Should You Choose a Purebred or Mixed Breed Puppy?

designer dogs hybrid breeds mixed breeds purebred

Purebred vs. mixed breed dogs is a hot topic. One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a puppy is, what type of personality and energy level will the puppy have? In other words, predictability matters when it comes to what your life will be like long term with a dog. Whether you’re […]

Purebred vs. mixed breed dogs is a hot topic. One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a puppy is, what type of personality and energy level will the puppy have? In other words, predictability matters when it comes to what your life will be like long term with a dog. Whether you’re single or part of a large family, the last thing you want is for your new furry friend to totally surprise you with his temperament and behavior. For canines, the biggest predictor of behavior is breed.

A Chihuahua will not have the same personality, temperament, and behavior as a Great Dane. Likewise, a Golden Retriever does not have the same temperament as a Rottweiler. 

Notice how in the examples we just used, all the dogs are purebred. There is a direct correlation between purity of breed and being able to predict the dog’s behavior. You can pick out any Golden Retriever puppy under the sun and be able to trust that the dog will be gentle, eager to learn and be trained, and have a sweet countenance. Why? Because this breed is known for having those qualities.

One of the first things to know when it comes to choosing a purebred or mixed breed puppy is that you will be able to predict the behavior of the purebred puppy. Depending on the puppy’s breed, he will have a specific personality and temperament. When a puppy is a mix of breeds, the puppy’s behavior becomes far less predictable. And you will have to “wait and see” who he really is, as a personality and as a furry friend. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the difference between purebred and mixed breed dogs to help you figure out which you should get. We’ll also address some common misconceptions about both purebred and mixed breed dogs to hopefully display the pervasive myths that have been falsely influencing people.  


Put simply, a “purebred” dog has two parents that belong to the same breed, and each of those parents has two parents that belong to the same breed, and all four of those parents all have parents that also belong to the same breed… You get the idea. A Yorkshire Terrier is “purebred” because he comes from a long line of Yorkshire Terriers. There are no other dog breeds within his maternal and paternal lineages. 

A “mixed breed” dog has parents that each belong to different breeds, or the parents could be mixed breeds as well. The term “mixed breed” can refer to a wide spectrum of “breed purity and possibilities.” For example, on one side of this spectrum a puppy can have two purebred parents that simply don’t belong to the same breeds, i.e. a Goldendoodle has one parent that’s a Poodle (purebred) and a Golden Retriever (purebred), and yet the Goldendoodle is “mixed.” 

On the other end of the spectrum you’ll find the lovable “mutt.” Mutts are dogs that come from such a high number of other breeds that it’s virtually impossible to tell which purebred dog breeds they originated from.

To give you an idea of purebreds you’re probably familiar with, the following are the top 10 purebred dog breeds:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • French Bulldogs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Poodles
  • Bulldogs
  • Beagles
  • Rottweilers 
  • Pointers
  • Dachshunds 

Again, with purebred dog breeds, it’s easy to predict the behavior of any given puppy. This makes researching what kind of dog you want to get way easier. Since each purebred breed is distinct, you can literally find a breed that matches your lifestyle, activity level, and the size of your home. There will be no surprises. With purebreds, you will safely get what you expect. 

To a relatively trustworthy degree, you can also somewhat safely predict the behavior of mixed breeds that fall into a subcategory called “hybrid” or “designer dogs.” These hybrid mixed breeds come from two purebred parents without exception. Since the temperament of the two parents are predictable due to them being purebreds, the temperament of their puppy, the hybrid, is fairly predictable, though there can be room for a small spectrum of varying personality possibilities. 

For example, a Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle mix) could lean towards being totally “Golden Retriever” in temperament, super docile and gentle. Or it could lean towards being totally “Poodle” in temperament, hyper intellectual and a bit impatient if not met with enough mental stimulation. 

That being said, the following list of hybrids have been around long enough that their blended temperaments are now known, and therefore these breeds are fairly predictable:

  • Goldendoodles (Golden Retriever and Poodle)
  • Mini Hippos (Cocker Spaniel and Chinese Shar-Pei)
  • Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever and Poodle)
  • Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel and Poodle)
  • Pomsky (Pomeranian and Husky)
  • Maltipoo (Maltese and Miniature Poodle)

Let’s say a puppy wasn’t a mix of two purebreds, but rather four (each parent was a hybrid of two purebreds). In this case, the puppy’s personality, i.e. what kind of temperament that puppy will grow up to have, will be far less predictable.

If you’re considering getting a heavily mixed puppy or a full-blown mutt, there’s no reason to fear that the puppy will have a bad temperament. But it will be very hard to predict whether you’re going to have a super high energy dog that likes to play with all his might, or a sweet, gentle dog who’s all about rest and relaxation. 

In the event that you’re considering taking home a mutt, such as if a neighbor or friend’s dog just had a litter, then we recommend that you ask the breeder (neighbor) about each of the puppies personalities. As young and little as puppies are during their first 8 weeks, a hands-on breeder will notice the difference in how each puppy handles himself and the “world” as he knows it. Ask some questions and spend time with the litter if you can while the puppies are playful. You have a decent chance of picking out a mutt that will be a good fit for you and your family!


One of the biggest reasons that people choose not to buy a purebred puppy, or even a designer hybrid mix, is due to the high cost. We’re not going to sugarcoat it, purebred puppies are expensive. And the fact of the matter is that purebred puppies that come from responsible, ethical dog breeders that provide the highest standards of care and accommodations for their dogs are going to cost even more money. 

On the other hand, the more mixed a puppy is, the lower the cost of the puppy tends to be. And like we mentioned in the last section of this article, your neighbor whose dog just had puppies might be trying to give the puppies away for free. 

We totally acknowledge that the price tag is a huge factor for anyone who’s interested in getting a puppy. Your budget is your budget, and no outside force is going to influence you. So, we want to dedicate this section to letting you know about options you might not be aware of. 

If you want a purebred puppy that comes from a responsible breeder (no puppy mill puppies!) but you don’t have thousands of dollars, you have the following options:

  • Visit your local animal shelters and be on the lookout for purebreds that you can adopt. The only downside of this option is that you probably won’t know for sure where the puppy or dog came from, i.e. whether from a highly ethical dog breeder or a puppy mill
  • Visit your local pet stores that only work with responsible breeders, and see if they have older purebred puppies that they lowered the price for. It’s very common for pet stores to gradually lower the cost of puppies who grow larger and older but don’t sell. A puppy can go from costing $5,000 to $1,500 just based on age and size!
  • Find a pet store that only works with responsible breeders and that offers payment plans with financing options, like Petland Texas. A lot of people don’t realize that some pet retailers offer this. Similar to getting a financed car or other big-ticket item, you can take home a puppy under a financial agreement to pay a monthly amount that works for your budget.

The same options may apply to private dog sellers and pet stores that sell hybrid designer dogs, too. It’s worth it to do some research and discover the possibilities in your area. And if you’re close to any of our Petland Texas locations, you’re welcome to stop by and speak with our pet counselors about our special financing program.

We wish you the best of luck on your journey to find and love a puppy!