Can’t Predict The Future Personality A Mixed-Breed Dog
It is harder to predict the breed-specific behavior of a mixed-breed dog. It is more certain to say that a Chihuahua will be noisy, that a Pit Bull will be aggressive, and that a Saluki will be reserved with strangers. That can’t be done as easily with a mixed-breed dog. The only way to attempt it is to first identify what breed each parent was, either from firsthand knowledge or by observing the dog himself and trying to make an educated guess as to what breeds appear to be present.
First, look at any book or magazine containing color photos of the breeds. Then look at the color, length, and texture of the mixed breed dog’s coat. Look at his leg and back length, his bite, his ears and tail. Pay attention also to his behavior. Is he sniffy like a scent hound? Does he want to herd like a Shepherd or Collie? Is he a natural retriever like a Lab? Does he have a high prey drive like a terrier? His behavior in combination with his appearance could help you determine what sort of dog he is. This is not an exact science of course, but it can be an interesting exercise.
Certain breed crosses should absolutely be avoided. For example, a Rottweiler-Chow mix might look adorable, but he would probably be a dominant, aggressive, stubborn handful. A mixture of Chinese Shar-Pei and Pointer would certainly be a hyperactive, aggressive, unpredictable mess.
Some crosses might be acceptable, however. The reserved nature of a Greyhound might be improved by the gregarious, playful attitude of a Lab, for example, and the quiet, dignified temperament of the Greyhound might have a quieting effect on the energetic Lab temperament.
If you are seeking for a mixed breed, consider a four to six-month-old dog. By the time a dog is four months old, his personality and temperament are basically established. For example, if a five-month-old dog is very shy, he may be shy the rest of his life. This shyness can be modified through confidence- building and socialization, but the basic temperament won’t change.
All puppies are adorable, but unless you can observe the behavior of the parents and litter mates, you will have no way of predicting the dog’s temperament, personality, and ultimate size. A four to six-month-old dog, however, will show his true colors and yet be young enough to learn quickly and well. It is also possible (though not assured) that a dog of this age might be housebroken to some extent. You will also be more able to observe any medical or structural problems, which wouldn’t be as evident in a young puppy.
Another option is to get an older mixed-breed dog. Again, the personalities of these dogs are usually well defined. They are often housebroken, and many have had some obedience training, which will make them easier to deal with. You must be aware, however, that an older dog may have been abandoned because he has medical problems or because he became aggressive after a profound change occurred in his environment.