hybrid vigor – when the offsprings are more robust than their parents. It supposedly dilutes recessive genes carrying health issues.

Unique Physical Characteristics

Purebreds have physical features that are easily identifiable. But with mixed breeds, one cannot tell which parental feature will be passed down. So, you can expect a unique-looking mixed-breed dog.

Lower Costs

Designer breeds are usually more expensive, but mongrels and mutts are generally affordable. However, in the long run, costs are lower with mixed breeds because they are healthier.

Cons

The following are a few disadvantages to having mixed-breed dogs:

Uncertainty

Mongrels and mutts with uncertain ancestry may have an unpredictable temperament that novice dog owners may not know how to handle. In rare cases, they may also have genetic issues that are hard to identify until it’s too late.

Lack of Pedigree

Some people may care about pedigree. This especially holds true for those who want their dogs to participate in dog shows and competitions.

But the uncertainty of a dog’s ancestry and lack of pedigree should not be enough reasons to get turned off by them. Dogs are generally smart, loyal, and adorable, no matter the breed. They will be amazing members of the family.

Choosing a mixed-breed dog is all about preference and your lifestyle. Since each dog breed, whether purebred or mixed, has distinct personalities, you have to know which will be the right one for your family and home.

 

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I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.