One of the most fulfilling things you can do is to raise a dog. Many owners will agree. In fact, the dog ownership has steadily been rising in the last few decades. From the year 2000 to 2017, pet dogs in the United States have increased from 68 million to 90 million dogs.
However, most people that I talk to who are looking to raising a dog are looking specifically at purebred dogs. Whether its because they want a “guaranteed look” or think less of mutts, this unfortunate phenomenon is happening.
But here’s the truth. Other than certain physical characteristics, there is absolutely no difference between a purebred and mutt dog. Rather, i’d argue it may be better to get a mixed breed.
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Table of Contents
- Why Get a Mixed Dog Breed?
- The Best Mixed Dogs
- Where to Find a Mixed Dog
Why Get a Mixed Dog Breed?
There are way too many reasons why you should get a mixed dog breed instead. I don’t want to spend too much time here making my case, but here are my three favorite reasons.
1. Mutt Dogs are (Often) Healthier
This is a long-standing argument among scientists, researchers and veterinarians. But, the theory is simple. More gene diversity in mutt dogs means they’re less likely to develop hereditary diseases and disorders.
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association did a study in 2013, involving roughly 90,000 dogs. What they found was that purebred dogs were more likely to develop 10 different genetic disorders compared to mutts. These disorders ranged anywhere from cataracts to hypothyroidism.
On the other hand, it can be argued that most of these genetic disorders are caused by recessive genes. This means that both parents would need the rarer recessive gene for the offspring to develop these disorders.
2. You Can Literally Rescue a Dog
According to the ASPCA, roughly 70 – 75% of all dogs in shelters are mutt dogs. If you don’t give these mixed dogs a chance, then you’re essentially eliminating the vast majority of dogs in shelters.
Needless to say, all dogs need a loving family. Often times, they need a better situation even more. There’s nothing better than bringing home a dog you had just rescued from a difficult situation. They could have been abused, abandoned or severely neglected.
Whatever the reason, you will be providing the rescue dog with another chance. And, you can bet they’ll love you even more for rescuing them.
3. Mixed Dogs are Smarter
Surprise, surprise! Despite popular belief, mixed dog breeds are considered more intelligent than their purebred counterparts. At least, according to the scientific study conducted by Aberdeen University.
Researchers tested 100 dogs, both mutts and purebreds, through seven intelligence and psychology tests.
These trials included complex mazes, spatial awareness tests and various problem solving tests. In the end, mutt dogs performed much better on these tests.
However, the breeds in the mutt were a significant factor. The best performing mutt was a collie-spaniel mix. Both of which, are highly intelligent dog breeds on their own.
The Best Mixed Dogs
There are almost an infinite number of mixed dog breeds. However, these are our favorite mixes. Everything from the Gerberian Shepsky to the Yorkipoo – we think you should really see these 21 dogs!
Parent Breeds: Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Siberian Husky.
The Corgi and Husky are perhaps two of the most popular dog breeds, at least among internet dog jokes and dog puns. It only makes sense to crossbreed the two, right? Call them the Horgi, Siborgi or the Corgsky – whatever you prefer.
They’re energetic, affectionate and have lively personalities. There is never a dull moment with a Horgi. They can be a bit difficult to train, but novice owners should have no problem with firm positive reinforcement.
A Horgi often has the body shape of the corgi – short legs and long body – but have facial features of the Husky. The most notable husky characteristic is the unique colored eyes, which appear in some Horgis, but not all.
What makes this crossbred so popular is that they retain most of the best physical characteristics from both breeds. The iconic short stature and legs of the corgi paired with the fluffy curly tail and coat, make this mutt such an adorable dog.
READ MORE: Corgi Husky Mix – Guide to the Horgi
Parent Breeds: Pit Bull and Siberian Husky.
So, the logical reasoning was to crossbreed the two and get a less serious Pit Bull mix. Surely enough, the Pitsky is the combination of these two popular dog breeds and achieves just that.
These mutt dogs retain the head shape, body physique and tail of the Pit Bull. However, the most noticeable husky features are the long propped ears and blue-ish white husky eyes. The ears may vary from dog to dog, but the eyes are usually noticeably unique.
Pitskies aren’t recommended for non-active owners. With their intense energy levels, expect to play play play with them. And despite all the talk of the “dangerous Pit Bulls,” Pitskies are more loving than you think.
READ MORE: The Energetic and Playful Pitsky
3. Gerberian Shepsky
Parent Breeds: German Shepherd and Siberian Husky.
The Gerberian Shepsky combines two of the hardest working dog breeds: the German Shepherd and Husky. So it’s safe to say the Gerberian inherits this characteristic as well.
Gerberians are highly intelligent dogs that can thrive with a variety of roles. They have a sturdy frame with lightning-quick agility, making them excellent police dogs or companions for those with active lifestyles.
Despite their fierce looks, they’re quite affectionate, loyal and sociable. A Gerberian is an outstanding family dog and can even do well in an environment with children.
However, owning a Gerberian Shepsky is no easy task. Be ready to exercise as these dogs require a ton of physical and mental stimulation. You can try obedience training and fun dog games, such as frisbee.
They’re great pets for large families because everyone can participate in the responsibilities of these wonderful dogs. It makes keeping one much easier and manageable.
READ MORE: The German Shepherd Husky Mix
Parent Breeds: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise.
Among all mixed dog breeds, the Cavachon is by far the most sweet-tempered. A crossbreed of the Cavalier King Charles and Bichon Frise, the Cavachon is happiest in the lap of a loving owner. They are the ultimate lap dogs.
For owners that just want to cuddle all day with their dog, the Cavachon is for you. Highly adaptable, these dogs can thrive in any environment. The only thing they need is love and attention.
In recent years, Cavachons have quickly become one of the most popular mixed dog breeds. It’s because living with a Cavachon can be a life full of rewarding moments. They’re calm, quiet, sensible and optimistic – all the right traits for the ultimate companion dog.
Cavachons get along great with both children and adults. There’s not a single aggressive bone in these dogs. In fact, i’d probably worry more about the kids mistreating this dog than the other way around.
READ MORE: The Ultimate Cavachon Guide
Parent Breeds: Golden Retriever and Siberian Husky.
Combining two of the most popular family dog breeds gives you a Goberian – the Golden Retriever Husky mix. They’re highly intelligent, extremely friendly and a little wacky. There’s just so much to love with a Goberian.
However, there are a few things to consider with the Goberian. Because of their double coat, a hot climate is not ideal for these mixed dogs. Plus, they need a good amount of exercise on the daily basis with a decently large backyard.
There can be a lot of variations in mixed dog breeds, including the Goberian. But one thing that is certain is their immense loyalty. They love their family and will always have their back.
Goberians are some of the best family dogs – mixed or purebred. If you’re looking for a companion dog, they can literally fit perfectly into any family.
READ MORE: The Magnificent Goberian
Parent Breeds: Chihuahua and Dachshund.
The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world. In addition, the Dachshund isn’t much bigger. As a result, this awesome mixed breed weighs just 5 to 10 pounds and stands 12 inches tall at most.
If size is what you’re looking for in your mutt dog, the Chiweenie is not the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a lap dog with a bright personality, consider the Chiweenie.
When playing with kids, keep in mind how fragile the Chiweenie actually is. They’re small, so they may not appreciate playing with rowdy kids. Younger children that don’t understand how to interact with animals may not be best interacting with these dogs.
A Chiweenie is protective by nature. With that said, it’s especially important to provide socialization at an early age. Without any, they can develop into an aggressive dog in adulthood.
READ MORE: The Fun-Sized Chiweenie
Parent Breeds: Pomeranian and Siberian Husky.
There’s a lot to love with the Pomeranian Husky mix, or the “Pomsky” for short. They’re adorable, playful and a little bit silly. But most importantly, they love to be around people. Pomskies are the happiest with family and in the center of attention.
The one drawback of the Pomsky mix is grooming. You see that fluffy glamorous coat? Well, it takes quite a bit of time to groom as they shed like no other. Expect locks of fur around the house, especially during shedding season (spring, fall).
On the plus side, they highly adaptable. In fact, they’re perfect for apartment living given their small size. Obviously they’ll do fine in cold weather but they can also tolerate warm climate better than you think.
With a Pomsky, early socialization and obedience training is necessary. They can be aloof with strangers and may even develop aggression towards them without socialization. They aren’t the best with children, but can manage with proper training.
Still, the Pomsky is one of the best and most popular mixed dog breeds. With a fluffy coat and an affectionate temperament, it’s easy to see why.
READ MORE: 35 Perfect Pomeranian Mixes
Parent Breeds: Yorkshire Terrier and Toy Poodle
The Yorkipoo is truly a designer dog with some of the best qualities. A cross between two of the most beloved toy dog breeds, the Yorkie Poodle mix is a fun-loving and affectionate dog perfect for nearly any situation.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in an apartment or a large house, the key to a Yorkipoo’s happiness is a loving family/owner. They love to play and will play hard. On the other hand, they’ll be perfectly content relaxing from the comfort of your lap.
The only downside of this mixed dog breed is its tendency to bark. A Yorkipoo will often bark at anything and anyone. If you can’t stand this, then this breed may not be for you.
For those that don’t mind the barking, you’ll need the energy to match these dogs. Though small, Yorkipoos seem as if they have unlimited energy.
READ MORE: 19 Terrific Terrier Mixes
9. Border Aussie
Parent Breeds: Border Collie and Australian Shepherd.
What happens when you mix two of the best herding dogs in the world? You get the Border Aussie – the ultimate mixed breed for herding. Lazy owners be wary, this is one of the hardest dog breed you’ll ever meet.
Unless you have a very active style or live on a farm with livestock, the Border Aussie is not recommended. They require a huge amount of daily exercise, which may not be easy for the average owner. And don’t even think about sticking them in an apartment!
Border Aussies are social dogs and are very affectionate with people. They’re the best versions of themselves when they have a specific task to do.
This can be herding (duh) or even obedience training. As long as they’re stimulated mentally and physically, they’ll be happy. However they really get more joy when they’re doing the activity with the owner.
Still, I wouldn’t recommend this mixed breed for first time owners or novice trainers.
READ MORE: 18 Unique Aussie Mixes
Parent Breeds: Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle.
Big and fluffy, the Bernedoodle is one of the most loving companion dogs with a goofy personality. Not only are they intelligent and clever, but also calm. As a result, they’ve become popular mutt dogs among families all over the world.
The best part of these dogs is their ability to befriend anyone. They’ll be cautious around new strangers, but in no time, they’ll be playing with any friendly human. Bernedoodles are perfect for both children and elders, as they have a gentle side to them.
As for dog training, the Bernedoodle is easy to deal with, even for new and inexperienced owners. The Poodle side is probably where they get their smarts. However, the Bernese Mountain Dog side makes them very eager to please and learn.
Considering how much hair they have, they don’t really shed much. However, they still do especially during shedding season. If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, the purebred Poodle may be a better option.
READ MORE: 31 Adorable Poodle Mixes
Parent Breeds: Labrador Retriever and Boxer.
The Boxador is truly a unique blend, combining two very different yet amazing dog breeds. On one hand, the Boxer is playful and full of energy. On the other, the Labrador Retriever is loyal and affectionate. The Boxador gives you the best of both worlds.
It’s no surprise the Boxador is one of the most popular designer dogs in the world. In fact, both parent breeds consistently make the list of top ten most popular dog breeds.
Though athletic and energetic, the Boxadors are extremely friendly and affectionate towards people. Like many breeds, they love to be the center of attention and appreciate being involved with family activities.
Despite their friendly temperaments, the Boxadors play best with older children. They’re not aggressive by nature but their excitement can lead them into unintentionally knocking over a small child. Always supervise your kid’s play time with them.
For a family, Boxadors are some of the best mixed dog breeds on the market. You can’t go wrong and you’ll be lucky to own such a caring dog.
Parent Breeds: Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese.
The Morkie mix breed is a combination of two very popular toy dog breeds – the Yorkie and Maltese. The combination of the two gives you a small dog with a huge personality.
Originating from the United States, this mixed breed can vary greatly in appearance. Some may look more like the Maltese, while others more like a Yorkie. In addition, ears can be erect or floppy depending on which side the dog takes more from.
Despite the variance in looks, majority of Morkies come in a brown, black or white coat. Plus, they all have long, curly and soft hair. With that in mind, a Morkie requires daily brushing and it’s recommended they get a haircut every 2 months or so.
If you’re okay with grooming, a Morkie is a top choice for a designer toy dog. They tend to get attached to the owner(s) and have a playful and affectionate personality. They’re a little bundle of joy.
However, they can be a little stubborn at times, which is common among dogs in the Terrier group (Yorkshire Terrier side).
Parent Breeds: Dalmatian and Bulldog.
It’s not every day you run into one of these. The Bullmatian is the uncommon mix between a Dalmatian and Bulldog. Although rare, the Bullmatian deserves more popularity than they actually get.
As you can see, the Bullmatian takes the physical body shape of a Bulldog. However, their coats are usually always spotted like a Dalmatian. They’re easy to identify if you ever come across one.
The best thing about these mixed dogs is their temperaments. They’re less aggressive than you think and have a charming personality once you get to know them. They can be loving and social creatures as well.
For some owners, the amount of energy they come with may be a turn off. Bullmatians are always filled with enthusiasm and demand a lot of attention from the owner.
However, if you can provide affection and plenty of play time, the Bullmatian is an excellent choice for a companion and family dog. They do great with both individual owners and families.
Parent Breeds: Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Labrador.
The Corgidor combines America’s most popular dog, the Labrador, with one of the internet’s most popular dog breed – the Corgi. What could go wrong? Absolutely nothing!
Corgidors have an unusual physical appearance. They’re not as small as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, but often retain their signature short and stumpy legs. But everything about the head, from the droopy ears to the snout, resembles that of a Labrador Retriever.
The Corgidor is an excellent worker and often needs an active lifestyle to stay happy. Don’t mistake their short legs for lack of athleticism. They can run and jump with great agility.
Personality can vary and depends on how you train them, especially in puppyhood. Corgis tend to be a little protective and territorial, whereas Labs are affectionate and friendly to a fault. It’s likely a Corgidor will be somewhere in between.
READ MORE: 27 Cutest Corgi Mixes
Parent Breeds: Labrador Retriever and Beagle.
The Beagador is a hybrid of the Labrador and Beagle. For the most part, they look similar to a normal Lab. However, they tend to have larger ears, which is inherited from the Beagle side. In addition, they’re slightly smaller than purebred Labradors.
The “special skill” of the Beagle is tracking with its keen nose. And according to owners, that nose tend to carry over to the Beagador in most cases. Likewise, the friendliness and charm of a Labrador is usually seen with this mixed breed.
Beagles are often listed as one of the 10 least intelligent dog breeds. However, they’re just misunderstood because they’re so caught up with their sense of smell. The Beagador, on the other hand, is a bit more balanced.
Beagadors can be very affectionate and eager to please. For this reason, they’re usually much easier to train than a purebred Beagle.
READ MORE: 30 Bizarre Beagle Mixes
Parent Breeds: Shih Tzu and Chihuahua.
A hybrid of the Shih Tzu and Chihuahua, the ShiChi has quietly become one of the most popular designer dogs in America. With its adorable looks and bright personality, the ShiChi has been winning the hearts of people all over the world.
Bred from two toy dogs, the ShiChi weighs between 5 and 12 pounds and stands no more than 11 inches tall. They have round heads with large almond-shaped eyes that’ll make any dog lover fall in love.
These dogs can vary in coat colors, as they come in black, white, cream, fawn, brown or a combination. In addition, length of the coat will depend on the parentage – some will have long hair and others short. As for long hair ShiChis, double coats with curly hair are typical.
Due to their small size, they are fragile dogs. And although they’re always down to play, small children can unintentionally hurt these dogs. Constant rough play can mentally affect these dogs, as they tend to have low tolerance for such play.
With proper socialization and obedience training, the ShiChi will be the perfect complement to any family.
READ MORE: 25 Sassy Shih Tzu Mixes
Parent Breeds: Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Dalmatian.
Of the all the hybrid dog breeds on this list, the Corgimatian may take the cake for the rarest. Blending the Dalmatian with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi will get you an unusual looking spotted Corgi. Still cute as any other mixed dog.
Because there are so few Corgimatians, there is little information on these dogs. However, we do know that the Corgi Dalmatian mix is good-natured with a playful attitude. In other words, they can make fantastic companions for households.
These dogs are brimming with energy and eagerness to play. Depending on the parentage, the Corgimatian can have herding instincts, coming from the Corgi side. If that’s the case, small kids should not be allowed to play with this dog unsupervised.
If you’re lucky enough to find this unique mixed dog, consider the Corgimatian.
Parent Breeds: Chow Chow and Siberian Husky.
Often referred to as the Chowski, the Chow Chow Husky mix is one of the most unusual crosses in the dogdom. But similar to the savory sweet taste of peanut butter and jelly, it just somehow works.
The Chusky weighs up to 65 pounds and can be as tall as 23 inches. A large fluffy mixed dog is not a big surprise as both parents are the same. The main difference is the coat color, as the Chusky can come in brown, red, white, pied, cream or a combination.
Chuskies are also fantastic companions because they tend to develop a strong bond with the owner(s). Plus, they play well with older kids, especially those in the family. The downfall of their affection is their tendency to be overly protective.
To prevent an aggressive adult Chusky, make sure you provide a ton of socialization with both people and other dogs at an early age. They’ll grow up to be a much more balanced dog.
Like the parent Husky, this mixed dog breed has a ton of energy. Make sure you have the time to provide daily exercise for these dogs. Without sufficient play, they can become destructive.
READ MORE: 20 Beautiful Husky Mixes
Parent Breeds: Chihuahua and Pug.
The Chug is a hybrid of two of the most amusing small dog breeds – the Chinese Pug and the Chihuahua. Both parent dogs are a little quirky in their own right, but shower the owners with a ton of love. The same can be said about the Chug.
Temperament and personality with this mutt can vary depending on factors, such as parents’ temperaments and socialization. For the most part, these dogs can be a little hostile towards larger dogs (small dog syndrome). But with people, they’re fantastic companions.
Depending on parentage, a Chug can be a little stubborn when it comes to training. Still, it’s extremely important you properly train this dog. If they take more from a Chihuahua side, you could potentially experience an aggressive dog in adulthood.
Chugs don’t require as much physical activity as other mixed dogs. Instead, they’ll be perfectly fine on an owner’s lap. However, they are playful by nature and would appreciate daily playtime.
If Pugs are your thing, the Chug is a nice twist from your typical purebred Pug.
READ MORE: 25 Coolest Chihuahua Mixes
20. Golden Dox
Parent Breeds: Golden Retriever and Dachshund.
Energetic and playful, the Golden Dox is the odd combination of the Golden Retriever with the German Dachshund. By crossbreeding a small dog with a large dog, you end up with huge variations in physical appearance.
For instance, a Golden Dox can be anywhere between 10 and 23 inches tall. Furthermore, they can weigh 30 to 60 pounds. It really depends on which side the mixed dog takes more from.
Regardless, these designer dogs are crazy active and demand a lot of physical activity and play time. But with their good-natured and spirited temperaments, it’s easy to find time to play with these dogs.
Although Golden Retrievers are furious shedders year round, the Golden Dox isn’t so bad. Grooming won’t take up too much time as daily brushing with occasional trimming is enough.
When you’re with a Golden Dox, it’s easy to fall in love at first sight. They’re adorable with a even more attractive personality.
READ MORE: 40 Dashing Dachshund Mixes
21. Chow Shepherd
Parent Breeds: German Shepherd and Chow Chow.
Despite being a mixed breed, the Chow Chow German Shepherd mix does not vary as much in appearance as other mutt dogs. However, the weight can range anywhere from 45 to 90 pounds depending on gender and parentage.
In almost all cases, the Chow Shepherd will inherit the coat from the Chow Chow. This means the fluffiness and dense hair on a Chow Chow. On the other hand, the tail, ears and body shape tend to be more like a German Shepherd.
Like the parents, the Chow Shepherd has a dominant personality and requires firm and consistent training in the household. For this reason, they aren’t suited to play with smaller dogs (or pets) and kids.
They can be aloof at times and will be cautious around unfamiliar people because of their protective instincts. In other words, they make amazing guard dogs for your home.
These dogs can be wonderful companions, but it takes a certain type of person to keep a happy Chow Shepherd. You’ll need a strong personality to keep up with them.
READ MORE: 31 Great German Shepherd Mixes
Where to Find a Mixed Dog
Are you convinced yet? As mentioned, the best place to find a mixed dog breed is probably at your local animal shelter. More than half of dogs held in those facilities are mutts!
Still, with animal shelters you may be limited on choice. Not to worry, there are other ways to find mixed dog breeds.
PetFinder is one of the largest dog adoption platforms (they have cats and other animals too!) on the internet. The best part is that most of the dogs on PetFinder are mixed dogs.
Easily sort by location and breed – including mixed breeds. The benefit of being one of the top pet adoption platforms on the internet means they’ll provide a huge selection of dogs. There’s much more than you’ll find at your local shelter.
2. PetCo Foundation
Live near a PetCo store? The PetCo Foundation is a non-profit organization that regularly organizes adoption events at local PetCo stores. Sure, it’s similar to local shelters and you’re limited on choices, but if you’ve already checked the shelter then this is another option.
Currently, there are roughly 1,500 PetCo stores across the country, so you’re more than likely to find one near you. Also, check their website for adoption event schedules.
3. Adopt a Pet
Adopt a Pet is an online listing / database for pets (especially dogs) in both rescue groups and local shelters. It’s an easy and convenient way to look for dogs before driving to their temporary home.
This platform is highly reputable and big enough where you’ll find a great selection of dogs. Best of all, it’s filled with beautiful mixed dog breeds waiting for you to take them home.
Did we miss any great mixed breeds? Leave your favorite mutt dog in the comments section below!
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