While many attempts to rate the strengths and weaknesses of different types of purebred dogs, many owners would prefer to obtain mixed breed dogs.
And, while mutts often make excellent pets, they occasionally exhibit more positive traits than their purebred counterparts do. Some also do tend to be healthier overall, and you must still select one that is well-suited for your family and lifestyle.
It is vital that before you choose between a mixed breed dog and a purebred that you know you are able to offer them what they need to be happiest.
This list will provide you with 8 of our choices for the best mixed breed dogs out there. Hopefully, you can compare this list to your personal circumstances and find out which dog would be the best companion for you.
Best Large Mixed Breed Dogs
Below, you’ll find a list detailing eight of the best mixed breeds, which are deserving of consideration when selecting your new pet.
Typically, these canines will exhibit some of the characteristics of each parent breed. But, because each dog is an individual, you’ll want to spend some time with any canine you are considering before making your choice.
As you can imagine, there are many factors to consider; from the dog’s health, to temperament, to the dog’s diet, to specific personality traits. This list will be a great starting point for you to identify which dog most closely suits your lifestyle and preferences.
Note that some breed combinations are more common than others, so you may not be able to find each one of those listed below at your local animal shelter.
Some of the most popular mixtures enjoy a well-established name (for example, Labradoodles), while others do not, and are simply referred to by their parent breeds. There are many types of mutts out there, but here are some of the best:
1. Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever and Poodle mix)
One of the most popular mixed breeds in the world, the Labradoodle is fun-loving, intelligent and adorable. Often cloaked in a curly coat, Labradoodles are often a bit more reserved than typical labs are, yet they have a warmth that some poodles lack.
This dog is often a mix of a Labrador with a standard poodle, but they can vary in size if they are mixed with a medium-sized or even a toy poodle.
Unlike many other mixed-breed dogs, which are the product of inadvertent, one-off matings between two dogs, Labradoodles are often deliberately produced in an effort to combine the hypoallergenic-like qualities of poodles with the rough-and-tumble personality of labs.
These are very popular types of mixed breeds, and sometimes certain mixes become this popular for a very good reason!
2. Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle mix)
Like Labradoodles, Goldendoodles are often deliberately created by breeders who want to combine the family-friendly qualities of golden retrievers with the low-shedding coats of poodles.
This, it is often hoped, will result in an excellent family pet, which does not cause the allergy problems that Golden Retrievers do.
Aside from their appearance, which is sometimes characterized by a slightly longer coat, Goldendoodles are relatively similar to Labradoodles.
3. Rottweiler Doberman Mixed Breed
Aside from the differences in their builds, Dobermans and Rottweilers are relatively similar dogs, who tend to be loving, loyal, intelligent and brave. And as you’d expect, mixes of the two typically embody these same personality traits.
They are typically clad in black-and-tan colors like their parent breeds, and their build is usually intermediate between the long and lean body type of Dobermans and the stocky builds of Rottweilers.
In many cases, these sweet-natured mutts could be mistaken for either of their parent breeds.
So although many people sometimes fear the temperament of these strong, loyal dogs, you will likely find them to be an excellent companion if they are trained properly and socialized from a young age.
READ MORE: Rottweiler Temperament: Often Misunderstood
4. Pit Bull Labrador Retriever Mix
If you are looking for one of the friendliest mixed breed dogs possible, you may want to consider a Pitbull Lab Mix. These dogs are bred to combine the best qualities of both breeds and create the perfect mixed-breed pup.
Labs are widely known for their good-natured personality and friendly demeanor, and pits – despite notions to the contrary – are typically just as friendly toward people when properly raised and socialized.
Additionally, the Labrador Retriever’s influence can help temper some of the problems pits may experience with dog aggression. If you are interested in one of the most unique combinations on this list, this dog could truly provide the best of both worlds to you.
RELATED: 5 Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls
5. Husky Mixed with German Shepherd
Both Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds exhibit plenty of wolf-like traits, so it shouldn’t be surprising that mixes of the two often resemble small wolves.
Like both of their parent breeds, this mixed dog breed typically has a relatively fluffy coat, which can make them appear larger than they are, but they usually only reach about 75 pounds or so in weight.
Just be sure that shedding hair isn’t a problem for your family before adopting one of these dogs, as they can quickly coat your entire home in a layer of fur.
These dogs are bred to be loyal and strong, with a temperament to match. They are not low maintenance dogs, but with proper socialization and obedience training, they could become a great companion for your family. So do your research and be sure you can provide them what they need before adopting one of these energetic pups!
6. German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever Mix
Two of the most popular breeds in the world, German Shepherds and Labs both make excellent pets; so, it makes sense that mixes of the two breeds are often lovely and loving dogs.
Like any German-Shepherd-based mix, you’ll have to deal with plenty of shed hair. But thanks to the influence of the Labrador Retriever parent, these mutts are often friendlier to strangers than some German shepherds (who are occasionally aloof around those they’ve not yet met) are.
Most of these hybrid mixes bond strongly with their families and do not appreciate being left alone for long periods of time. So if you are thinking of adopting a German Shepherd Lab Mix, be sure you can give them the attention and exercise that they require.
SEE ALSO: Do Labs Shed? How Much and When?
7. Boxer Mixed with Pit Bull
Poorly raised Pit Bulls are sometimes implicated in attacks on children but properly raised individuals can be some of the best playmates for older kids (pit bulls can be too rambunctious and playful for their size to be trusted around young children) among all breeds.
So, when you combine them with boxers (who are famous for their child-friendly ways), you often get a beloved playmate that follows the kids everywhere they go.
Just be sure to teach these dogs the proper ways to behave around children, as they are exceptionally enthusiastic and playful with their families, and you’ll want to prevent accidental injuries.
Therefore, it is quite important that before you adopt one of these dogs, you carefully examine whether their unique traits are a proper match for your personal situation. They can be great large dogs to own, but they are certainly not for everyone.
8. Goldador (Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever)
Most Golden Retrievers and labs make fantastic family pets, and they are two of the most popular breeds in the world. So, it should come as no surprise that combinations of the two often make great pets too.
Goldadors often have longer hair than Labs, so shedding problems can be a concern, but they exhibit few other problems for owners.
However, like both Golden Retrievers and Labradors, Goldadors require plenty of exercise to prevent the development of destructive behaviors. If you like these two breeds, then this could be the perfect combination for your family, just be sure you can keep up with such a high energy pooch.
The Problem with Identifying Mixed-Breed Dogs
It is important to realize that many mixed-breed dogs are likely improperly identified by a shelter and by owners who offer them for sale or adoption.
This is rarely the result of malice or a deliberate attempt to defraud prospective owners; instead, it reflects the fact that dogs do not always resemble their parents – even among purebred animals.
Additionally, many mixed-breed dogs that populate shelters and rescues are the offspring of other mixed breed dogs, rather than two purebred canines.
In other words, a given mutt may be the result of a male Labrador retriever and Golden Retriever mix, and a female Husky mixed with a German shepherd. This makes it more difficult to identify the dog in question and predict its likely personality and temperament.
Accordingly, it often makes the most sense to seek out mixed breed pups that were produced by known parents. This way, you’ll have the best chance of obtaining a dog that will fit in well with your family.
It is understandable that it may not be always possible to get this information, and a dog that was intentionally bred also often comes with an additional expense.
However, if having a dog whose personality traits are predictable is of great importance to you, then it would be worth buying from a source that can identify the parent breeds.
Wrapping Up Popular Mixed Dog Breeds
Picking a dog breed is understandably a big decision! We hope this list has provided you some clarity in what to expect from some of the most popular mixed breeds.
However, as with any decision, it really comes down to what you can provide and what your preferences are. But if one of these 8 hybrid dogs seems like it would be good for you, don’t hesitate to check out a shelter or a breeder for more info.
What kinds of mixed breed dogs have you spent time with? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
Be sure to tell us about the various pros and cons of the mixture you noticed, as well as the source from which you obtained the dog. Your stories may just help another dog lover to choose the best mixed dog breed for their family.