Can all dogs cross-breed?
November 11, 2004 9:28 AM   Subscribe

So my room-mates and I were having a discussion about Dogs. In particular, cross-breeds. Can all dog breeds mate with all other dog breeds, because they're the same species? Or are some types of dog just too different from each other? Where does my dream of a Great-Dane/Chihuahua cross stand?
posted by Newbornstranger to Pets & Animals (17 answers total)
All domesticated dogs are, as you mention, the same species--canis familiaris--and thus by definition are able to interbreed. My girlfriend has a dog that's supposedly half Pit Bull and half Whippet; depending on which was which, the mother either was really sore the next morning or slept through the whole thing. Your Great Dane/Chihuahua mix is technically possible, if physically problematic.
posted by Acetylene at 9:48 AM on November 11, 2004

I would think the spawn of such a union would not live outside the mother. I have heard of a dachshund trying to birth pups from a large dog. Only one pup was delivered, it had a huge head and it was stillborn. Just anecdotal, of course. I'm no vet.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:53 AM on November 11, 2004

There's a Pit Bull Chihuahua X in my neighbourhood. It permanently looks like a Pit puppy (with the exception of size, it doesn't look Chihuahua at all). Far as I know it's perfectly healthy. He's an amazing dog.
posted by dobbs at 9:56 AM on November 11, 2004

Yes, but not necessarily easily. For a Chihuahua dog to get it on with a Great Dane bitch, he'd need to be on a ladder, probably even the object of his affection was lying down. You could certainly get a breeding with artificial insemination.

You'd almost certainly have to have the bitch be the big dog.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:04 AM on November 11, 2004

You know, I have the feeling ROX_Xenophobe answered this question just so he could use "bitch" a lot in a legitimate context.
posted by Capn at 10:20 AM on November 11, 2004

we have a chihuahua cattle dog mix. if you have an accommodating female and an adventuresome male, anything is possible.

aside from looks (bug looks like a miniature cattle dog) what's interesting how the behaviour differs. he's very much a herding dog and has few chihuahua tendencies. he apes the behaviour of our other chihuahua, but you can see he's somewhat confused by it -- "what's with all this licking?"
posted by heather at 10:36 AM on November 11, 2004

MetaFilter: If you have an accommodating female and an adventuresome male, anything is possible.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 11:16 AM on November 11, 2004

all dogs are the same species, canis familiaris, which is pretty much a neotenous wolf - you could crossbreed a chihuahua with a timber wolf if you were so inclined, and you'd get puppies out of the deal.

(probably funny looking puppies, but puppies nonetheless.)

only reason domestic cats and wild cats look so much alike is that the face doesn't change much from kitten to adult. wolf pups look very different from the adults, lots of facial growth genes that can be modified through selective breeding to give us the weird variety of dogs we have now.

(that and the fact that cats aren't domesticated... they really are wild. only change we've made with cats is to give them a friendlier "meow" through breeding - otherwise they're the same as their wild relatives... dogs on the other hand have much smaller brains than a wolf.)
posted by caution live frogs at 12:06 PM on November 11, 2004

Lots of weird mix breeds on Dogster. Try the advanced search for some fun.
posted by terrapin at 12:11 PM on November 11, 2004

We have a Rottweiler/Beagle mix. He looks like a little Rot with the body shape of a beagle. Pretty funny actually and healthy enough at 14.
posted by karmaville at 12:34 PM on November 11, 2004

I've always wondered what would happen if you crossed a chihuahua and a mastiff. Would you get the world's largest yappy dog, or an unusual focused little dog?

/me pulls out a stepladder, puts on the Barry White, hopes to find out
posted by Captain_Tenille at 1:57 PM on November 11, 2004

"Accommodating female and an adventuresome male" can explain SO many things.

This is Bug, btw, our Red Heeler / Chihuahua mix.
posted by fraying at 3:04 PM on November 11, 2004

Best I've ever seen was Basset Hound/Saint Bernard. Basset body and legs, Saint head and coat.
posted by NsJen at 5:17 PM on November 11, 2004

caution live frogs: wouldn't the natural extension of what you're saying be that it's possible to cross-breed a Siamese and a lion? or a leopard?
posted by bingo at 7:31 PM on November 11, 2004

Two unusual crosses I know:

May Ren rest in Peace. Ren was a Dashund/German Shepherd cross. Ren's mother was the shepherd. Ren had stumpy little legs, a medium size body, shepherd head with one floppy ear and a shepherd tail. The funny thing with Ren was that he had no stomach to rub. He had chest and genitals. Poor boy left funny trails in the snow.

Ren's owners, good friends of mine, own another unusual cross. Maddy is half Black Lab and half Shar Pei. She's all black, even her tongue. She looks like an undersized Lab with a rat like tail. Maddy's got these odd, long hairs sticking out from her otherwise smooth coat. Maddy's wrinkles aren't evident until she perks up her ears. When she does, her face seems to collapse on itself. She's a sweet, sweet dog who is death to chipmunks and rabbits.
posted by onhazier at 6:25 AM on November 12, 2004

We saw a Basset Hound-Lab in the park the other day. Looked like a solid black basset hound.

My beloved, Fanny, is 3/4 English Bulldog, 1/4 Boxer and looks just like you would expect. Long skinny legs on a stocky bulldog body. Boxer coloring with bulldog face.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:33 AM on November 12, 2004

One of our neighbors has a chow-pekinese mix. How the pekinese got busy without being eaten by the chow is still a mystery.
posted by dejah420 at 10:06 AM on November 12, 2004

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