Questions and answers about mixed breed dogs – temperament, personality, behavior, physical traits and characteristics, feeding, health care, buying, adoption, puppies and adult dogs.

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Mixed Breed Dog dog breed

Frequently Asked Questions About Mixed Breed Dogs

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Can you look at a mixed breed dog and tell which breeds he's a mix of?

No. Unlike a purebred dog, who inherits a fixed set of genes and characteristics from his parents, a mixed breed dog has inherited a jumble of genes and characteristics from his parents.

Simply by looking at him, there's no way to tell which of those genes and characteristics have come from which breeds. There could be a half dozen breeds in his ancestry.

People who look at a mixed breed dog and then declare which breed's genes are inside that dog, are only guessing. There are simply too many possible breeds and gene combinations.


So is there any way to tell, any way at all?

Yes, there is one way to know which breeds make up your mixed breed dog. You can have his DNA tested.

A veterinary company called Wisdom Panel Insights will do this for you. They'll send you a kit with cotton swabs, which you swirl inside your dog's cheek. His saliva contains his DNA. Mail the swabs back, and the company will tell you which breeds are "in" your mixed breed dog.

I think it's a lot of fun to find this out. For example, you might believe that your mixed breed is "mostly Lab" or "half Shepherd" or "a poodle/terrier mix." Now you can find out whether you were right or wrong!


What kind of temperament and personality does a mixed breed dog have?

I give you my honest opinions about the temperament and personality traits and characteristics – positives AND negatives – in my review, Mixed Breed Dog Temperament and Personality Traits (What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em).


Do male dogs or female dogs make better pets?

Ah, let the debate begin! Honestly, both male dog and females dogs have pros and cons. Visit Male Dogs versus Female Dogs


How do I pick the best Mixed Breed Dog puppy from a litter?

You can do puppy personality tests. Visit How To Choose a Good Puppy.


I'm interested in adopting a dog. How do i find mixed breed dogs for adoption?

You can find mixed breed dogs available for adoption from dog rescue groups or from the animal shelter. Visit Adopting a Dog From Rescue and Adopting a Dog From The Animal Shelter.


I just got a new mixed breed dog. Which pages should I read first?

  • Mixed Breed Dog Health, which includes my advice on feeding, vaccinations, and health care. These pages are very important, because if you start your puppy off on the wrong foot, he will probably experience health problems later on. Starting off RIGHT is essential!
  • Training Mixed Breed Dogs, which includes my advice on respect training, housebreaking, and socialization. Again, you must start your puppy off on the right foot by teaching him what he needs to know and you must avoid doing the wrong things with him so that he doesn't develop bad habits that will be much harder to fix later on.

What's a good training schedule for training mixed breed puppies? What things should I teach, and when?

Here's the puppy training schedule I use: Puppy Training Schedule.


How do I housebreak my mixed breed dog?

The key to housebreaking is confinement, confinement, confinement. Visit Housebreaking Your Puppy or Adult Dog.


My Mixed Breed Dog has some behavior problems I'd like to solve.

Respect training solves behavior problems much better than obedience training. Visit Respect Training For Puppies and Adult Dogs.


What's the best dog food for mixed breed dogs?

Homemade dog food, i.e. real food. Visit The Best Dog Food For Your Dog. If you can't or won't make a meal for your dog, there are only a few (very few!) commercial dog food brands I recommend – and these MUST be mixed with real food. There is no commercial diet that should be fed to a dog by itself. Learn why in my article, The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Dog.


I have to take my mixed breed dog to the vet soon for shots. Which vaccinations does he really need?

The schedule of vaccinations that dogs really need has changed dramatically – but unfortunately most vets are not telling you the truth about this, because a good chunk of their income depends on frequent vaccinations. Please don't get any more shots for your dog until you've read my article on Puppy Shots and Dog Vaccinations.


What are the pros and cons of spaying and neutering my mixed breed dog, and when should it be done?

Spaying and neutering are often recommended too early, which can lead to health problems later in life. Visit Spaying Your Female Dog or Neutering Your Male Dog for the straight scoop on the safest (and riskiest) times to spay or neuter.


My vet doesn't agree with some of the things you've written about health care.

My advice is based on the latest research by veterinary immunologists, and it's the same advice given by most licensed veterinarians who belong to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. If this advice sounds different from what your own veterinarian is telling you, it's a good bet that he or she does not belong to the AHVMA. Visit Think Your Veterinarian's Good? Here's How To Tell.


I have a question about mixed breed dogs that i don't see answered on your web site.

It's probably answered in one of my books:


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