Purebred and Crossbred: What’s the difference?

Updated: Jun 15

‘Purebred’ dogs are one of the 213 breeds that are recognised by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC). The ANKC lists the ‘breed standard’ for each of these, describing what the breed should look like and characteristics breeders should select for.

‘Crossbred’ dogs are any dog which is a genetic mix between two or more other breeds. Crossbreeds, also known as ‘Developmental Breeds’, are not recognised by the ANKC but have become extremely popular.

Why RightPaw lists both

Both purebred and crossbred dogs can make ideal family pets! The choice about whether to get a traditional breed or a developmental breed is a personal one and RightPaw supports owners and breeders either way.

At RightPaw, we believe that responsibility can exist across all breeds - both pure-bred and cross-bred. We want to bring transparency to the whole landscape, and promote great breeders who engage in responsible practices across health, behaviour, socialisation and more. All our breeders are verified independently by our team and against our Code of Ethics, developed by breeders and vets together. We believe it's important to provide this transparency, and help all potential puppy owners on their search.

Some of our breeders will be experienced, ANKC registered breeders who are passionate about a specific breed and developing their lines for the show ring. Others will be breeding a variety of crossbred dogs with a focus on creating a diverse array of family-friendly puppies.

Whilst all dogs are unique individuals, purebred dogs tend to be more predictable in terms of general personality, size, grooming requirements, and health predispositions. This can be an advantage if you would like to know more precisely what your puppy will be like as an older dog. Crossbred dogs will show much more variability in appearance, especially adult size, coat colour and texture. They have the advantage of being less likely to be affected by diseases that may be recessive and carried by one parent of one breed, but not by the other. RightPaw encourages health testing of all dogs, whether they are a traditional or developmental breed.

Whatever breed you ultimately select, it is important to consider the personality traits, exercise, grooming and health requirements your dog is likely to have, and make sure these fit well into your family’s lifestyle. Remember you are selecting a new family member who will be with you for the next 10-15 years, so it is important to consider whether the breed you are thinking about will be a good match for you.