Mixed-breed dog is a dog that does not belong to one officially recognized breed and is not the result of intentional breeding. Estimates place their numbers at 150 million animals worldwide. Although the term “mixed-breed dog” is preferred by some, as mongrels or mutt. They have no known purebred ancestors. All dogs have unique genetic characteristics that contribute to both their behaviour and their pre-disposal to certain health concerns. For many dog owners, knowing your dog’s breed is not an issue. Your best friend’s traits and health concerns are well known by you and your vet. But if you have a mixed-breed dog, it can be impossible to know the various breeds that make up your dog with the “eye test” alone.

The practice of cross-breeding tends to cause some controversy in the dog world. On one side, breeders of purebreds tend to consider these dogs nothing more than mutts. On the other side, proponents of crossbred dogs maintain they are adding vigour to the genetics of breeds they believe have been bred too closely for generations. Which side is right? That can be difficult to determine. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to the practice of cross-breeding, and it’s good for potential dog owners and breeders to be aware of them.

A mixed breed dog, also known as a mutt or a mongrel, is a mix of three or more breeds. Animal Friends say, if you are unaware of which breeds your dog is crossed with, or if it is crossed with more than two breeds, then it counts as a mixed breed. However, the information your vet holds on your pet could make a difference to how they define the breed. If your vet says your dog is dominantly one breed, Animal Friends’ records would have to match this. Mixed breed dogs can have fewer genetic health problems than purebreds. For this reason, mixed breed dogs can be cheaper to insure than some pedigree dogs.

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