We hear more about new “hybrid” or “designer” dogs every day. Pictures of cute puppies that are samples of this new “breed” accompany each feature.

They’re adorable, of course! They’re all puppies! Should you spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on one? Definitely not! A mongrel, or mutt, is the child of a mating between two purebred canines of different breeds. And if you have one, you should love, train, and care for it as if it were a canine with the bluest blood.

Every dog breed in the world, and there are hundreds, was “made” by humans. Each breed was created for a distinct purpose, whether it was to guard the flock or to be the perfect lap dog. There’s no reason why progress can’t continue. If there is a need for a dog with a specific set of features, ambitious people will step up to meet that demand.

To “breed true,” however, it takes several generations. When you compare yourself to your siblings, you’ll notice that you’re rather different. Do you all have the same appearance, personality, hobbies, and abilities? Most likely, you don’t. Each of you possesses some of your parents’ “best” characteristics. However, those may not be the same characteristics. And you all have your share of the worst.

The “Golden Doodle” and the “Puggle” are two of the most well-known mixed-breeds today. The reasoning for these crosses is simple: wouldn’t it be lovely to have the personality and readiness to please of a Golden Retriever paired with the non-shedding coat and intelligence of a Poodle? Wouldn’t it be equally great to have a little dog that wasn’t as noisy as a Beagle but didn’t have the respiratory troubles of a Pug?

However, there’s no guarantee you won’t end up with a high-strung, noisy, stubborn, slobbering dog who sheds like a pig!

If you’re thinking about paying the amount of money these “hybrids” do, make sure to look into all of the contributing breeds’ characteristics. You’ll get a combination of the two. And an equally lovely mix might be waiting for you at your local shelter – in the size you desire, with the coat you want, and the sweet face that warms your heart.

Consider a pure-bred animal if you require specific features in your puppy, such as allergies, a tiny or no yard, or your household demands a calm, “easy keeper,” or if you want to fully participate in the world of canine competition. The American Kennel Club recognizes more than 150 breeds. Visit www.akc.org to learn more about them. One of these will undoubtedly be ideal for you.

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