A Dog's Life

It Takes Two!

The American Kennel Club recognizes more than 155 breeds of purebred dogs from the Akita to the Weimaraner. A purebred dog is a dog whose mother and father belong to the same breed and whose grandparents and earlier generations were also the same kind of dog. In other words, there has been no mixing of breeds from one generation to the next. When you purchase a purebred dog, you are given a copy of his or her lineage, which includes the names of his or her ancestors and where they were born.

In A Dog’s Life, Squirrel and Bone are mixed-breed dogs, or mutts, who have many different kinds of dog ancestors. Mutts usually have good temperaments, or personalities.

Dog breeders sometimes cross one breed of canine with another breed in order to create a new mix known in general as a hybrid dog. Most often, the dogs chosen are compatible in size, but have different temperaments, skills, or physical features that are particularly desired.

Hybrid dogs are known by a combination of the names of the original breeds. The dog breeder responsible for first crossing a Labrador retriever with a standard poodle reportedly wanted to produce a capable guide dog for the blind that had a poodle’s more hypoallergenic coat. The resulting Labradoodle is one of the most popular hybrid dogs today — golfer Tiger Woods has one. A woman who breeds Maltese with Yorkshire terriers wanted to combine the sweet personality of a Maltese with the smartness of a Yorkie. A few other popular hybrid dogs today are Pugshires (pug and yorkshire terrier), Bagels (basset hound and beagle), and Sharp Assets (Basset and Shar-Pei).
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