Forgot?
Close

Forgot your Username?

You can user our username reminding facility.

Get Started
Forgot?
Close

Forgot your Password?

Enter your email address and we'll help you reset your password.

Get Started

Although the term 'mixed-breed' is often thought of meaning a dog with an indeterminate heritage, the fact is that since the earliest days of domestication, man has selectively bred dogs to enhance desirable or useful characteristics, or to reduce those traits that are less desirable.

The development of the Golden Retriever for example is, in historical terms, fairly recent. The breed originated in Scotland where a series of matings, beginning with a good looking yellow coloured Flat Coated Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel, a breed now long extinct, followed by an occasional outcross to an Irish Setter, a second Tweed Water Spaniel and a black Flat Coated Retriever, produced puppies that proved to be grand workers, biddable and attractive.

Puppies from these litters were given to friends and family of the original breeder who also mated them. The dogs bred true to type, and so the forerunners of the breed we know today were established.

More recently, the Black Russian Terrier was developed in the former USSR by the state for use as a military working dog; until 1957 the breed was produced solely by the state owned Red Star Kennel. It is believed that about twenty breeds were used in its development, including the Airedale, the Giant Schnauzer, the Rottweiler, the Newfoundland, the Caucasian Ovtcharka and the now extinct Moscow Water Dog.

It is only in the last hundred years or so that breed standards have been adopted and that dog fanciers have sought to maintain the purity of recognised breeds. Until fairly recently, no one was keeping exact track of breedings or concerned that early breeders used judicious crosses with other breeds to help establish desired traits. The nature of the beast dictates that by definition, pedigree breeds are in-bred, sometimes to the detriment of the resulting generations.  To maintain breed health an occasional outcross, while frowned upon by breed purists, can be beneficial.

Although somewhat controversial, a reasonably recent single outcrossing between a Dalmatian, a breed with a genetic predisposition to high uric acid levels, and a Pointer has, four decades and fourteen generations later, resulted in a bloodline of Dalmatians free from the condition. 

Perhaps the recently developed, and currently popular, crosses such as the Labradoodle, Cavapoo, Sprocker, and Springador will become the fanciers breeds of the future. While there's no doubt that the loveable, loyal and hardy Heinz 57 mongrel will always have a place in our hearts.