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A mongrel is the result of the unintentional breeding of two dogs.

Mongrel dogs, also known as mongrel dogs, are dogs of mixed breed. Unlike "designer" mixed breeds such as Golden Doodles, Cockapoos or Puggles, mutts are the unintentional breeding of two dogs. There are an estimated 150 million mutt dogs in the world.

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Many people prefer to adopt a mixed breed dog rather than buy a purebred dog from a breeder. They're much less expensive than what you'd pay for a purebred dog, and because there's less inbreeding, they generally have fewer health problems. A mutt's personality and temperament will vary depending on the breeds included in his genetic makeup. If you're unsure of a mutt's lineage, guessing their temperament can be more of a challenge.

Hybrid 1

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3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Mongrel Dog:

advantage! shortcoming!
Unique Appearance : Hybrids can have a very individual and adorable appearance based on the combination of different traits of the various breeds included in their makeup. Unpredictable Behavior : It can be more challenging to predict a mutt's temperament and behavior without knowing their breed mix. This is especially troublesome for families with children.
Fewer Health Problems : Mixed breed dogs are generally less prone to some health problems because they don't have as much inbreeding as purebred dogs. Unknown Size : If you buy a mutt puppy, you may not be able to predict their adult size and may end up with a larger dog than you prepared for.
Cheaper : A mutt costs less to adopt than buying a purebred from a groomer. Unknown Appearance : You may also not be able to predict what an adult mutt will look like based on how they looked as a puppy.
bastard in poppy field
You never know what a mongrel will look like as you get older. As a mixed breed, different characteristics may develop as your dog gets older.

© Quisquilia/Shutterstock.com

history of fools

Since mutts or mutts have been around as long as purebreds, they are believed to date back to very ancient times, although each dog has a different history as they all have different bloodlines. A Chihuahua, Pekingese, and King Charles Cavalier mix won't share the same ancient bloodlines as a Labrador-Spaniel mix.


Because a mutt is an unintentional mix of multiple dogs that do not belong to a particular breed, the variety of mutts is limitless. There are believed to be more than 150 million different mixed breed dogs worldwide, and since the breed of ancestry of each dog has not been identified, it can be difficult to identify each individual dog.

Health and Recreation for Your Mongrel

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size and weight

retractable dog door
Every mutt varies in size and weight depending on the breed it is mixed with.

©Alex Zotov/Shutterstock.com

Because mutts are a mix of different breeds, they can vary widely in size and weight. A mongrel dog that is a mix of two larger breeds is likely to be larger, while a mongrel that is a mix of smaller breeds is likely to be smaller. However, many mutts comprise a large number of breeds that vary widely in size.

You can use the foot sizes of mutt puppies to try and predict their adult size. A puppy whose feet appear larger than its body will end up being larger, while a puppy that appears to be in proportion to its body may end up as a small or medium-sized dog. Generally, dogs are about two-thirds of their adult size by the time they are four months old, so this can also help you predict your mutt's final weight.

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Height (male): 6 inches to 32 inches
Height (female): 6 inches to 32 inches
Weight (male): 5 lbs to 170 lbs
Weight (female): 5 lbs to 140 lbs

common health problems

dog with bandaged head
While mutts may generally be healthier, they can still have health problems.

© iStock.com/Aleksandr Zotov

Since the genetic makeup of mutts is unknown, the breed-specific health problems they may suffer from are also a mystery. Before you adopt a mutt, however, there are some health issues that you should be aware of that are common to all breeds.

Some hybrid animals, like humans, develop cancer as they age. Depending on the severity and location of the cancer, your veterinarian may offer treatment or perform surgery on your mutt to remove the cancer cells.

Heartworm is also common in hybrid animals. Since it can be prevented with monthly treatments, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about starting your mutt on heartworm medication.

If you adopted your mutt from a shelter, he may have kennel cough. Mixed dogs with kennel cough need rest, food, and water to help them recover. In more severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics.

In summary, some of the health issues a mutt may experience include:

  • cancer
  • Heartworm
  • Kennel Cough

Temperament and Behavior

outdoor mutt
Depending on their lineage and upbringing, hybrids can range from docile to aggressive.

©Evgeniia Primavera/Shutterstock.com

The temperament of mixed breed dogs is not as predictable as that of purebred dogs. Purebred dogs of each breed share certain personality traits that give owners an idea of what they can expect from their dog's personality and behavior. Mongrels are more difficult to predict because you don't know your mutt's genetic makeup, nor do you know which traits will be stronger in your particular pup. Mixed breed dogs can end up being very sweet, grumpy, energetic and aggressive, or somewhere in between. This guessing game often means that your dog might not be the best choice for a household with young children, where a kid-friendly pet is a must.

How to Care for a Mongrel Dog

Every Mongrel is unique, so you'll need to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the type of care your dog needs. After owning your Mongrel for a while, you'll start to learn more about his temperament, activity needs, and attention needs and can use this information to provide the best care possible.

Best Dog Food for Mixed Dogs

One of the greatest benefits of owning a mutt, or "mongrel," is the elimination of most of the worst health problems that can afflict purebred and "designer" dogs and shorten their lives.

But just because you don't have a premium breed doesn't mean you don't want to provide your dog with top-notch nutrition. Mongrel owners typically can't go wrong with CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food, White Fish and Salmon .

As main ingredients, real meat and fish provide dogs of all sizes with the lean muscle protein they need. This grain-free diet is easier to digest and reduces artificial additives that have been linked to many health complications, including cancer.

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Click here for Crave Grain Free High Protein Adult Dry Food.

Best High Protein Pairings with White Fish

The amount of food your pet needs will vary based on his size, activity level and age, and the type of food you're feeding him or her. Consult your veterinarian to determine the type and amount of food that is best for your mutt. Most mutts do best when they are fed two meals a day. Depending on the weight of your mutt, keep the following general guidelines in mind.

  • 3 to 12 pounds: 1/3 to 1 cup dry food
  • 13 to 20 pounds: 1 to 1 1/3 cups dry food
  • 21 to 35 pounds: 1 1/3 to 2 cups dry food
  • 26 to 50 pounds: 2 to 2 2/3 cups dry food
  • 51 to 75 pounds: 2 2/3 to 3 1/3 cups dry food
  • 76 to 100 pounds: 3 1/3 to 4 ¼ cups dry food
  • Over 100 pounds: 4 ¼ cups, plus ¼ cup for each additional 10 pounds of weight over 100 pounds

Keep in mind that puppies have smaller stomachs than adult puppies, so mutt puppies will need to eat three or four fewer meals a day. By the time most puppies are six months old, only two meals are usually enough. Find a high-quality puppy food for your puppy.

Maintenance and Grooming

Mongrel (Canis familiaris) - puppy that turns its head
Grooming varies with each dog, but regular nail trimming and teeth brushing are recommended for all mutts.

© Mary Swift/Shutterstock.com

Likewise, the amount of maintenance and grooming your mutt needs will vary depending on the mix of breeds in its DNA. Long-haired dogs need to be brushed at least once a week, while many short-haired dogs are also best off with regular brushing to keep their coat looking great. If you notice your mutt is shedding a lot or matting, increase the frequency of brushing per week. If their coat is unmanageable or too long, you might consider taking them to a professional groomer every few months.

Your dog will also need brushing several times a week. Be sure to trim their nails so they don't get too long and cause pain when walking. It's also important to keep your pet's ears clean; if too much wax builds up or too much debris gets into their ears, ear infections can result.


Hybrid (Canis familiaris) - standing on grass
Once your mutt is brought home, the training process should begin.

©Dora Zett/Shutterstock.com

While you don't know your mutt's exact personality, it's best to start the training process after you bring home a puppy or adult mutt. Start socializing your dog and sign up for obedience classes to help them learn how to obey commands and act appropriately in different situations. Most dogs respond best to aggressive training methods, so keep this in mind when training your mutt.


The amount of exercise your mutt needs will also vary based on their genetic makeup, but all dogs need daily activity. Designed to take your pup for daily walks and provide them room to run and play in the fenced in back yard. If your dog seems overly energetic or becomes destructive, it could be a sign that they are not getting enough exercise, so you should aim to increase their daily exercise.

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A mongrel puppy stands on the street
Mongrel puppies often have an unrecognizable temperament because they are mixed breed.


All puppies, regardless of their genetic makeup, need a safe environment free of anything that could cause them harm. Before bringing a mutt puppy home, check your space to make sure it's safe for them. Remove anything potentially dangerous. Puppies are also known to chew on things in general, so be sure to pick up and place any personal items that you don't want your puppy to destroy.

Mongrel puppies need food, crates, beds, leashes and collars, toys, treats, and other supplies. Be sure to purchase all of these materials before you bring your puppy home so you are prepared and ready to go.

mongrel and child

As we shared above, mixed breed dogs are less predictable than purebred dogs. For this reason, adopting a mutt puppy may not be an option for families with children, especially young ones. If you adopt an older mutt from someone who can reliably give you a sense of their personality, they could be a great fit for families with children.

dogs similar to mongrels

Identifying dogs that resemble a mutt can be challenging because mutts can consist of any breed. Below are some common varieties that may be mixed into some of the hybrids you'll find.

  • Labrador Retriever: The Labrador Retriever is a very friendly and easygoing breed. They are great for children and are often chosen as service dogs. Labrador Retrievers are also very active and have high exercise needs.
  • German Shepherd: German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs. Because of their eager-to-please nature, they are easier to train than many other breeds. However, German Shepherds have high needs for activity and attention, and if these needs are not met, they can become destructive.
  • Bulldog : The Bulldog is a medium-sized, muscular breed. They are very friendly and get along well with children. They can also be stubborn and difficult to train.

famous bastard

Some mutts have made a splash, appearing in various movies and TV shows. Here are some notable hybrids:

  • Buster in the movie Bruce Almighty is a bastard.
  • Luckily the movie Dr. Doolittle is a mongrel.
  • Duke in the movie Bad Boy is a mongrel.
  • Sweetheart in the movie "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" is a mongrel dog.

Looking for the perfect name for your dork? Check out the list below for some great ideas:

  • maximum
  • duke
  • Jack
  • olives
  • bentley
  • Bella
  • penny
  • Ellie
  • daisy
  • molly

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Hybrids are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and other animals.

Hybrid animals belong to the animal kingdom.

Hybrid animals belong to the class Mammalia.

Hybrids belong to the phylum Chordata.

Mongrel dogs belong to the canine family.

Hybrids belong to the order Carnivora.

Hybrids belong to the genus Canis.

Hybrids are covered with hair.

Mongrel's scientific name is Canis Lupus.

Mongrels are not purebreds and are much cheaper than buying a dog from a breeder. The price to adopt a mutt from a shelter or rescue is usually around $250 or less.

You will also need to budget enough money to cover the rest of the care and food you will need after adopting a mutt. The first year of your mutt ownership is likely to be the most expensive, and you'll need to budget $1,000 to $1,500 to cover everything. The next few years should get a little cheaper, but still, make sure to budget between $500 and $1,000 to make sure you have everything your mutt needs.

Hybrids can get along well with children, but some don't. Because mutts have a more unpredictable personality, it's best for families with young children to choose a breed with a more predictable temperament.

Hybrids generally live longer than purebreds. Hybrids typically live on average between 10 and 13 years, but this varies based on many factors, such as their genetic makeup and overall health.

A mongrel dog is defined as a mixed breed dog that was not intentionally bred.

No, a mutt is not a specific breed. They are a mix of two or more (often more varieties).

By definition, a mongrel dog is a mongrel. They are the result of unintentional breeding, from a mix of different breeds.