Many people like crossbreed or mixed-breed dogs. These dogs are often known as mutts and they have been around as long as there have been dog breeds. People have various reasons for crossing registered breeds: to produce cuter dogs, to produce non-shedding dogs, to produce dogs who can perform certain jobs, and so on. Many of the most popular crossbreed dogs today are Poodle crosses but there are others. Here are some of the common dog crossbreeds you might encounter.
The Cockapoo has been a popular crossbreed since the 1940s and ’50s when Poodles were so popular. Cockapoos are a cross between Poodles and Cocker Spaniels, which were also extremely popular in those decades. The Cockapoo is a gentle, loving, highly intelligent small to medium-sized dog. They often have a curly coat like their Poodle parent and don’t shed very much. They make excellent companion dogs and can be good for apartment living as long as they get regular daily exercise. They do need regular grooming to avoid matting and tangles. Breeders have been trying to develop the Cockapoo into a dog that breeds true from generation to generation for a long time and they say that they are getting close. However, at this time the Cockapoo is still a hybrid dog and not a true breed. Even if you breed two Cockapoos together you will not always get puppies who look like Cockapoos. But, if you are looking for a nice small to medium crossbreed dog that sheds little and which is very intelligent and kind, the Cockapoo is a good choice. They are a good family dog.
The Labradoodle is another Poodle cross. They were originally developed in Australia as a guide dog for the blind, especially for people with allergies to dog hair. They are a cross between the Poodle and the Labrador Retriever – the breed often used for guide dog work. Both the Poodle and the Labrador are exceptionally intelligent breeds and the Labradoodle is also highly intelligent and easy to train. However, they are a hybrid dog and not a true breed. They can produce at least three coat types. Labradoodles with a Poodle coat type do not shed much but the other coat types shed like other dogs. All of these coat types can appear on puppies in the same litter. The dogs can vary in their looks somewhat, too, some of them resembling Labs more and some of them looking more like Poodles. Labradoodles typically have sweet, gentle personalities and they make excellent pets. Many of them are great with children and make wonderful family dogs. However, they are very active dogs and they require lots of daily exercise.
In Australia the Labradoodle is close to becoming a recognized breed. However, the Australian dogs are a little different from dogs in the United States and Canada where the dogs are still bred as hybrids.
The Goldendoodle is similar to the Labradoodle and was developed for much the same purpose. It was hoped that they could be used as guide dogs for the blind and assistance dogs for people with allergies to dog hair. They are a cross between Golden Retrievers and Poodles. However, they are still a hybrid dog and not a true breed. The puppies produced by Goldendoodles can have varying kinds of coat and they can vary in appearance between dogs that resemble Golden Retrievers and some that look more like Poodles. The dogs that have Poodle-type coats will shed less and be better for people with allergies; but dogs that have the Golden Retriever-type coat will still shed like other dogs. Otherwise, they are highly intelligent and easy to train. They have a gentle, affectionate personality and make excellent family dogs. They are very active dogs and they require lots of daily exercise.
German Shepherd Crossbreeds
According to recent DNA sampling, German Shepherds are the most commonly found breed when mixed breed dogs are DNA-tested. This is not surprising. German Shepherds have been a very popular breed for most of the 20th century and they are currently ranked 2nd in terms of popularity by the American Kennel Club. A lot of German Shepherds have sired or produced crossbreed litters over the years. Even if your mixed breed dog does not have a German Shepherd parent, he or she may have a German Shepherd grandparent or great-grandparent.
While most people today associate German Shepherds with police dog work or think of them as guardians or protection dogs, German Shepherds were originally herding dogs and many of them still have good herding instincts. If you have a crossbreed dog with some German Shepherd traits, don’t be surprised if he displays some herding ability, even if it’s herding your kids or your other pets. German Shepherds are very intelligent and trainable. They are brave and loyal, too. They do tend to shed so if you have a German Shepherd crossbreed, you can expect to need to brush your dog regularly and do some vacuuming.
Some of the breeds that are sometimes crossed with German Shepherds include the Labrador Retriever, the Boxer, the Standard Poodle, and the Doberman Pinscher, but breeders can cross any breed depending on what they are trying to achieve.
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.