Everything you need to know to adopt a mixed breed dog puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Mixed Breed Dog!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Mixed Breed Dog breed

Adopting a Mixed Breed Dog

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a mixed breed dog right for you?

Mixed Breed Dogs: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Mixed Breed Dog Health Problems


Are YOU right for a mixed breed dog?

Can you provide what a mixed breed dog needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (not an electronic/underground fence) – the height of the fence depends partly on how athletic the dog is, but also depends partly on other dogs next door or in your neighborhood who might try to get IN and attack your dog
  • No young children in the household – if the dog is very small, fragile, or sensitive
  • No large dogs in the household – if the new dog is very small and could be injured simply by a large dog playfully jumping around
  • No very small dogs in the household – if the new dog is large and/or vigorous
  • No dogs of the same sex in the household (or being even more cautious, no other dogs at all in the household) – if the new dog is dominant/aggressive toward other dogs; many dogs do best as an only dog; if in any doubt, don't put your existing dog at risk
  • No cats in the household – obviously, if the new dog is a confirmed chaser
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your mixed breed dog stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (like dog agility, or rally obedience, or flyball.... there are many fun sports to try); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • Brushing – however much is needed
  • Trimming/clipping – however much is needed
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with however much the dog sheds or slobbers
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your mixed breed dog to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your mixed breed dog, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female mixed breed dog?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new mixed breed dog be?


Where can you buy or adopt a mixed breed dog?

It's been estimated that just over HALF the dogs in the United States are mixed breeds.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Lots of mixed breeds are available from Dog Rescue groups. Owners may give up their dog because of a physical mismatch – the dog is too small or too large, needs more grooming or sheds more than the owner wanted. Sometimes there are behavioral issues, although these are often the result of the owner failing to provide the proper exercise, socialization, companionship, and training.

Many mixed breed dogs are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Shelters and humane societies are filled with mixed breed dogs. Just be aware that the labels on the cages can be very misleading. A dog is not necessarily a shepherd mix or a shepherd/collie/husky just because he looks a bit like those breeds. Only a DNA test can reveal which breeds make up a mixed breed dog.

Buying From a Seller
If you check the classified section of local newspapers, or craigslist online, you'll find lots of people selling puppies, some of which are crossbreeds or mixed breeds. But don't assume that a person knows what he's talking about when he declares that his puppies are some specific combination of breeds. Most people really have no clue.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
I have seen mixed breed puppies in some small town pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Mixed Breed Dog Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Mixed Breed Dog puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.