Thanks to a high demand for “designer dogs,” mixed-breeds are more common than ever and, in most cases, mixed together on purpose. This wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time, mixed breed dogs were more accidental in nature and were often referred to as mutts. However, people quickly realized they could produce some darn cute dogs by combining certain breeds and so the trend to “design” a dog began.
Mixed mutts (whether accidental or on purpose) are popular for a variety of reasons. Depending on the type of dog that is cross-bred, the dog that is produced may have more or less potential health problems than their purebred predecessors. However, knowing for certain if mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds will all depend on their specific genetic makeup.
This can be a big factor when trying to decide which mixed-breed mutt is right for you. Pomeranians and Poodles appear to be a popular cross-breed favorite. This may be due to the fact that Poodles are often considered as a “hypo-allergenic breed” and Pomeranians are small enough to carry around town as a companion. However, when mixing breeds, you may not always get what you expect. Some owners wind up disappointed when their supposedly “allergy-friendly” dog is anything but.
It should be noted that cross-breed dogs and mixed-breed dogs are not quite the same thing. Mixed-breeds are generally not contrived. They are a product of (mostly accidental) blended breeding and often the breed origin is difficult to trace. Mixed-breeds could in fact be the product of several different breeds blended through the years. They definitely earn their “mutt” moniker. Cross-breeds on the other hand, are often just two breeds of dog that are joined together on purpose, to produce a certain type of dog. Cross-bred dogs seek to produce a dog that has traits of both parents and both breeds, whether they are physical traits or personality traits. Some cross-breed dogs appear to be more popular than others, although the trend continues to grow as more breeds are bred together to produce something new. With that said, here are 10 common cross-breed dogs you may have heard of by now.
The Aussiepom is a cross-breed of Australian Shepherd (mini, toy, or standard-size) and Pomeranian. This cross-breed dog is loved for its size and temperament. Aside from their signature traits, they are also known to serve as excellent great watch dogs as well. However, they are not for the faint-of-heart or fledgling dog owners. They need owners that are experienced because they will need a lot of training. They can live anywhere from 11-13 years and can range anywhere from 4-35 lbs., reaching 10-18 inches in height. Aussiepoms are affectionate and loyal, as well as constantly playful. Most of them tend to look like a small Australian Shepherd, with Aussie markings and Pom features, although specific traits can vary widely. These dogs are highly social and need plenty of attention and exercise. Also, they can be very vocal and shed a lot, so that’s something to keep in mind.
A Pomchi is a cross-breed of Pomeranian and Chihuahua. They may also go by the names of Chi-Pom, Chiapom, Pomachi, and more. It’s not known just when the Pomchi originated, although it’s definitely a newer cross-breed. These small dogs are lively and affectionate, which can make them excellent companions. They can live anywhere from 11-17 years, reach a height of 7-11 inches, and weigh 3-7 lbs.
Pomchis are often quite small, so they may not be suited for smaller children, although they do love to play. The problem is they can easily be hurt due to their size. The Pomchi can also be a stubborn breed, so that’s something to keep in mind before bringing one home. You may have to invest more time and attention into training them than you perhaps bargained for.
Though the two breeds together seem to be an unlikely pairing, the Pomsky is born of a Pomeranian (usually male) and a Siberian Husky (usually female). This cross-breed dog can live 12-15 years, reach 10-15 inches in height, and weigh 7-38 lbs., which is quite a large variance. Pomsky’s are a fairly new development in the cross-breed world, and some of them are winding up in shelters because new owners don’t always understand what their needs will be.
They are energetic and can range greatly in size. Additionally, both parent breeds can carry a genetic defect that could make the care of your Pomsky offspring a difficult financial burden to bear. However, Pomsky’s are extremely cute which is why they are growing in popularity so quickly. Some breeders are even working to make them a recognized breed, although currently they are still a bit of a novelty that can come with a hefty price tag.
Yorkipoos are a cross between Yorkshire Terrier and Mini or Toy Poodles. They are wildly popular as a “designer” dog and can make playful, smart, adorable pets, if you get them from a conscientious breeder. When they are bred with no experience or care, you can wind up with a cross-breed that is made up of all the undesirable traits of his parents. Yorkipoos can live 14-15 years or more, reach 7 inches in height, and weigh anywhere from 3-14 lbs. They aren’t typically aggressive but may still be better suited for families with older children due to their size.
Because they have Terrier in them, they may be prone to “big britches” syndrome. This occurs when little dogs think they are bigger than they really are. It can make them vulnerable to accidental harm if they cross paths with a dog that is larger than they are. They simply don’t know their own size. One of the biggest draws of the Yorkipoo is their allergy-friendly coat, although you should always bear in mind that a cross-breed may not turn out as you fully expect. Yorkipoos also can make great pets for the elderly. Just be warned, they do love to bark, so if you don’t like dogs that yap a lot, the Yorkipoo may not be for you.
Maltipoos are a cross between a Toy or Mini Poodle and a Maltese. These cute little dogs look and act like pups well into their teen years, which makes them a fun and enjoyable companion pet. They are clever too and quite affectionate. Maltipoos can live 10-15 years, weigh 5-20 lbs., and grow 8-14 inches tall. These dogs are wonderful therapy dogs and make great pets for first-time dog owners. Just keep in mind that Maltipoos love their humans so they should be given run of the house and should never be left alone for long periods of time. If they are left alone for too long, too often, they could suffer from canine separation anxiety.
Also, be warned that Maltipoos like to bark. You may have to train your dog not to bark, so they learn when it’s appropriate and when it’s not. This can make them great little watchdogs, but annoying if you don’t properly train them.
The Cockapoo is one of the first of the cross-breeds to come along when cross-breeding became a thing in the dog world. The Cockapoo is the product of a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle bred together. These dogs are intelligent, sweet-tempered, and great for owners that are sensitive to dog hair and dander. Cockapoos can live 12-18 years and weigh 10-30 lbs., though their height can vary. They usually start at about a foot tall, making them a great pet if you live in an apartment. Best of all, this breed loves to romp and play. Their size makes them ideal… they aren’t too small and thus more prone to injury, and they aren’t too large to cuddle and hang out on your lap.
The Cavapoo is a mix between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Toy or Mini Poodle. These dogs make for great family pets, although they may be better suited for kids over 6 years of age. Though they are sturdy in build, they aren’t too large which means that smaller children could accidentally hurt them. Cavapoos are known for their sweet, gentle nature and moderate activity levels. You can bet they will be greeting strangers at the door with a smile rather than a growl. It’s also important to note that this cross-breed is always up for a walk in the park or a romp around the backyard.
Cavapoos are also intelligent and easy-to-train, which makes them very attractive for many pet owners. The Cavapoo can live 12-15 years, weigh 7-25 lbs., and reach 9-14 inches in height. This cross-breed dog is very popular in Australia and that popularity has seeped across the country into the U.K. and U.S.
Labradoodles are a mix of Labrador Retriever and Poodle. They were originally cross-bred to be hypoallergenic service dogs, although the hypoallergenic part doesn’t always happen. They also can come in a wide variety of colors. Despite the variances in physical traits, these dogs are smart, affectionate, and loyal. When they are bred well, they can be very intuitive, which is part of their appeal as service dogs. They have become wildly popular for many reasons, and their stardom only continues to rise.
Labradoodles can live 10-15 years, weigh anywhere from 15-100 lbs. or more depending on the size of the Poodle they are bred with, and can reach 14-24 inches in height. Their coat is usually shaggy or curly and requires a bit of maintenance.
Much like the Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle is a cross-breed of Poodle and Golden Retriever. These dogs have also become very popular and the demand is growing. They can vary in size depending on whether the Poodle that is bred is Standard, Mini, or Toy-sized. You can expect them to weigh anywhere from 15-100 lbs., stand 13-24 inches tall, and live 10-15 years. These dogs are moderately active and actually make wonderful therapy dogs. The larger cross-breeds may be more active than the smaller mixes, but all of them are fast learners.
Keep in mind that Goldendoodles can come in a wide variety of colors, ranging from red, black, apricot, or chocolate, or cream or champagne. Part of the fun of crossbred dogs is you just never know what you might get.
Puggles are a cross between a Pug and a Beagle. They resemble a mini Mastiff in appearance, because of their longer snout, tail, and ears, with Pug-like wrinkles. They have become popular because of how cute they are, although you can sometimes take your chances when it comes to their personality. Some of them are funny, loving, and an excellent companion for a family, while others can be stubborn and difficult to train.
Puggles may live anywhere from 12-14 years, reach 15-30 lbs., and grow to 8-15 inches in height. They are very active, social, and smart, but they aren’t for everyone. They could have undesirable traits and because they are a cross-breed, you really never know how their personalities will develop. One draw about a Puggle is they aren’t generally dogs that like to bark, but they do sometimes howl like a Beagle. If you like cute howlers that look like a little Mastiff, the Puggle could be your new best friend.
Remember that whether it’s a mixed-breed dog that has evolved over time, or a cross-breed dog that’s been bred by design, when you combine more than one breed you may not always get the traits or temperaments you’re hoping for. Sometimes, a mixed-breed dog’s traits can manifest in unexpected ways, so it’s good to be prepared for anything when bringing one home.