You are here
The Good, the Bad, the Fluffy: Best and Worst Dog Hybrids
Some dog hybrids seem like great ideas, while others just seem ... pointless or misguided, to say the least. Thanks to designer dog breeds, there really is a puppy for every personality. More and more, dog breeders and owners are showing enthusiasm for hybrid pups. Blending different breeds of dogs, they believe, helps to combine desirable traits while weeding out undesirable ones. They also believe it helps achieve "hybrid vigor," which is the theory that crossbred animals are healthier than those that are purebred because they avoid the emergence of recessive genetic diseases. But while some dog hybrids no doubt make sense—poodle mixes are hypoallergenic!—others end up more like Frankendogs.
These dogs are little mushes—little sit-on-your-lap-and-melt-your-heart mushes. The cocker spaniel–poodle mixes are smart, loyal, and mellow. They’re also mostly very healthy and require little maintenance. Because they are hypoallergenic, don’t shed, and are dander-free, they require no special grooming other than weekly brushing.
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
Put a golden retriever together with a collie and good gollie! This mix possesses the best traits from both breeds: patience, loyalty, and affectionate natures. They’re also easy to housebreak and train, making them an excellent family pet.
The puggle, a mix of pug and beagle, is as sweet and whimsical as its name. Puggles are wonderful around kids and are as comfortable playing fetch as they are cuddling on your lap.
Dog “designers” in the 1980s got the idea to combine the highly intelligent breeds of poodle and Labrador to create a super smart pup. Labradoodles are also playful, affectionate, and hypoallergenic.
Photo credit: ginnerobot / Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Mix a Jack Russell terrier and a beagle and you get a dog that is adventurous, energetic, well-behaved, and easy to train. Jack-A-Bees are the perfect blend of intelligence and friendliness.
Most poodle hybrids are beloved by their owners, but be warned if you’re considering a Yorkipoo; they’re mischievous little nuggets. With the intelligence of a poodle and fearless energy of a Yorkshire terrier, Yorkipoos are tiny little barking dynamos. This makes them sort of adorable for a while, but prospective owners should definitely invest in a good, strong leash and maybe some earplugs.
Taco terror is more like it. When you cross a toy fox terrier and a Chihuahua, you get a tiny dog with a huge tendency to make trouble. Taco terriers have no problem approaching much bigger dogs and trying to shake things up, so their owners must work very hard to socialize them.
Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog
The Czechoslovakian wolf dog is the result of an experiment conducted in Czechoslovakia in 1955 to create a wolf dog hybrid that could help with border control. The goal was to create a dog with the temperament and trainability of a German shepherd with the strength and stamina of the Eurasian wolf. For the most part, this experiment succeeded; Czechoslovakian wolf dogs are generally tame and social, but they’re still wolves. They tend to be aggressive toward smaller animals (unless trained otherwise) and have what breeders call a “stormy adolescence.” One perk: They don’t bark (or do so very rarely).
Yes, they're cute. And yes, they're cuddly. And yes, breeding a poodle with a Shih-Tzu helps alleviate some of the breathing problems that pure Shih-Tzus have because shih-poos have longer snouts. But no dog can survive being called a shih-poo while maintaining his dignity.
How to Train Your Dog
Once you find the perfect pooch for your family, make sure you ensure success with training. It will make you—and your pet—much happier!