A Cross-bred dog is the offspring of two purebreds of different breeds also known as First Generation Mixed Breeds. Mixed-breed (also called random-bred or, less flatteringly, a mutt or mongrel) usually refers to a dog with more than two breeds in its background.
A Purebred is a dog of a modern breed of dog, with written documentation showing the individual purebred dog’s descent from its breed’s lineage.
Purebred dogs, cross-bred dogs and mixed breeds dogs all make excellent companions.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that mixing breeds will result in healthier offspring. The truth is that puppies, whether purebred or mixed, inherit genes from each parent. If the parents pass along the genes for a hereditary disease, the pups stand a good chance of having that disease. Hybrid vigor—the idea that unrelated parents produce healthier offspring—works only if the puppies are bred responsibly by a reputable breeder.
If you or someone in your family is limited in some way by health issues, you may need to consider that when choosing a breed. Perhaps allergies or a respiratory condition mean you need a dog that sheds very little or not at all. It would be hard to predict how much a mixed-breed pup might shed when a non-shedding coat is crossed with a shedding coat. Other limitations, such as lack of strength to manage a big, energetic dog, could also make it more important to stick with a small breed.
I don’t suggest choosing a dog strictly by its looks. That would be as silly as choosing a spouse just because of blue eyes! You live with the whole package, including energy, temperament and interests, not just looks. But I do think we should enjoy looking at our companions.
Temperament and behavioral traits are also much more predictable with purebreds. This doesn’t mean that all dogs of a certain breed act the same. As with members of a human family, there can be variations in individual personalities, energy levels, behaviors and looks within a single litter, let alone the whole breed.
You may have heard that purebred dogs are “inbred” and therefore plagued with inherited health problems as well as flasky, high-strung dispositions. To some extent, this is true of poorly bred purebreds. The reality is that all living things are prone to inherited problems and dogs are no exception. Purebred dogs do inherit problems, but so do mixed breeds. There are advantages to a responsibly bred-let me repeat that, because it’s really important-responsibly bred purebred. Hobby breeders, backyard breeders or also known as enthusiastic breeders do not health test their dogs resulting in poorly bred puppies. Over the years, health testing has become available to help to determine the presence or absence of a variety of inherited defects and disorders in breeding stock.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting and Owning a Dog by Sheila Webster Boneham, Ph.D.