Mixed breed dogs are a mixture of two or more "purebred" dog breeds. These dogs are also known as mongrels or mutts because of their various genetic make-ups. Numerous studies have suggested that mixed breed dogs are healthier than their purebred counterparts. Purebred dogs have a lot of inbreeding in their genetic lines, leading to certain breeds having predispositions to specific illnesses. Mixed breeds are often more intelligent than purebred dogs.
Border Collie/German Shepherd Mix
According to data from 208 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada, the border collie is the most intelligent dog. Border collies typically win in competitions for a wide variety of skills including agility, obedience and sheepdog trials. Border collies can learn up to 250 words. German shepherds are routinely used as police dogs because of their high intelligence and ability to be trained. These protective animals make excellent guard dogs. The German shepherd and border collie mix will be intelligent but will also have a good, even temperament because it will inherit positive traits from both breeds.
Golden Retriever/Standard Poodle Mix
The Golden retriever is the most common dog breed in the United States, partly because of its high intelligence. The Golden retriever is believed to be the fourth most intelligent dog of all the dog breeds. The retriever excels at obedience training, competitions and learning tricks. The Standard poodle is number two on the list of the most intelligent dogs. Poodles are known to be smart, resourceful and can be one of the easiest breeds to train. The Labrador retriever is also on the list of the top 10 intelligent dogs and many breeders have begun to breed these retrievers with poodles, producing a designer breed known as "labradoodles."
Doberman pinschers are an intelligent and brave breed. They are listed as number five on the list of most intelligent dog breeds. Dobermans can also be aggressive and dominant, however, when mixed with another breed, will likely be calmer. Rottweilers have a poor reputation but are actually not particularly aggressive and are very intelligent, listed as number nine on the list of intelligent dog breeds. A doberman and rottweiler mix will be a very intelligent dog. The mix will likely be protective but not aggressive and easily trained.
Australian Cattle Dog/Shetland Sheepdog Mix
Shetland sheepdogs are listed as number six on the intelligence dog list. They were bred, as their name suggests, to herd sheep and cattle by using concentration and intelligence. Australian cattle dogs were also bred to herd cattle and are known to be very smart animals. The cattle dogs are resourceful and independent thinkers. An Australian cattle dog and Shetland sheepdog mix will be an active dog and require physical and mental exercise.