Mixed-breed dogs are every bit as adorable as their purebred counterparts. This dog doesn’t know he doesn’t have a pedigree! (For more on what makes a mixed breed a mixed breed, check out Chapter Mixing It Up: Introducing the Mixed Breed.)
The Cockapoo was one of the first designer dogs — intentional crossings of two purebreds — in the United States. (For more on designer dogs, including the Cockapoo, turn to Chapter Designer Dogs: Not Your Mother’s Mutt.)
Mixed-breed dogs come in all shapes and sizes (see Chapter A Little of This, a Little of That: Deciding Which Mixed Breed Is Right for You).
Many mixed-breed dogs are abandoned by the side of the road, neglected, or otherwise mistreated. If they’re lucky, they end up in animal shelters or rescue groups — and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to take one home with you. Despite their rocky start, these dogs can make wonderful companions. (For tips on finding your new best friend, check out Chapter Choosing Your New Best Friend.)
When you bring home a mixed-breed puppy, be sure to get a copy of her vaccination records to give to your vet. (For tips on finding a vet who will be your partner in caring for your dog throughout her life, check out Chapter Finding and Working with a Vet.)
Your mixed breed doesn’t have to have Retriever blood to love going into the water after a ball. (See Chapter Exercising Your Dog for more fun ways to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise.)
This mixed breed is totally submissive, letting his little friend rub his tummy for as long as she’ll do it. Dogs and children can become fast friends. Just make sure your kids know that the dog isn’t a toy — even if he’s a Toy mix! (For more on introducing your family, including other pets, to your new mixed breed, see Chapter Bringing Home Your Mixed Breed.)
You are the center of your dog’s world, and the more time you can spend playing with her, exercising with her, and just hanging out with her, the happier she’ll be! (For ten ways to have fun with your dog, see Chapter Ten Fun Activities You and Your Mixed Breed Can Enjoy Together.)
A crate like this one can be your mixed breed’s “den,” a safe place he can sleep in or go when he needs a little quiet time. It can also be a huge help when you’re housetraining your dog and can’t supervise him 24/7. (For more on housetraining, see Chapter Housetraining.)
Don’t let this cute face (and those ears!) fool you: Like any dog, a mixed breed needs to be trained. With the right approach, training can be a rewarding experience for you and your dog. (Check out Chapter Hup, Two, Three, Four: Good Manners and Basic Training for everything you need to know to train your mixed breed.)
Dogs love to dig holes. If you don’t want your mixed breed tearing up your yard, give him a box filled with sand to dig in (see Chapter Tackling Mixed-Breed Training Challenges).
Agility is a great form of exercise for any dog (see Chapter Not Just for Purebreds: Showing Off with Your Mixed Breed). This Eskipoo is a natural!
Your mixed breed will want to go with you everywhere you go, even on the water. If you take your dog boating, be sure she’s wearing a wellfitting canine life vest before she puts her paws on deck, and keep it on her until she’s back on dry land. Even if she can swim, if she falls overboard she’ll need this added protection (see Chapter Exercising Your Dog).
Dogs love to play tug-of-war with each other. If your mixed breed doesn’t have a canine companion at home, try taking him to a dog park so he can make some friends and develop his social skills. Playtime is a great way for your dog to get exercise, too! (For more on ways to stimulate your dog’s mind, check out Chapter Tackling Mixed-Breed Training Challenges.)
Your mixed breed will love hitting the road with you. No matter where you’re going, she’ll be ready for an adventure! (For tips on what to bring when traveling with your dog, head to Chapter Traveling with Charley.)
by Miriam Fields-Babineau