If you’re a lover of purebred dogs like Huskies, you might be wary of adding a cross-breed pup to your family, and rightly so. But do cross-breeds actually have advantages over purebreds, and what are their disadvantages?
First up, some people confuse mixed-breed dogs with cross-breeds, so let’s clarify the difference between them.
What Are Mixed-Breed Dogs?
A mixed-breed dog is the result of two non-purebred or unidentifiable breed dogs mating. These are the classic mutts or pavement specials. It’s hard to tell what kind of genetics they have, or what kind of temperament they’re likely to have. That said, mutts can be awesome and much-loved family pets in the right homes.
What Are Cross-Breed Dogs?
Cross-breed dogs have purebred parents of two different breeds. Labradoodles, boxadors and cockapoos are some of the most popular pets out there. These dogs are also referred to as “designer dogs”. If managed by caring and ethical breeders, crossbreeding can improve the health and viability of puppies, and make for some awesome pets.
However, there are serious concerns about crossbreeding, usually due to bad practices by unethical breeders. For example, dogs bred to be as large and aggressive as possible by certain breeders often have severe behavior issues, and these are usually the dogs you hear about in the news for attacking people and other dogs.
The practice of crossbreeding is frowned upon by some dog owners and breeders alike, due to fears that unscrupulous breeders can pass these puppies off as purebreds, thereby weakening the gene pool. The only way to be sure is to do your homework when picking a breeder – make sure you examine their credentials as carefully as possible.
Learn now to pick the right breeder in our free Guide to Your New Husky Puppy! It’s packed with tips on picking your new pup and helping him or her to integrate into your family.
Disadvantages of Cross-Breed Dogs
Many purebred dog breeders are against crossbreeding, fearing that these dogs pose a danger to dog breeding in general. Here are a few disadvantages of cross-breeding pet or working dogs.
Personality problems: two calm, intelligent, wonderful purebred dog parents might not make puppies that are the same as them! Genetics is a variable game – in dogs as well as in people. There’s no guarantee that the crossbreed pup you choose is going to have the same personality as their parents. Luckily, a loving and disciplined home life can iron out most issues you might have with your canine family member.
Expensive pups: if you want to go the “designer dog” route, expect to pay designer prices! Ethical breeders who carefully pick two different parents to make those cute hybrid puppies can be few and far between. You might have to travel some distance, and you can expect to pay more than for a normal purebred dog without an extensive pedigree.
Unpredictable size: if both purebred parents are similar in size, then you can expect crossbreed puppies of a similar size. But when crossbreeding purebreds of different sizes, all bets are off! If you aren’t quite sure of the size your pup might turn out to be, make sure you’re prepared for a giant lapdog…
High-risk deliveries: breeding different sized dogs can also lead to difficult deliveries, and can hurt or even kill the mommy dog. An ethical breeder will be prepared for emergency C-sections when their bitches go into labor – unethical breeders will not, so don’t support them.
Advantages of Cross-Breed Dogs
Besides the disadvantages covered, there are also positive aspects to cross-breeding different purebred dogs.
Hybrid vigor: cross-breed dogs have less of a chance of inheriting any genetic diseases that occur commonly in purebreds. This makes the pups more likely to be strong and healthy.
Lots of “designs”: if you dream of adding a certain kind of dog to your family, you can probably get it. There are so many varieties of designer dogs to pick from – as long as the two purebred parents that you want to cross are compatible.
Unusual looks: crossbreeding can create some very interesting and unique dogs!
Future purebred potential: vets have proven that most of today’s purebred dogs were the result of crossbreeding other dogs in the past. For example, Huskies were originally bred by the Chukchi people of Siberia from various older dog breeds.
This kind of selective breeding has produced consistent characteristics throughout the years that can be seen in modern breeds today. Who knows – your beloved Huskadoodle could potentially evolve to become a purebred of the future!
The main thing for you to consider, as a discerning pet owner, is if the advantages of crossbred dogs outweigh the disadvantages for your particular needs. Remember than ALL dogs are wonderful – but you should know what kind of wonderful you’re getting!