It seems like everyone owns a Labradoodle these days – so is it the most popular hybrid dog? Not according to a recent survey between Farmers Insurance, one of the nation’s largest multiline insurer groups, and Pets Best Insurance Services (Pets Best), a leading U.S. pet insurance brand. The companies recently revealed the list of the top five hybrid dog breeds based on a review of more than 140,000 dog policies.
Is one of these breeds right for you?
Farmers and Pets Best encourage potential pet owners to do their research before adding a pet to the family. A pet’s size, temperament, and exercise needs are among the things potential pet owners should consider and be realistic about, to have the best chance at happiness for both the pet and their owners.
Below are detailed descriptions of the top five hybrid dog breeds from Dr. Eva Evans, Veterinary Advisor for Pets Best. For more information about Farmers pet insurance, visit the Farmers’ website or contact a local Farmers agent today.
#1 – Australian Shepherd and Border Collie (Border-Aussie)
Dr. Evans explains that this combination makes for highly intelligent, agile dogs. These individual breeds are known for herding livestock. As a result, these dogs excel at farm work. They require plenty of exercise to run and play and need constant stimulation in order to avoid boredom.
An example of this hybrid is Pets Best member Jackson. His owner Daniel S. of Virginia calls him “The Mayor” because he’s always making new friends. Daniel says the 4-year-old dog is a fun-loving social dog. He likes to poke his head inside strollers and kiss babies.
#2 – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and French Bulldog (Royal Frenchel)
According to Dr. Evans, Cavaliers have a high rate of heart disease, while French Bulldogs struggle with obesity and breathing difficulties. However, when the breeds are combined their health issues are minimized.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and French Bulldog hybrid is known for their smart, laid-back personality. Because of their friendly, sweet nature, they can be a perfect family dog. They are also skilled athletes as seen in Pets Best member, Rex.
“To say he is athletic is an understatement. He can be the fastest dog in the park, his vertical leap is about 5 feet, and he climbs trees to get balls,” said owner Pamela N.
#3 – Border Collie and Whippet (Border Whippets)
Dr. Evans mentions these individual breeds are known for their athleticism so this dog will need plenty of exercise. Another plus is the shorter hair of the Whippet will likely be expressed in the combination and may shed less than a Border Collie. Because these breeds tend to be high-strung and easily agitated, Dr. Evans advises that this dog may not be a good choice for children.
Pets Best member, Zeal, is an active 3-year-old Border Collie and Whippet hybrid, who is also a proud member of the Pawbusters Flyball Team in Michigan and excels at flyball. According to her owner Cindy P., Zeal is the ultimate athlete and enjoys Frisbee, Whippet racing, and loves to swim.
#4 – Labrador Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog (Labernese)
According to Dr. Evans, both breeds are generally good with kids and strangers, so this dog makes a good family pet. However, these breeds tend to suffer from hip and joint disease. They need a lot of room to run and play. With their big size and long hair, they also need regular grooming.
Pets Best member, Buddy, is a large but lovable 20-month-old puppy of this hybrid. His owner Charles R. calls him “Big Goofy” because he weighs 100 pounds and thinks he’s a Yorkie. He is a playful puppy who likes to climb on people’s laps, despite his large size.
“Buddy is large and in charge and is friendly with everyone no matter if they are human, dog or cat,” said Charles.
#5 – German Shepherd and Poodle (Shepadoodle)
Dr. Evans says that the interesting combination of German Shepherd and Poodle makes for an athletic dog. She also notes that both breeds make excellent guard dogs, but due to that they may not be friendly with strangers who visit the house. German Shepherds tend to have back and hip problems and are prone to cancer. However, this combination will reduce hip and back issues, but bloat can still be a concern with these dogs.
One example of this hybrid is Pets Best member, Tommy. His owner, Cezie J. shares that her 6 year-old-old Tommy likes to swim yet is gentle and “loves to cuddle.”