What is a Mutt Dog – Complete Guide to Mutts

The term mutt is often used about any dog, but many people might not know exactly what it really means. So what is a mutt dog exactly?

Mutts are dogs from mixed breeds. They are also referred to as mongrels by other people, and they came to be as a result of random breeding. There is a belief that a dog’s breed is essential; therefore, identifying the mixed-breed dogs’ ancestors is vital.

There are other deliberate crosses like the Poodle-Pekinese, Labradoodle, and Goldendoodle that are usually not considered to fall under the class of mutts even though they arise from mixed breeds.

What is a Mutt Dog?

Mutts make great pets and tend to be hardier breeds as compared to purebreds since there is a bigger genetic pool in them, and they may eliminate other characteristics that might develop during breeding.

However, this will depend on the breeding cross, and breeding different dog breeds with a similar predilection to particular health conditions will be transferred probably to the puppies with some risks to that specific health condition no matter the parent breed.

Mutts without any of their parent breeds being purebred are less likely to exhibit the inbred traits for diseases. They are also less prone to other particular conditions as compared to their parents.

It’s a little bit risky to adopt a puppy mutt of unknown parentage breeds. Telling the type of behaviors a puppy can display in the first few months is tricky when its parent breeds are unknown. For instance, you have a puppy from a more aggressive parent breed. This tendency will probably be displayed as well with the puppy. Telling how big a particular dog will grow or how it will end up looking is also hard in this case.

If you need predictable results in the size of the dog and its appearance when it gets old, you are supposed to adopt a parent breed whose size, appearance, and behavior are known. Usually, such dogs are least liked by people since different dog breeds are favored more compared to them.

Mutt lovers usually praise these breeds the most. You will find many people preferring mixed breeds as compared to purebred since they have unique looks. They also don’t have health problems that can be found in other breeds.

Dogs that are now recognized as pure breeds times back were believed to be mutts. This is because most of these dogs came about from different sources. So, they will exhibit variations in appearance and how they behave according to their parent breeds. People with purebred theoretically will have a mutt alongside or a distance breed of either of the two.

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How to Identify Your Mutt

You can’t always identify a mutt correctly just by looking at it, so to get a more precise reading, there are a few methods you can try.

DNA Tests are Great

The only method that will cost you some money, but also the only way to be really sure just what kind of dog your mutt is, and a DNA test will also allow you to discover if there might be any health-related issues found in your dog.

Check the Size of the Dog

The size of a dog is closely related to the parent breeds. A dog can’t be large-sized if one of the parent breeds isn’t large. For example, if you encounter a small dog, then probably this was influenced by some small-bodied breeds like the Papillons, the Toy Poodle, and the Shih Tzus.

The biggest breeds are around 200 pounds, and possibly there is a giant-sized dog in the mix like the Komondor and Saint Bernard. So, these dog breeds can be of different sizes, and it’s hard to determine the breeds that contributed to the makeup of mid-range dogs.

Have a Look at the Tail

The tails can also help in determining the breed of a dog. The tails are also of different varieties.

Some bobtails are seen as they are cut off. These are seen in dogs like Australian Shepherds. The curly tails, on the other hand, make little corkscrews. They are seen with the Akitas, Pugs, and with Chow Chow breeds.

The rat tails common on the Afghans and the Irish water spaniels have little hair, and they usually hang down. Flagpole tails are straight and long. You will see these with breeds like Beagles.

Check the Head

The shape of the head can tell the type of breed you have. The shapes vary from blocky-headed to apple-shaped heads. The apple heads are common with the Chihuahuas. The blocky head on the other side is square-shaped; these are common with breeds like the Boston Terriers.

Breeds with an undershot jaw with their noses slightly sunk into the head are referred to as broken-up face breeds. This is commonly seen in the Pekingese breeds. The snippy-faced dog breeds, on the other hand, have narrow, sharp muzzles; common with the Salukis.

what is a mutt

Advantages of Adopting a Mutt

Not only are mutt dogs some of the most popular dog breeds these days, but there are also quite a few advantages to adopting a mutt compared to a purebred dog.

They Live Longer Compared to Other Breeds

The mutts, unlike the purebred, are not prone to genetic health issues that develop during the period of interbreeding. With this, you will rest assured of lower vet bills the entire time of your life, and they will live longer.

They are Affordable Compared to Other Breeds

Acquiring a pup is not a big deal. Their prices depend on the breed and whether there were bred to serve a particular purpose. But then, for the mutts, they just cost shelter adoption fees from the rescues you want to adopt from.

This also depends significantly on the animal shelter and the dog. They require little to survive all through as compared to other breeds.

They Don’t Exhibit Specific Traits

Mutt dogs are usually made of different bunches of other different dog breeds. This means they are unique and different in a way since they don’t possess any specific character. For instance, dogs like boxers are intelligent and energetic.

German Shepherds’ dog breeds are usually loyal and obedient; the cocker spaniels breeds are gentle and lively. Depending on the kind of mix they came from, the mutt will exhibit less specific characters. For this, they might be gentle but energetic. They can also be intelligent and also at the same time obedient.

what is a mutt dog

Examples of Mutt Dogs

These days, there are numerous different mutt breeds, but they also go under names such as mixed breeds, hybrid dogs, and designer dogs.

Some examples of mutt dogs include:

  • Goldendoodle, a Golden Retriever/Poodle mix
  • Labradoodle, a Labrador Retriever/Poodle mix
  • Shichon, Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix
  • Pomsky, Siberian Husky/Pomeranian mix 


Given the living situation of mutt dogs, they tend to be more flexible compared to other breeds. Unlike other breeds whose traits must be considered before adopting one, mutts can fit in any environment at large.

Additionally, these breeds can do everything right as other breeds. They can be service dogs as well as hunt dogs. Mutts are the breeds you should consider most.

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