Mixed Breeds

Contact us at VT Dog Rescue when you are ready to adopt a dog.  We save dogs from high kill shelters in the South and bring them to Vermont.

 What is a mixed breed dog?

Mixed breed dogs (also known as mutts, mixes, Heinz 57s) are a combination of different  breeds that have been passed down naturally from generation to generation. Unlike pure bred dogs who tend to develop hereditary issues such as hip dysplasia, nature has eliminated many of the bad genes in mutts. They tend to be healthier and live long lives. 

If a dog looks like a Lab, is it going to act like one too?

It’s hard to know what to expect when you meet a dog with Lab-looking boxy face who has large Hound-like spots on his body, short Basset Hound size legs, and long Collie-style fur.   We encourage adopters not to judge a dog by his or her appearance. Traits common to a pure bred dog are not always found in a mixed breed dog. The diversity of genetics make it hard to stereotype. 

I saw a dog on Petfinder and it says she is a Border Collie/German Shepherd mix. Different breeds are listed on your website. Why?

Our dogs are advertised on third party websites such as Petfinder and Adopt a Pet. Requirements and breeds available to select vary by site. In some situations, we may think a dog falls into a broad Hound category – but have to select a specific type of Hound (Beagle, Coon…) in order to list the dog.  Our volunteers who do these postings select the breed they feel best fits each dog, but without DNA testing the breeds are a guess.

Can you look at a mixed breed dog and tell me which breeds he's a mix of?

Unfortunately the answer is "No." A mixed breed dog has inherited genes and traits from his parents who may also be mixed breeds. There isn’t any way to tell which of those genes (or personality traits) were inherited.  There could be half a dozen breeds in his ancestry and multiple combinations are possible.

Is it important to know which breeds are in a mixed breed dog?

It really isn’t relevant because genetic traits are diluted – mixed with multiple generations of different traits.  Even if breeds are identified through DNA testing, we don’t know if the specific dog in the family tree had traits typical of that breed or not. Golden Retrievers are known for their long, soft fur.  What if the Golden in this genetic study carried the short coat trait of his mixed breed mother who looked like a Greyhound? There are mind boggling combinations.

I heard mixed breed dogs are healthier, are they?  

Due to the genetic diversity of mixed breed dogs, most are very healthy. Genetic diseases are frequently filtered out naturally. Their parents are typically mixed breeds as well so their genes include a wide variety of contributors.  



We encourage people to look at each dog as an individual. Just as people have differences, dogs have their own personalities, temperaments, likes & dislikes.  

Questions? Please feel free to contact me anytime.   -- Brigitte