Ever wonder how a cross or hybrid of two specific dog breeds would look? The photos on this entertaining Dog Crossbreed Generator might have your answers.
The dog breed mixer is on the quirky website of U.K. insurance company Co-op, and it’s a fun place to click around. The dog mixer is not exhaustive; the choices seem limited to breed combinations for which the developers could put their paws on real-life pictures. So you can put a Corgi and a Papillon together (you’ll get a fluffy-haired “Corillon”), but not a Papillon and a Siberian Husky (… 404 dog not found).
Mixed Dog Breeds
Unintentionally mixed dog breeds—aka mutts—have long been popular, and for good reason. They are widely available and often enjoy the benefits of hybrid vigor. Intentionally mixed dog breeds—“designer dogs”—are also enjoying a wave of pup-ularity at the moment.
But a lot of people don’t realize that when two breeds mix, whether intentionally or not, there’s no controlling which characteristics come through to the puppies. That’s true despite blanket descriptions you might find on dog breed generators.
The closer the parents are in temperament, breed group, or size, the more predictable those outcomes in the pups. A high-energy herder x a high-energy herder = a high-energy herder. A small dog x a small dog = a small dog. Good family dog x good family dog = good family dog.
The more different the parents, the less predictable the outcomes.
If one parent’s breed has a reputation as dunderheaded, gregarious people-lovers, and the other parent’s breed is known for being reserved, watchful, and highly intelligent, their litter of pups is likely to be a potpourri. You might get puppies who are the spitting image of mom or dad: a dunderheaded people-pleaser and a bright, reserved pup. You might also find pups who are mixtures: A bright people-pleaser alongside a standoffish, watchful soul who was well behind the door when the brains were handed out. Some pups might be a blend: moderately people-pleasing and moderately intelligent, or moderate on one measure and at an extreme on the other. Any of these pups could be someone’s perfect fit! And any could terribly disappoint someone with their heart set on a different combination.
So in mixed breeds, it really pays to look into the breed background of each parent, and compare the breeds you’re considering when it comes to size, energy level, or other traits important to you. Check out our dog breed information pages to get the scoop on breeds from Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers.
Mixed Dog Breeds and You
Maybe you’re looking into dog breed mixers because you’re enjoying dreaming of the perfect dog for you. In that case, a visit to our Dog Breed Selector is in order. Answer a few questions about your lifestyle, and the selector will suggest 15 dog breeds that might make a perfect fit for your home. Mixes of any of these breeds could also make fantastic choices.
Or browse breeds with qualities that might be important to you:
- The Top 6 Calm Dog Breeds
- 7 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Home Alone
- The 6 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners
- The Best Dog Breeds for Swimming
- Best Dog Breeds for Families
- The 7 Best Dog Breeds for Cold Weather (…plus the 6 large breeds most sensitive to the cold. …Better get a big dog jacket!)
“Hypoallergenic” Mixed Breeds
The fad for designer dogs was kicked off by one breeder’s quest for a low-shedding guide dog. A guide dog school in Australia crossed the athletic, trainable Labrador with the athletic, trainable, low-shedding Poodle, in hopes of creating an athletic, trainable, low-shedding guide dog for a woman whose husband was allergic. Today Labradoodles serve occasionally as guides. Pet Labradoodles abound, and -doodles of many types are popular for their potentially low-shed coats.
No dog is truly hypoallergenic, but these 5 breeds shed a reduced amount of dander into the environment.
- Bichon Frise
- Portuguese Water Dog
Mixes of these breeds can potentially inherit this trait—but remember, breeding a low-shed parent and a standard-coated parent produces pups with a potpourri of coat types.
Read more about the positives and potential negatives of each breed, and discover the scientific truth about dog allergies, in Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds: Separating Myth From Fact.
Shelters and rescue groups—even breed-specific rescues—often have wonderful mixed-breed dogs waiting for a home. And when you meet an adult dog from a shelter or rescue, you don’t have to guess whether he might turn out to be gregarious or reserved, quick to learn or slow and steady, safe for allergy sufferers or a ticket to sneeze-town. The dog himself will tell you!
Sure, rescue dogs don’t have a “designer” label and cute name….but you can always create one of your own.