Pedigrees Vs. Crossbreeds: What’s The Difference?

If you’re trying to decide which breed of puppy is right for you, there are plenty of different things to take into account. Their size, their exercise needs and their overall temperament are all factors that should come into the decision making process – but have you thought about whether to go for a crossbreed or a pedigree?


‘Crossbreed’ and ‘pedigree’ are commonly understood terms when describing the umbrellas that particular dog breeds fall under, but not many people understand what this status means for the dog’s health, personality, etc. overall.


So, what are the differences between pedigrees and crossbreeds – and do these differences really matter?


What Does It Mean?


For those who aren’t clear on the meaning of the terms, ‘crossbreed’ and ‘pedigree’ are just words to describe the genetic make-up of a particular pup.


Pedigree dogs are pure-bred dogs whose parents are both of the same breed, usually born in the care of specialised breeders and registered with a recognised pedigree such as the Kennel Club. The Kennel Club currently recognises over 200 breeds of dog as being pedigree breeds – just half the number of breeds recognised worldwide by the RSPCA.


A crossbreed dog is a dog with two pedigree parents of different breeds. Many crossbreed dogs are the result of unintentional breeding between two domestically owned dogs, though the majority of cross-bred dogs these days are born to certified breeders.


What To Expect From A Pedigree


If you decide to go for a pedigree pup, you can be fairly certain of some of their physical traits and personality quirks. For example, have you ever noticed that the majority of pure-bred Labradors look extremely similar and share very similar personalities?


Pedigree dogs are only ever inheriting the traits and looks of one particular breed, so there are likely to be far less differences in their physical characteristics and basic personality traits, as much of this will be down to instinct. However, pedigrees are just as influenced by their surroundings and upbringings as crossbreeds, so you’ll still never get two pedigrees of the same breed that look and behave exactly the same.


Pedigrees are likely the better option for first time owners or those that want to know what to expect from their new pup or have certain desired characteristics. For example, pure-bred Whippets are generally extremely fast, pure-bred Border Collies are generally very intelligent, etc.


What To Expect From A Cross-Breed


When it comes to cross-bred pups, nothing is exactly guaranteed!


Like humans, each pup will inherit certain traits from their parents, but there’s no telling which traits that might be. In the same way that two siblings from the same parents could look completely different, no two pups from a cross-breed litter will be physically the same.


Owners looking to bring home a certain crossbreed pup for aesthetic reasons should keep in mind that there’s no guaranteeing what your dog will look like as it grows up. For example, a ‘Puggle’ (Beagle and Pug cross) might grow up to be the size of a Beagle but with a Pug’s trademark flat features, or it may grow up to have a short body and legs with a hound’s face. That said, owners should not, of course, be choosing dogs based entirely on aesthetics to begin with – it should always be based on the breed whose characteristics suit your household the best.


Do Crossbreeds Suffer More Health Problems?


Crossbreeds in general don’t inherently suffer more health problems than pedigrees, though some crossbreeds are more at risk than others.


For example, a Bullpug – a Bulldog and Pug cross – is taking on the characteristics and general health of two of the most at-risk breeds, meaning that they are naturally more likely to suffer from health conditions. It’s cases like this that generally lead to the criticism in the rise of ‘designer dogs’, in which two ill-matched breeds are mixed to the detriment of the resulting puppy.


However, many crossbreeds are just as healthy as the two pedigrees that make up their genetics. Popular crossbreeds such as Cockapoos and Labradoodles can be expected to live lives just as long, as happy and as healthy as their pedigree counterparts.


Which Is Right For Me?


There’s no telling exactly whether a crossbreed or pedigree is right for you without deciding on a particular breed, as all crossbreeds and pedigrees differ from dog to dog.


Here at Rosewood Pets, we breed both. Our pedigree pooches include Daschunds, Whippets and Labradors, whilst we also breed and care for adorable crossbreed Schnoodles and Cockapoos. We’ve bred and shown dogs to a very high standard for over 35 years, treating each and every pup as a member of the Rosewood family from birth, until they find their forever home.


If you’d like any more information on any of the adorable puppies available here at Rosewood, take a look at the individual breed’s page here on our site or contact us directly today!

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