X is for X-BREEDS | #AtoZChallenge

44 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
#AtoZChallenge day 24: X is for X-BREEDS, The Doglady's Den
Day 24, April 28

(Cross breeds)

It used to be that cross breeding of dogs was purely by accident. Females in heat give off an unmistakable scent, irresistible to other dogs, everywhere, particularly unneutered males. Stories abound of such dogs escaping their yards and impregnating those bitches. (That is the proper term for a female dog and not at all derogatory.) The two dogs were generally of mixed breeds, and so, the result was mutts, mongrels, x-breeds. whatever you want to call them. Definitely lacking in pedigree. Although this still happens, the latest craze in the dog world is “Designer Dogs” aka “Hybrid Dogs”, achieved by purposely mating two different purebred dogs. See my upcoming “Z” post for another example of such a dog. Poodles, in particular, are coveted for their hypoallergenic qualities and intelligence. As a result, we have Cockapoos (Cocker Spaniel+Poodle), Terri-Poos (Terrier+Poodle), Shi-Poos (Shih Tzu+Poodle), Malti-Poos (Maltese+Poodle), Goldendoodles (Golden Retriever+Poodle), Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever+Poodle) and so on. Click HERE for a comprehensive list of designer breeds.

During the first week of this challenge, I wrote about our Cockapoo, Sheila and also mentioned her little sister, Lisa, a Terrier X. We could never figure out her origins entirely, but there was definitely a wired hair breed involved (Jack Russell? Fox Terrier?). Not many terriers are blonde, either, except the Cairn and Wheaten. Whatever Lisa’s genetic makeup, she was a robust little girl who lived to be almost 17! It’s been said that mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds. I believe it! Also, less high-strung, in many cases.

#AtoZChallenge: Day 24: X is for X-Breeds
L-R: Lisa as a puppy, all grown up, with big sister, Sheila

Some other favourite X-Breeds:

#AtoZChallenge: X is for X-Breed

Sheeba was a cross between a Bearded Collie and a Bouvier. Read her story HERE.
Sasha, a mixture of Shih Tzu and Miniature Poodle was also a long time client.


#AtoZ Challenge: X is for X-Breeds


#AtoZChallenge: X is for X-Breeds

With “Mini-me, Teddy in the background. He’s a Cockapoo.

Miniature Labradoodle:

#AtoZChallenge: X is for X-Breeds

More Cockapoos:

#AtoZchallenge: X is for X-Breeds

Here’s a unique X-Breed:

#AtoZChallenge: X is for X-Breeds

Dino is a mixture of Beagle and Shar-Pei. A real cutie with a fun-loving personality!

Last but not least, two of my special favourites:

#AtoZchallenge: X is for X-Breeds

Rufus is a Border Collie crossed with a Flat-Coated Retriever and the brother of Susie, the Black Lab.
Joey, a female Shepherd/Lab cross, plays “fetch” like a Lab and talks like a Shepherd.


What kind of X-Breed strikes your fancy?
Do you think they are healthier than purebreds?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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44 thoughts on “X is for X-BREEDS | #AtoZChallenge

  1. My daughter’s chihuahua and mini doxie had pups. Chiweenies. From what we understood, they get the worst characteristics of both breeds. Lola is no exception. Daughter kept one pup — Lola. She failed doggie training classes because she bit the other student’s parents. BUT…..she loves her grandma and grandpa to the max and we love her. She is 11 now and has never changed. She DOES not now or has ever played. No ball, no interaction. I looked at the list you posted and agree their people friendly skills are at 1 and she doesn’t care.

    Now that daughter has kids, Lola has attached herself to my grandson and dare anyone come near him, they are taking their lives into their hands. She sleeps on his bed and if you try to tuck him in during the night, she watches VERY closely to be sure you are not hurting him. She is our entertainment, for sure.

    1. I love the name chosen for this breed. You can’t help but smile at “Chiweenie”. 🙂 Lola sounds like a real character!

  2. I am in love with Rufus as he looks very much like my THE dog, Jess, she was a X-breed, knew that she was a cross Border Collie, or had Border Collie in there somewhere, but had no idea what with. Rescue dog so no background.

    Loved that dog with all my heart.

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. I love Rufus too; one of my all-time favourites! 🙂 Jess sounds lovely and you must miss her a lot! My THE was a beautiful Dalmatian, but I loved all of them, as I do the clients’ dogs.

  3. I think they’re healthier because they don’t have the in-breeding factor. I’ve also wondered if they’re a bit smarter. One thing that annoys me is that designer dogs are very expensive. The same price as full breeds. It doesn’t seem right. I love all dogs though 🙂

    1. Yes, the in-breeding can only lead to problems. I don’t know about smarter, but I think mixed breeds tend to be less high-strung. I just read another comment that mentioned a Labradoodle puppy was selling for $4000.00 (Cdn.) That’s insane! Better to go to a breed-specific rescue organization. Of course, their dogs are usually full grown and so many people want puppies.

  4. Delightful pictures! Isn’t it funny how mixed-breeds tend to be healthier and live longer? I always thought it was a given with all dogs until I had a few purebreds who (bless their hearts) had all kinds of ailments the others didn’t have. I’ll have to go back and look at sweet Sophie again before I sign off;-) Thanks, Debbie!

    1. Sadly, many breeders aren’t as conscientious as they should be. We got lucky with Tasha, our Dalmatian. She was in perfect health, except towards the very end, and lived to be almost 16. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about Sophie as she was not a frequent visitor. She certainly was photogenic! 🙂

  5. What a wonderful theme for the challenge! I’ll be sure to go back and read all of your posts. I specifically came to the mix breed post because they are my favorite! I have a Springer Spaniel/Saint Bernard Cross and he is such a wonderful creature! I worked in veterinary medicine for 15+ years and I truly believe that hybrid vigor exists. Mixed breed dogs tend to have less health issues than pure bred.

    1. Welcome to The Den, Ramona. 🙂 Your dog sounds lovely; an interesting mix! Thanks for confirming what seems to have a lot of anecdotal evidence. I also think mixed breeds often have calmer dispositions.

  6. I’m of the Go Mutts school (as you know, haha), and yes, I do believe mixed breeds are healthier and stronger… Natural selection at work 🙂 And the whole breed thing has a vague, putrefact scent of racism to me 😉 I’ve owned few “pure” breeds… and I say that in quotes because they were certainly not pedigreed, so “purity” is really questionable. There was that albino Shepherd I mentioned in your W post. A couple of years later, we got a Boxer puppy, and she and I grew up like sisters. There was also a rescued Irish setter (my very first rescue, as a matter of fact… I was 8) who was beyond gorgeous, and incredibly intelligent. There was also a Cocker Spaniel (the mom of the Cockapoo puppies) much later, though that one was, officially and emotionally, really my mother’s dog. And… that was it. Every other dog—and there’s been many—has been, as far as I know, a mutt. One of the things I love about mutts is figuring out, as they grow and develop affinities and interests and personality traits, what their parentage might be.

    Great post, Debbie! So glad you chose these mixes for your X post… Nothing more apt 🙂

    1. Yes, I thought you might like this one, especially, Guillie. 🙂 Mutts are usually less high-strung than purebreds, I think. Good analogy about purebreds and racism! And talk about superficial! It’s all about appearance and to hell with other things like health. Bulldogs and pugs, for example. That said, my grandmother and mother always had purebreds (European mindset) and Tasha, our Dalmatian was also one. Back then, nobody really knew much about puppy mills and other bad breeders. Guessing a mutt’s parentage can be interesting. We never knew for sure about Lisa, but there must have been some Wire-haired Fox or Jack Russell Terrier. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for visiting.

  7. While there is no real way to quantify this, my mix breed dogs have always seemed smarter than the pure breed. Still, I loved them all.

  8. When my daughter was in high school, she adopted an adorable dog. We didn’t know for quite some time that the newly named Emma was a Labradoodle. Emma was cute as she could be, but an Alpha dog to the core. She was a lot of work. She had been adopted and returned to the humane society four times. A few years ago, I was shocked when a colleague at work told me she wanted a Labradoodle puppy. She showed me photos online. The puppies were $4,000. I urged her to adopt. I don’t know if she ever got a dog. I knew my Franklin was a Border Collie mix when I welcomed him into my home. My daughter did some research and discovered he’s a Bordernese–a Border Collie mixed with a Bernese Mountain Dog. He’s smart like a Border Collie and calm like a Bernese Mountain Dog, so I have the best of both worlds with Franklin. Great posts, Debbie.


    1. That’s a lot of money for a mixed breed dog! 😮 There are breed specific rescue organizations out there; definitely a better choice. Franklin has a great heritage and he’s so very cute! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the posts. Thanks for visiting.

  9. When I was a kid we always had mixed breed dogs–not designer breeds either. Mostly they were hounds of one sort or another that went hunting with my dad. But there were some very nice dogs among them. One I remember was part beagle and part terrier and had a black face. His name was Sam and one time he did battle with a huge rat that had been terrorizing the neighborhood. Sam got him but got pretty bitten up in the process and had to be put down. He was our hero dog for many years.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

    1. I’m so sorry about Sam! 🙁 You’re the second person who mentioned losing a dog after fighting with a rat. He was a hero, for sure!

  10. Cross breeds are fascinating. I love the Labradoodles and Goldendoodles and have had several stay here with me. I’ve also had some of the smaller cross breeds. I had a Cockapoo and a German Shepherd/Lab mix growing up. They both were awesome dogs!

    Loved seeing all the photos you presented here! It’s interesting that the cross breeds have less medical issues than do the purebreds. I believe that crosses do have more consistent personalities than the pures.

    Another great post here Debbie. We’re almost done… Whew! Except we have Battle of the Bands on May 1st! So we won’t get a break until May 2nd… I like to do all my BOTB visits on the first day so I won’t see a good night’s sleep until the 2nd anyway…

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Doodles of both types have become so popular in the last few years! The ones I’ve met have all been nice but Gracie is very shy and clingy. Cross breeds are less likely to have inherited breed-related diseases. On the other hand, my purebred Dalmatian lived to be almost 16, but she was fairly skittish and hated loud noises. Each case is different, I guess.

      Skipping the BOTB this weekend, but I’ll try and visit some of the posts during the week.

  11. I love Boston and Sophie. You also answered a question that I had about cross-breeding because I thought it was not healthy to cross breed. But you are saying the dogs are healthier. I find that to be very interesting. I wonder have Beagles been cross-breeded.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

    1. Hi, Pat; Purebreds can be prone to more inherited diseases, but not necessarily. My Dalmatian was a purebred and lived to be almost 16. One of the most popular breeds out there is the Puggle: Beagle+Pug. I have a client who has a Beagle mixed with a Sharpei; so unique! 🙂 I’ll add his photo into the post.

  12. So cute, you couldn’t pass them by in a kennel could you. I think accidental breeding can be excused, the designer breeding bothers me for some reason, but if the animals are healthier maybe it’s not so bad?!

  13. Nice going! I wondered how you’d get that X breed and that was the answer. The only dogs I’ve ever owned were mixed breeds and they certainly seemed durable and they were nice dogs. Can’t say I have any favorites.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host

  14. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    It was wonderful to gaze at your gallery of X-Breed house guests. I never gave a thought to all the combinations that have grown popular in modern times. You have enjoyed so many bittersweet canine relationships over the last 22 years. It’s facinating that many designer breeds are healthier, live longer and have a more even temperament than purebreds. I read about Sheeba. It did indeed pose a problem trying to keep her coat clean, groomed and untangled when she had a hidden sore spot plus a strong bite. Our Toto sometimes nipped us when we needed to “violate” her by giving her a bath, cleaning her ears, changing bandages post surgery, etc. It’s a good thing you were able to walk Sheeba w/o her causing insury to other dogs or people. Some people approach every dog they see and start patting them. I always ask the owner’s permission before approaching a strange dog. I read that, in old age, Sheeba needed a lift to get up from the floor. I talked to my neighbor last night and he told me his Collie, Duchess, slipped on a wet area of the floor near her water dish and couldn’t get up. Her legs weren’t strong enough. Duchess just sat there in humiliation and cried. That’s how they knew the time had come for their pet’s suffering to end. Duchess was 11 and I was fortunate to know her 10 of those years.

    Thank you, dear friend Debbie!

  15. It seems a lot of these X dogs have poodles mixed in. I wonder why that’s so common.
    I also wonder why a pure-bred would be less healthier than a mixed dog.
    Lots of cute dogs posted today. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Great questions, Jeffrey. 🙂 Poodles are so popular for crossbreeding because they are hypoallergenic and also highly intelligent. As for the health issue, this may be more anecdotal than fact, but I did find this study: http://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/blog/health-of-purebred-vs-mixed-breed-dogs-the-data
      Purebred dogs tend to have more inherited diseases and also, some unscrupulous breeders will inbreed their dogs too closely. This article explains more: https://www.vetinfo.com/problems-with-inbreeding-dogs.html

  16. Oh My Gosh! How adorable is the goldendoodle? I could love a cross-breed like that quite easily. I just want to squish them and give them hugs! (although I read a piece on the internet that says hugs cause dogs anxiety.. who knew?) Great post about cross-breeds.

    1. Goldendoodles are everywhere, these days! 🙂 I read that piece too. I get the reference about being tied down, but every dog is different. My Dalmatian loved to be hugged and I knew a Vizsla who would hug me by wrapping his leg around mine.

  17. All lovely looking dogs. My parents had a mutt before they had Nemo and he never had any problems until the very end and we think that was caused by his love of chocolate. Before all the news came out that chocolate can kill dogs he used to love a kitkat, once we found out we stopped giving it to him of course, but we think it still had something to do with his kidneys failing in the end. He was such a laid back dog too.

    We have friends who have had a cookapoo because of the hypo-allergenic aspect.
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    1. That’s too bad about the chocolate toxicity, but it may not have been the reason for the dog’s kidney failure. It’s somewhat common in old animals. Poodle X-breeds are so popular these days because of the allergy situation. I don’t remember hearing about any such allergies growing up. It’s a modern day phenomenon. Or, people are more educated about it.

  18. I love seeing what some cross breeds create! Especially when a large dog is mixed with a Dachshund, Poodle with a Dalmatian, and so one. What was the strangest combination you have ever seen, and what did it look like? Our neighbor’s dog has Dachshund legs and face, but the body is of a Collie.

    1. Dachshund/Collie sure is a strange combination. I added another photo into the post, Angelika and he’s unique too: A Beagle mixed with a Shar-Pei, named “Dino”. 🙂 The oddest pairing I’ve ever seen was a German Shepherd mixed with a Corgi. It had the large Shepherd head and the Corgi short legs! That must have been an accident. LOL

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