Crossbreeding (or outbreeding in general) is the act of breeding different types of domestic animals. Cross breeding dogs is breeding two dogs that belong to different breeds; this is contrary to true-breeding where a dog only mates with other dogs that belong to their same exact breed.
There is some controversy about this act. Pure-breeders tend to think that crossbred dogs are nothing but mutts, and people who are more into crossbreeding think that purebreds are so limited. The latter group prefers crossbreeding as it enables them to access a much larger pool of specimens. Some people might mistake mixed-breed dogs for hybrid dogs, which cannot be further away from the truth; hybrids can only result from breeding two different species such as wolves and dogs. Below we will explore the advantages, disadvantages, and everything else there is to know about cross breeding.
Types of Cross Breeds
Trying to list the number of mixed-breeds out there in the world, is nearly impossible. In every pure breed, you will find that there are a huge number of mixed-breeds. For example, there are at least 10 popular cross breeds of Bichon Frise dogs that we know of. Some of the other famous mixes that have already been named include Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever-Poodle cross); Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel-Poodle cross), and Puggle (Pug-Beagle cross). These endless mixed-breeds came merely from the fact that humans have been trying to find the ultimate man’s best friend, which is why they have been trying to combine the genetics of different breeds for ages now.
Advantages of Crossbreeding
Before we begin to understand more the strong points and drawbacks of crossbreeding, it is worth mentioning that every dog deserves to be adopted regardless of how pure it is. This is just irrelevant to determining if one dog is better than the other as every case is different.
Unique Looks and Personality
The science of genetics is a bit bewildering for anyone to fully grasp. Genomic predictions of crossbreeds require comprehensive studies to produce close results to the desired outcome. This is why crossbreeding is rather considered to be as random as a coin toss. This appeals to people who prefer more unique-looking dogs. The resulting litter of breeding different dogs is more likely to have different-looking puppies with different traits and personalities, which might be exciting for many people.
Crossbreeds are Healthier
Pure dogs are likely to have more genetic conditions that have been passed down from one generation to the other. Careful and well-studied crossbreeding might help in lowering the risks of passing these health issues down if only one parent is a carrier of the genes responsible for these conditions. This phenomenon is referred to as “vigor hybrid” which means, in simpler words, that mutts are more likely to be healthier and stronger with fewer congenital issues.
They Might Live Longer
While a well-calculated crossbreeding might result in healthier and stronger puppies, this still doesn’t mean that they will live longer. However, some comparative studies that have focused on this subject found that mixed-breed dogs, in some cases, might live up to 18 or 20 years, compared to purebred ones.
Disadvantages of Crossbreeding
Hard to Predict the Dog’s Adult Size
While not being able to predict the exact look or personality of crossbred dogs is exciting, this might also be a disadvantage in some cases. For instance, it’s harder to predict the adult size of a crossbred. How the look of the puppies that comes from crossbreeding is one thing and having to deal with a huge adult dog in your small house is a totally different story.
High Potential for Risky Deliveries
The potential for high-risk deliveries is also higher. Breeding dogs of different sizes might result in more difficult pregnancies and a much harder delivery. This is more likely in the scenario of breeding a larger stud with a smaller-sized bitch. The mother, in these cases, is more likely to require a C-section to be able to deliver the puppies.
If you are more into buying than adopting, you will find that unique dogs who are better-looking or have superior special traits are much more expensive than the average purebred puppy.
Just like any controversial subject, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to determining whether or not crossbreeding is good. It’s rather your personal preference and how you feel about it that matters. However, understanding the process after weighing the pros and cons might lead to a more objective point of view. Perhaps when the science behind crossbreeding is studied enough, it can result in dogs with better traits to satisfy the strive of mankind for the ultimate pet.