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Positive Points To Owning A Mixed Breed Dog

Updated on December 1, 2011

Cocker/Labrador Mixed Dogs Can Make Good Pets

My mixed breed dog, Sandy. She is a Labrador/Cocker Spaniel mix
My mixed breed dog, Sandy. She is a Labrador/Cocker Spaniel mix | Source

Mixed Breed Dogs Can Be Wonderful Pets

The majority of the time it seems like most people looking for a pet, who are looking for a dog in particular, want to find full-blooded dogs. Full-blooded dogs, such as a cocker spaniel or a labrador retreiver can be wonderful addiitons to your family, but you could also be happy owning a cocker spaniel/labrador mixed canine.

The cocker spaniel is a breed of canine that craves attention, loves to play, and can be somewhat hyper. A labrador retreiver also craves attention and wants to sit by your side or be next to you all the time. They are great hunting dogs, they love the water, and just attention in general. I happen to own a cocker spaniel/labrador retreiver mixed breed. I have had my dog Sandy for over two years now, got her when she was a little larger than my two hands, and she has been one of the best dogs I have ever owned.

Sandy, my lab/cocker mix when she was a puppy

Sandy as a puppy. She was favoring a labrador retreiver when younger, but also began to develop traits of a cocker spaniel as she grew.
Sandy as a puppy. She was favoring a labrador retreiver when younger, but also began to develop traits of a cocker spaniel as she grew. | Source

Mixed Breeds Begin To Take On Various Characteristics Of Their Breeds As They Grow

As a small puppy, when I took Sandy to the vet's office for the first time, people thought she was a full-blooded Labrador. I explained she was a mixed breed of lab and cocker spaniel and they were amazed. When mixed breed puppies are small, they seem to favor one or maybe two breeds. They look a certain way when they are small, but once they begin to grow, you can begin to start seeing the other breeds within their features.

Sandy was a very playful puppy, just as though I had a full-blooded cocker spaniel or Labrador Retreiver. She was a healthy puppy, never seemed to have any serious issues. Although cocker spaniels are known for having issues with their ears or eyes and other problems, Sandy seemed to develop traits from both breeds. Although Labrador Retreivers are known to have hip problems, I have not seen that becoming an issue with Sandy. Her ears favored those of a Labrador, even though they did have a slight tinge of curl to them. Her feet seemed to favor those of a Labrador, but once again, there was a slight bit of cocker spaniel in her feet, as some curly hair was seen on the back of her legs. When she was around three months old, I could see her changing as she began to develop more features from the Labrador. Her mom was a medium sized cocker spaniel and her father was a larger Labrador.

Mixed Breed Dogs Make Good Pets

When choosing my puppy, I saw that most in the litter looked like Sandy, however, some were black in color as the mother of the litter was a full-blooded black cocker spaniel. The Labrador was a light brown color and was very friendly with those visiting the litter. One thing that is important when picking out a mixed breed puppy is that the mother and father of the puppies are friendly. Sandy's parents wanted me to play with them more than Sandy, so I knew I had chosen the right dog for me.

It all depends on what you are looking for when you are thinking about getting a mixed breed puppy. I was fortunate as I was able to get Sandy from a friend whose cocker was expecting puppies. I was given Sandy free of charge and she has been a wonderful dog. Always remember though, if you want a dog or any other animal, you need to be a responsible pet owner and make sure to keep them healthy with regular vet visits.

You might not be able to find someone who wants to give you a puppy, but another good point about getting a mixed breed dog is that for one, you could save it from the shelter (like I did), and if you have to purchase one, they seem to be a lot less money than paying for a full-blooded dog with papers. It all depends on what made you think about getting a dog in the first place. In my experience with Sandy, she has been a very loving dog. She wants to play, she wants all the attention she can get, and when they are puppies, they love to play all the time.

Sandy when she was four months old, looking more like a lab and cocker mix

Sandy at four months old
Sandy at four months old | Source

Growth And The Mixed Breed Dog

When looking into owning a mixed breed dog, don't forget to consider what breeds they are mixed with and just how big they might get. With my dog, she reached a medium size, a little taller like a Labrador, but still maintaining a few traits of the cocker spaniel. She is the size that most cocker spaniels become, so this mix gave me just the right size I was looking for in a dog. With other mixes, the size and height will obviously vary, you might end up with a larger dog if, let's say the dog was half greyhound and half collie, but you might have to be the judge on that one. It all depends on how big the parents are and then it is all up to you.

Owning a mixed breed dog was one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you get the chance to own a dog and can own one, maybe from a shelter, or just from a litter that a neighbor's dog just had, give it a chance, they can make great dogs.

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    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      You're so right! Hybrids rock. Enjoyed your hub and the cute pictures of Sandy.

    • Rising Caren profile image

      Rising Caren 5 years ago from New York

      Hybrids do rock and - unless there are severe health risks with certain mixes of course. I think pedigrees are vastly overrated.

    • sandy1973mypetdog profile image
      Author

      sandy1973mypetdog 5 years ago from the south

      thanks The Dirt Farmer, Sandy is a great dog, wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. Rising Caren, I agree that pedigrees can somewhat be overrated. Thanks to you both for reading my hub. :)

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Wonderful hub that salutes the mixed breeds! I've had mixed breeds along with the pedigrees. And you're right they are wonderful pets to have - they do seem to develop the best points of the breeds they are mixed with. What I will add, is that many of the mixed breeds are some of the most beautiful dogs on the planet - and your gorgeous Sandy is one of them! My first mix was a Border Collie/Labrador. He had the colourings of a collie but the muscles of a lab, he also had one lab ear that folded typically over, and one collie ear that was upright. I don't know how many people over the years told me how beautiful he looked and what a good dog he was. My second mix was a rescue, he was a Gordon Setter/Spaniel. He was adorable. Coal black coat, but with tinges of red underneath. Beautiful big eyes and huge floppy ears! He was adorable!

      Thank you for writing this tribute to mixed breeds - some of the best animals on the planet!! Voted up + awesome!

    • holdmycoffee profile image

      holdmycoffee 5 years ago

      What a wonderful hub! I have enjoyed reading it, and looking at pictures too! Sandy as a puppy is just adorable!

    • sandy1973mypetdog profile image
      Author

      sandy1973mypetdog 5 years ago from the south

      Thank you holdmycoffee, Sandy is a good dog and I have enjoyed having her as my pet :)

    • dappledesigns profile image

      dappledesigns 5 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest

      I have always had mixed breed dogs - mostly all rescued. Right now we have a German Shepherd / Norwegian Elkhound mix that we adopted from a rescue shelter. It's so funny because he looks like a completely different dog in each season - in the summer he looks all German Shepherd and in the winter he gets a fluffy silver Elkhound coat and puts about 8 pounds of fur on him bulking him right out. It's amazing - and something you probably wouldn't see with pure breds. Great hub - and absolutely adorable pup!

    • profile image

      Jill in Mpls 5 years ago

      Shellie - Could you possibly tell me how much your dog Sandy weighs now? And was her parent a cocker spaniel or an English cocker spaniel? What is Sandy's temperament now?good with kids? We just came across a pup just like Sandy! And are considering adopting her - 4 states away... Thanks for your response.

    • sandy1973mypetdog profile image
      Author

      sandy1973mypetdog 5 years ago from the south

      Jill, Sandy is about 25 to 30 pounds now and she is full-grown. Her mother was a full-blooded black and white cocker spaniel (she didn't get her color from her mother) and the father was a full-blooded yellow lab. Her siblings were mostly yellow when born but some of the pups were black with some white markings. Sandy is well-behaved, we keep her and my other dog, another full-grown lab, outside in a kennel and we spend time with them each day, letting them run around (we live in the country so that's okay). Sandy listens well and loves a lot of attention, just like my other dog does. She is well-behaved around others and she likes kids. I think when you get them at such a young age, they grow up with you and get attached to you. If I ever get another dog, I will make sure I get a puppy so they get used to me and my family. Hope this helps.

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