Sure, purebred pooches have their charms, but when one beautiful dog breed meets another, you can get the best of both. Whether it's a mixed-breed mutt or a purposely bred "designer dog," these unique pups can vary in size, look, and temperament. They also possess what's called "hybrid vigor," often making them healthier than their purebred counterparts, according to Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA, author of Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness. And there's no denying that they can double down on the cuteness factor, too.
If you're thinking about adding a dog to your family, consider adopting a mixed-breed pup from a reputable shelter or rescue center. Choose one that will fit in well with your lifestyle and family, including any other pets you may already own. Curious about your mystery pup's family tree? New dog DNA kits can reveal a surprising amount of info about a dog's genetic background. One thing's for certain: A mixed-breed dog will truly be one-of-a-kind.
Labs have reigned supreme as the most popular dog breed for nearly 30 years now, so it's no surprise their prized traits also frequently appear in mixed breeds. This combo with a Siberian Husky is slightly smaller than its purebred cousins.
The only thing cuter than the name is the actual dog itself. This pint-size hybrid has the intelligence of a chihuahua and the spirited nature of a Dachshund.
Weimaraners possess trademark silvery-gray coats, but combine one with a Labrador retriever and you'll see them in a variety of glossy colors. With two athletic parents, these pups can exhibit boundless energy yet a friendly temperament.
You can easily scoop up a Shorkie — a Shih Tzu and Yorkshire terrier hybrid — with one arm for a quick cuddle. They typically weigh less than 15 pounds.
While they can vary within the same litter, think of Pomskies as smaller, fluffier Siberian Huskies thanks to their Pomeranian DNA. These little guys usually weigh between 20 and 30 pounds.
Clocking in at 15 pounds or less, Yorkshire terrier-poodle crosses marry the best of both worlds. These clever and playful companions get the benefit of hypoallergenic coats from both of their parents.
Take a Welsh Corgi and a Labrador Retriever, and you end up with a medium-weight, somewhat short-legged dog. Knowing what type of Corgi parent your pup had can also provide valuable info, as Cardigan Welsh Corgis get bigger than the Pembroke kind.
The Cockapoo (part cocker spaniel, part poodle) is one of the most popular mixed-breed dogs. They aren't prone to shedding and can be easily trained, making them a great choice for families.
It might not be the most elegant name, but the Chug (a chihuahua-pug mix) is certainly interesting! They are the perfect size for cuddling in your lap, which has made this mixed breed more and more popular.
Morkies are a seriously cute cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire terrier. They're small, but certainly not timid! Morkies tend to love attention and stay protective of their families.
A charming cross between a Shih Tzu and a poodle, the Shih-poo has plenty of personality. They tend to be a bit stubborn, but when you look at that little face, you just can't be mad. Shih-poos can have curlier fur (reflecting their poodle heritage), but they can also have silky fur (from their Shih Tzu background).
Schnoodle are another great poodle hybrid. This time, the cross is with a schnauzer. Smart and playful, this mix can really run the gamut between teeny lapdogs and huge 70-plus pounders (just like poodles).
This very popular crossbreed is half Golden Retriever and half poodle. If you're lucky enough to own one, you'll have a loyal friend who is always up for some playtime.
Though the name sounds like it came from a Dr. Seuss book, Whoodles (like Cormac!) are very much real. They're a blend of the Wheaten terrier and a poodle with a unique coat that's also hypoallergenic.
You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that Mastiff mixes are known for having a gentle disposition. The phrase "gentle giant" most certainly comes to mind.
The fabulous Fleur, is a little bit Dachshund and little bit cocker spaniel. Medium in size, these fun crossbreeds are surprisingly athletic and can be trained to do everything from sighting to military work.