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March 12, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Mixed Breed Dogs - The Best of the Best

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

"The intelligence of a Poodle and the loyalty of a Lassie. The bark of a Shepherd and the heart of a Saint Bernard. The spots of a Dalmatian, the size of a Schnauzer, and the speed of a Greyhound. A genuine, All-American Mutt has it all." ~ASPCA (The American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) slogan~

Mixed Breeds are truly the best of the best in the dog world. Many of you may already be enjoying my series Purebred Star! The Purebred Star is a weekly blog that showcases particular breeds, their history, and the inside scoop of the breed's personality and energy levels.

How does the Purebred Star help with adopting or rescuing a mixed breed dog? If someone doesn't understand the different characteristic needs a Border Collie - Boxer Mix has from a Chihuahua - Jack Russell Terrier Mix, that dog, sadly, could end up back in the shelter. Educating yourself in the different breed traits of a mixed breed dog prior to adopting will provide a better understanding of what type of dog you are bringing home with you.

Mixed breed dogs can contain an assortment of different purebred genes. Mixed breed dogs are not the result of intentional breeding, unlike purebreds and designer (cross-breeds) dogs.

Even to a professional trainer, groomer, veterinarian, or reputable breeder, it can be difficult to distinguish all the breed lines in a mixed breed. Determining the breeds in a mixed breed is a best guess done by these professionals. The "guess work" offers a better picture of what type of breed traits these dogs have in them. DNA kits are now offered at pet stores, or online, although these kits offer a way to find out some of a mixed breeds lineage. The matches depend on how many different breeds the company has in their database.

Are you looking for a dog to be a running partner, or a dog that prefers a short daily walk?  Are you looking for a large, medium, or small size dog? Shedding or non-shedding?  Easy to train? Or a dog that will offer some challenge?

Energy - High to Low

An Australian Shepherd - Dalmatian - PitBull Mix will make the perfect running partner! All three breeds are high energy, active dogs. They enjoy a day full of activities, playtime, and learning. However, a Shih Tzu - Pug - English Bulldog Mix will be content with a short daily stroll in the neighborhood.

Shedding or Non-Shedding?

A non-shedding breed like a Poodle, Havanese, Bichon Frise, Coton de Tulear, Shih Tzu, Wheaten Terrier, or others could possibly offer a dog with minimal shedding. However, when adopting a mixed breed dog, one should be aware that there are no guarantees which breed traits will come out above the others. Just because you are rescuing a Poodle - Pomeranian - Dachshund doesn't mean the non-shedding trait of the Poodle will be what you get.

Easy To Train or A Little Challenge?

Pitbull - Labrador - Rottweiler - Australian Cattle Mix are all extremely intelligent breeds, so training, overall, should be easy. A Dachshund - Yorkshire Terrier - Affenpinscher Mix all offer a bit of a stubborn attitude, which can make training more challenging.

Dog Loving or Dog Bully?

Dogo Argentino - Bullmastiff - Chow Chow Mix all have strong personalities that could potentially have dog to dog issues if a structured socialization program wasn't in place when young. Typically, bully breeds do better with opposite sex dogs. This doesn't mean these dogs shouldn't be given a chance for their forever home, it just means when rescuing a bully breed the adoptive pet-parent needs to be aware of these traits within other dogs. A pet-parent should respectively provide them the leadership, advocacy, and proper training these breeds require.

Golden Retriever - Beagle - Redbone Coonhound Mix are typically very dog friendly, looking for their new fur buddy to romp around in the backyard with! Doggy Daycare will be this mixed breeds favorite hang out!

Mixed breed dogs offer wonderful personality traits as the purebred does. It is often said that mixed breed dogs are healthier then their purebred counterparts due to the genetic diversity a mixed breed has.

Pitbull Mixes - Need Homes Too!

Pitbull Mixes are amongst the top mixed breeds over-running the shelters, and rescue organizations awaiting for their forever home.; Due to unscrupulous back yard breeders, and puppy mills cashing in on this breed, they are often overlooked at shelters and rescues. These mixed breeds should not be disregarded as they offer a wonderful, loyal, loving, smart, energetic personality that will be a great addition to any family.

Sadly, Pits are well known due to the bad press they receive, as the media chooses to focus on the negative versus the positive. The negative is always pet-parent related because of the lack of training, socializing, and exercise provided, as well as the lack of offering them a secure and safe environment. This breed is one of the top breeds for families with children, known as the "Nanny" Dog in the 1800's and early 1900's! They excel at agility sporting events, including docking diving, flyball, and much more! Their easy going and loving personality is always waiting to greet you at the door! And they absolutely LOVE to play, run, hike, camp, and whatever else you offer them. Pitbull Mixes just want to be with their human, offering them their companionship throughout the day, with the expectation of nothing in return! What is not TO LOVE!

I hope this offers you a better insight of the wonderful world of mixed breed dogs, whether it is a Weimaraner - Greyhound - Husky - Newfoundland Mix or a Maltese - Chinese Crested - Toy Fox Terrier Mix, they all have something special to offer!

Adopt First

Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with if you choose to go through a breeder.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!

Resources:

Pets WebMD - Dog DNA Testing

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