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Exercise and Mixed Breed Dogs

Updated on November 18, 2013

Mixed Breeds ARE a Breed

You may see articles about exercises and games that indulge the natural tendencies of particular dog breeds, but what about mixed breeds? What if you don’t know what your dog’s natural tendencies are? Don’t despair--you have another approach to take to dog exercise.

Mixed Breed Dog

Mixed Breed dog
Mixed Breed dog | Source

What Is A Mixed Breed?

Obviously, a mixed breed dog is a dog has parents and grandparents from different breeds. It can be as simple as a first generation cross breed mix of two pedigree breeds like a Labradoodle or a Bully Pit or a Jack Chi (Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua). Or your dog can be extremely mixed (sometimes called outbred) with ancestry from many different breeds that again have been mixed with other mixed breeds.

If you know the parentage of your dog, then you can base some tendencies and physical attributes based on the breeds that are in his or her parentage. But many mixed breed dogs vary greatly in size, shape, and color, making it difficult or impossible to classify them physically or by temperament.

But a mixed breed is not less than any pure-breed and not not knowing a specific breed is not a disadvantage! You just get to have another focus for bringing up your dog and in fact have a few advantages.

German Shepherd mix
German Shepherd mix | Source

What Do You Prefer?

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Advantages of Mixed Breeds

  1. Mixed breeds tend to have a characteristic called hybrid vigor. Because mixed breeds have a more diverse gene pool they tend to be strong in health. When you mix two or more separate gene pools, the recessive genes that carry the health problems tend to get buried. As a result, you get a healthier animal. This is encouraging for trying a wide variety of different sports, games and tricks with a mixed breed dog. Start with the ones you find the most fun.

  2. Generalizations about breed temperament, while not absolute truths, do tend to be accurate. Many chows do tend to be aggressive with other dogs, shepherding breeds tend to be highly energetic, retrievers tend to be gentle. However, mixed breeds are typically less extreme temperamentally. Character and behavioral traits do manifest in mixed-breed dogs, but in a diluted form.

What Is a Mutt? by Howcast

How to Pick Exercises for Your Mixed Breed

Without breed information, you have less information about your dog's tendencies, which can actually free you up in a way. You don’t have to work from breed specific information. You’ll pay closer attention to his or her personality and habits and respond to those, instead of assuming all those breed characteristics apply to your dog (some Pit Bull Terriers play really well with other dogs, some Labs dislike water, etc).

You are free to let go of assumptions and just follow the rules of good dog parenting without extras.

Take A Guess

It is kind of fun to try to figure out--if possible--what type of breeds may be in your dog’s blood. Think of it as an observational experiment--watch your dog’s behavior and decide where he may fit in. If you track that your dog has certain traits that are similar to another breed, try more of the games and sports that are commonly preferred by that breed. And you can always consult with your vet for more insight into your dog's possible breed history.

Dogs Just Want To Have Fun

If you have no idea of your dog’s breed, that’s OK. That’s your dog and he is special. And at the end of the day, all dogs want to romp, mixed-breeds no exception. Like all dogs, they love to play, are competitive and love your company as much as any pure-breed.

Give your dog plenty of clear rules and leadership in his or her daily life. Observe your dog and get to know his or her personality, tendencies and coping skills. Learn how the canine animal thinks and how to properly communicate with her. And most importantly, provide him or her with proper exercise, so your dog is reasonably worn-out or exerted at least once a day. Play time is the time where you engage your dogs mind, make him think and strategize, and you focus your attention on the dog and he on you.

Taking the time to learn natural dog behavior helps with every dog, no matter the breed or mix.


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    • FitnessDog profile image

      FitnessDog 4 years ago

      Thanks JG11Bravo!

    • JG11Bravo profile image

      JG11Bravo 4 years ago

      Interesting. I've never seen a real analysis of exercising mixed breeds specifically. Good info, voting up.