Crossbreed or Mixed breed refers to a dog that has purebred parents of different breeds. These are a kind of Pedigree-Lite. You’re not squeezing that hard-pressed gene pool quite so much, but you still get predictable traits, often with some of the health risks minimised.
This Newfoundland and Golden Retriever cross is a handsome beast
Fast forward a century, and some of today’s popular crosses might be making it onto the American Kennel Club registry. Maybe!
Breeders have taken a delight in making up crazy but loveable compound names for these posh pooches, including Cockapoo and Labradoodle. It’s often a case of “spot the two pedigree breeds”. For example, can you tell who mom and dad were in the Cockador? The Yorkie Poo? How about the Schnoodle? And then there are less guessable mixtures like the Chiweenie - a cross between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund.
A Cockapoo is just one of the many popular crossbreeds readily available
Advantages of Owning a Cross-Breed Dog
- Robustness. As well as the advantage of having a hound with a hilarious cross-breed name, Crossbreeds are often healthier because they are less in-bred.
- Best of both worlds. Crossbreeds are often bred for desired traits, such as when a Labrador and Golden Retriever are crossbred to produce a Goldador, which makes a very effective Guide Dog for the blind. By combining the best traits of each breed, you get a kind of Super Dog!
A Labradoodle combines great personality and a hypoallergenic coat
Disadvantage of Owning a Cross-Breed Dog
- Pot luck. This in some way contradicts the "Best of Both Worlds" category given in the previous section. The nature of genes is that you can’t predict which traits are going to be passed on from each parent. This applies to temperament as much as size, although it depends very much on who the parents are. The Labrador and Goldie are not going to produce small, aggressive pups. The size and mood of the Russell and Poodle cross is harder to predict, though. If you acquire the dog as a pup, there will be a certain element of this pot luck.