Mixed Breeds For Dummies
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There are more combinations of Toy hybrids than there are recognized purebred Toy dog breeds. Though small, they’re still dogs and should be treated as such — not as mere arm ornaments. Toy hybrids tend to have good longevity, great personalities, and require the special care accorded to Toy dogs.

Hybrid dogs are mixed-breed dogs created by breeding two purebred dogs.

So-called pocket dogs are usually a combination of two Toy breeds; the parents chosen more for their small size than anything else. The mixing of two Terrier-type Toys can mean a challenging personality. Also, the combining of two breeds that already have the tendency toward similar health issues, such as breathing difficulties or skin allergies, will likely result in puppies who have to contend with these same issues throughout their lives.

Bichon Frise hybrids

The Bichon Frise is a small, white, curly-coated dog with an anti-allergenic coat. They require a lot of exercise and consistent training. Bichons are cute and cuddly, but also like to be in charge. Any Bichon Frise hybrid may tend to inherit these qualities, especially if one of the parents is a Terrier-type breed.

Bichon Frise © Eudyptula / Shutterstock.com

Two Bichon Frise dogs. Bichon Frise hybrids are popular designer dogs.

The American Canine Hybrid Club recognizes more than 25 Bichon Frise hybrids, ranging from the Griffichon (Bichon Frise/Brussels Griffon) to the Cock-a-Chon (Bichon Frise/Cocker Spaniel).

Pug hybrids

Pugs are a popular breed for Toy hybrid dogs because they’re fairly hardy, sweet, intelligent, and have a short, easy-care coat. For large-dog enthusiasts, the Pug offers the appearance of a Mastiff (their ancestors) without the enormous size.

Pugs do have a few physical issues, however, because they’ve been bred to have extremely short noses, which cause many respiratory problems, and their legs are known to have problems with knee dislocation. Plus, this breed can be willful and stubborn.

One of the biggest dangers of using Pugs in designer hybrid Toys is their eye configuration (they have protruding eyes) and short noses. Breeding them with other Toys with similar physical attributes can cause dangerous health issues.

Though Pugs are Toy dogs, they have a very ingrained alarm system. For hundreds of years they have alerted their human companions of coming danger, often saving the lives of those in their communities. If your hybrid Toy has Pug blood, you can be sure he’ll bark when he hears intruders!

The American Canine Hybrid Club recognizes more than 20 Pug hybrids, ranging from the Pugland (Pug/Westie) to the Puggle (Beagle/Pug), currently the most popular designer dog.

Maltese hybrids

Though very small, Maltese have large personalities. They’re bold, are quick to sound the alarm when they hear something, and can be difficult to housetrain. Some can be snappy with children or with human companions who are inconsistent with their leadership role.

These small white dogs have long, silky fur and can grow to be 8 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing about 9 pounds. They have large, round eyes with dark rims, black noses, and a fine bone structure. Their bodies are slightly longer than they are tall, as is common with many Toy breeds.

The Maltese may be small, but should not be overly pampered. Pampering makes them jealous of others, causing aggressive reactions. These traits are very possible in the hybrid offspring.

Maltese are prone to sunburn on their skin, respiratory problems due to their very short noses, eye irritation due to their somewhat bulging eyes, and tooth problems, a common Toy dog malady.

The American Canine Hybrid Club recognizes nearly a dozen Maltese hybrids, ranging from the Mauzer (Maltese/Miniature Schnauzer) to the Silkese (Maltese/Silky Terrier).

Pekingese hybrids

Pekingese have long, straight coats with profuse feathering. They come in all colors and grow to about 9 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing 8 to 10 pounds. One of the reasons for their popularity among hybrid dog breeders is that many Pekingese can be found at under 6 inches in height and weighing under 6 pounds, creating a great parent base for a pocket-size dog.

This Toy dog tends to have a broad head with wide-set dark eyes, a wrinkled short muzzle, and drooping heart-shaped ears with long feathering. Their necks are short and thick. Like the Pug, they have a rolling gait.

Pekingese are very brave, independent, and affectionate with their own people but wary of strangers. They can be obstinate, willful, and finicky. Due to their sensitivity to sound and movement, they tend to be excessive barkers.

This Toy breed tends to catch colds easily and is prone to herniated disks, dislocated kneecaps, trichaiasis (eyelashes growing inward, toward the eyeballs), and breathing problems due to their shortened snouts. Heart problems are also a common health issue in Pekingese. As with many other Toy breeds, they have a tendency to easily become overweight so should never be fed a high-calorie diet.

The American Canine Hybrid Club recognizes numerous Pekingese hybrids, ranging from the Foxingese (Pekingese/Toy Fox Terrier) to the Yorkinese (Pekingese/Yorkshire Terrier).

Shih Tzu hybrids

Though Shih Tzus look like Lhasa Apsos, their personalities are totally the opposite. Where Lhasas are dominant and willful, Shih Tzus are gentle, easy-going, and very willing to learn. They’re happy, hardy, and have loads of character. It’s no wonder that this is a popular addition to many hybrid dog combinations.

They grow up to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh about 9 pounds, though they do have a tendency to become overweight because they’re very food oriented. They have round heads, short noses, and lots of fur around their faces. Shih Tzus have long, soft overcoats with a woolly undercoat, making them fairly hardy in extreme temperatures for short periods of time. Their tails curl over their backs, and they come in a huge variety of colors.

Because of their short noses, they wheeze and snore, along with having respiratory problems from time to time. They can have spinal disc disease due to their long back and short legs. However, compared to many Toy breeds, their genetic defects are few.

Though it has been done, Shi Tzus should not be bred with other dogs who have similarly short noses and large bulging eyes. This can create some horrendous health issues with the hybrid pups.

The American Canine Hybrid Club recognizes more than 25 Shih Tzu hybrids, ranging from the Fo-Tzu (Shih Tzu/Toy Fox Terrier) to the Bea-Tzu (Beagle/Shih Tzu).

Pomeranian hybrids

Pomeranians resemble foxes, only with thicker, fluffier fur. Their wedge-shaped heads; straight, triangular ears; and pointed noses are foxlike, as are their baby-doll faces. Poms have dark, almond-shaped eyes and a double coat, which can be any solid color, though there are some that are parti-colored, such as black and white.

Descended from Nordic breeds bred to withstand extremely cold temperatures and work all day pulling sleds, Pomeranians are some of the hardiest of the Toy breeds. Poms aren’t big enough to pull a sled (though if you put about ten of them together, they’d give it a good try), but they still believe they’re big, tough dogs. This makes them willful, bold, and often temperamental — though not stupid. If you use a positive training technique with lots of incentive, your Pom will do whatever you want.

Pomeranians are a popular parent breed for hybrid dogs because they offer the beautiful fluffy coat, distinct facial features, and small size. The average Pom doesn’t grow much larger than 12 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs a mere 7 pounds.

Though Pomeranians are tough little dogs, they do have a genetic tendency toward specific health issues, including luxating patella (the kneecap slips out of its proper groove and moves against the thighbone), heart and skin problems, as well as eye infections. Also, as with most Toy breeds, they are prone to dental problems and weight gain.

Because Pomeranians have large, bulging eyes and the tendency toward specific health problems, they should not be bred with breeds that have similar attributes.

The American Canine Hybrid Club recognizes more than 25 Pomeranian hybrids, ranging from the Pom-Coton (Pomeranian/Coton de Teluar) to the Poshies (Pomeranian/Shetland Sheepdog).

Yorkshire Terrier hybrids

Yorkies are very small toys with a long silky coat that falls straight down on either side. Although the puppies are usually black and tan, they mature to steel gray and gold. This breed has a flat head, medium-length muzzle, black nose, and upright V-shaped ears. This is another Toy dog who doesn’t have a small personality — they are Terriers, after all. As tenacious as they come, Yorkshire Terriers have a high energy level, are aggressive with strangers and other dogs, are demanding of attention, and are territorial. Yorkies are often spoiled and catered to due to their small size (a mere 7 inches tall at the shoulder, and hardly ever more than 7 pounds). This coddling creates a mini-monster. Yorkshire Terriers, as with dogs of any size, need structure and leadership.

Yorkies do have some genetic health problems. These include abnormal skull formations, paralysis of the hindquarters caused by herniated discs, and other spinal problems. They are also prone to dental abnormalities and excessive tooth decay. They have a poor tolerance to anesthetics and a tendency toward congenital liver disease.

The American Canine Hybrid Club recognizes more than 15 Yorkshire Terrier hybrids, ranging from the Fourche Terrier (West Highland White Terrier/Yorkshire Terrier) to the Snorkie (Miniature Schnauzer/Yorkshire Terrier).

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Miriam Fields-Babineau has been a professional animal trainer since 1978 and is the author of 45 books in the field, including one on how to train cats! A psychologist and zoologist, she takes her work home with her and lives in Vermont with her family, dogs, cats, and horses.

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