10 Mixed Breed Dogs That Are the Best Of Both Parents
When you're deciding what dog to welcome to your family, you want to make sure your pup will fit your lifestyle. While some people enjoy long hikes and bike rides and prefer an active companion, others live in a small space in a city and choose a floof that's more of a snuggly, calm lap dog. Many pet owners also consider the full-grown size of an animal and their fur and hair if they suffer from allergies.
With this in mind, many potential new pet parents explore the wide range of mixed dog breeds. By definition, a mixed dog breed is exactly what it sounds like: a pup whose parents are not the same purebred dog, explains Stephanie Lantry, DVM, from Sarasota, Fla. and the resident vet for the Airvet app.
Over recent years, she says it's been a trend to mix certain breeds with the intent of preserving desirable qualities of both parents. And while you may find a mixed breed at a shelter, you will need to find a trusted breeder if you're looking for a specific mix. And expect a long wait and to pay a lot more than you would for a shelter dog.
Make sure you thoroughly investigate where you're getting your mixed breed puppy since sometimes, inhumane practices are at play. "There are varying reactions to those intentionally mixing different breeds to create a new 'nickname' of a repeatable mixed breed. This practice is often criticized for trying to cash in on a fad and not always paying close attention to preserving the genetic health of the offspring," Lantry warns.
However, should you find a trusted breeder, a mixed breed or hybrid dog can bring much love, joy, and happiness to your home. Here, we share the unique qualities about some of the most popular mixes.
Pomsky (Pomeranian and Siberian Husky Mix)
You love the regal appearance of a husky—but you prefer a smaller pup. A Pomsky has the best of both worlds! Thanks to the Pomeranian, Lantry says a Pomsky is not only more petite but also brings the character of a bonded companion dog who wants to stay with their owner. This is unlike a husky, who tends to be a bit more independent. Also, Lantry says to be mindful of your neighbors since the Pomeranian and husky are both more "talkative" breeds.
Puggle (Pug and Beagle Mix)
For pet parents who want a dog that happily greets everyone who visits them, a puggle fits the bill. They are friendly not only to humans but to fellow dogs, and they tend to playful and cuddly as well, says Jesus Aramendi, DVM, a senior veterinarian at Chewy.
The beagle influence gives the puggle an incredible sense of smell, and the mix creates a small-to-medium-sized dog that's comfortable in a family with children and/or as a companion for the elderly. Also, Aramendi says they're ideal for owners who don't want to deal with frequent grooming since they have short hair. However, he also adds both pugs and beagles can gain weight quickly, so they'll need regular exercise to stay healthy. "Puggles can also be prone to ear infections and excessive eye tearing," he notes.
Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel and Poodle Mix)
Sometimes referred to as the 'teddy bear' dog, a cockapoo is just about as cute as it gets. Furry, floofy, and generally well-natured, Lantry calls this hybrid dog the most traditional and longest-known mixed breed. In fact, she says some people have heard of them for so long they don't even realize it's a mix! Cockapoos were first researched and bred because many owners wanted a dog that doesn't shed.
Cocker spaniels tend to have ear and skin problems, but the poodle mix makes these less prevalent in a cockapoo. Lantry says the poodle also brings intelligence to the mix, making them easy to train. Plus, they're easy to love: "In the cockapoo, you'll find a loving and loyal companion that is well-suited for city living," Lantry says.
Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles and Bichon Frisé Mix)
Looking for a sweet pup to play with the kiddos and also join you for an evening cuddle on the couch? If so, consider a Cavachon. This is a fun-loving mixed breed that is affectionate and loveable by nature, explains Christina Fernandez, DVM, a veterinarian at Chewy.
And while all pups do need to exercise to stay healthy, she says a large yard is not an absolute requirement for this hybrid breed since they have a moderate energy level. The Cavachon is also low-maintenance with grooming and only has minimal shedding with their medium-length fur. Regarding health, this sweet small-to-medium-sized breed has a predisposition to orthopedic conditions and the Cavalier King Charles spaniel's influence could make them more prone to developing heart conditions, Fernandez adds.
Chiweenie (Chihuahua and Dachshund Mix)
The best way to describe a chiweenie? A firecracker, since their spunky confidence, will definitely keep their owner on their toes, says Annette Louviere, DVM, the manager of technical veterinary support at Wisdom Health. This bite-sized pup does tend to bond to one person, much like both the Chihuahua and the dachshund. They'll still get along with all family members if socialized as a puppy, which is important for those who have children.
Louviere says these dogs do well in apartment living, but it's essential to keep a pulse on the noise level since they tend to bark frequently. Chiweenies don't need a ton of exercise but do have energy to burn, so daily walks, playtime, and positive reinforcement when learning new skills are important for your dog's overall health and happiness. "Calm and consistent training is the best approach for these pups," Louviere says.
Morkie (Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier Mix)
As Lantry explains, this mixed breed varies in appearance and personality, as one usually takes more of the likeness of one parent over the other. Regardless of which way they go though, Morkies are undeniably cute, as well as incredibly loyal. The terrier characteristics of the Yorkshire terrier can bring hardiness and a stubborn streak, but the Maltese is a more free-spirited pup.
"The two parent breeds are non-shedders and low-allergenic, so this is a great mix for those who don't mind grooming requirements for their single coat that is more like hair than fur," adds Lantry. In terms of health, both breeds can suffer from genetic concerns, include luxating patellas, dental issues, neurological inflammation, and allergies.
Schnoodle (Miniature Schnauzer and Miniature Poodle Mix)
Schnoodles are intelligent dogs by nature, and their personality makes them extremely loyal to their family members, says Fernandez. They're also a breed that's easier to train and enjoy all sorts of exercise—including a long visit to the dog park, a game of fetch, or a casual stroll.
Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepherd and Poodle Mix)
When you dream of your ideal dog, do you see a beautiful pup that's smart and playful? An Aussiedoodle would be perfect for you and your family, especially if you live an active lifestyle. This mixed breed requires tons of exercise, and can thrive both as family companions and as therapy dogs, says Louviere. You can easily train these dogs, thanks to their parents, who respond well to positive reinforcement techniques.
Not only are they fun to be around, but they're also beyond adorable. "There is high variability in coat color and texture of an Aussiedoodle," Louviere adds, meaning you pup is going to be super unique compared to another Aussiedoodle.
Frenchton (French Bulldog and Boston Terrier Mix)
Sociable, sturdy, and playful, this mixed dog breed is great for families on-the-go. Frenchtons start off as charming puppies and grow to be 'carry-on' size, so you can easily take them traveling with you, says Heather Hoffmann, DVM, a veterinarian at Chewy. As a brachycephalic breed, they can be predisposed to trouble with their airways, so talk to your vet about how to best care for your Frenchton if you live in a hot climate or before you take them on a plane to make sure they won't have any breathing problems that make those environments too dangerous.
Frenchtons tend to be more laid back than their parents, so they often do well with children of all ages. Like all dogs, Frenchtons crave attention and love from their humans, so being left in a crate all day while you're at work would be difficult for them, warns Hoffmann.
Goldador (Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever Mix)
This mixed dog breed combines two very similar breeds to create a Goldilocks-like pup. What do we mean? A golden retriever is fluffier, while a Labrador retriever has a shorter coat, so the goldador is somewhere in the middle. Lantry says this hybrid is a mega-shedder, albeit not as much as pure goldens. She calls this mixed dog about as friendly as you can get, and often goldadors are most commonly found in breeding programs for use as service and guide dogs.
"They are big and they are energetic and tend to eat anything in sight. Even so, they are a fabulous family pet, and the sky is the limit with their trainability," Lantry raves. When it comes to health, a goldador is prone to skin allergies, orthopedic issues, and cancer, so routine vet visits are a must and pet insurance may be a good idea.