Heinz 57 Dog Breed [What Are They and Why They Are Great]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

You may have seen the Heinz 57 dog breed, or you may just be hearing about it.

With such a unique name, many might be curious to know more about this breed of dog and how it came about.

In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about the Heinz 57 dogs, from their history to their temperament, and everything in between.

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Dear Dog Owner

What is a Heinz 57 Dog Breed? Heinz 57 Dog Meaning

The Heinz 57 dog breed is a diverse mix of many different breeds of dogs, and because of this, they can vary widely in terms of appearance and temperament.

This breed has been around for a long time and all purebred dogs are in fact thought to be descendants of them.

Due to their complicated lineage and unknown genetic background, this particular breed is not categorized and has not been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

To me though, embracing the Heinz 57 concept is a celebration of the beauty and charm found in the delightful unpredictability of mixed-breed dogs.

Heinz Dog: Why Are They Named This Way?

The term Heinz 57 is actually slang that came to prominence probably sometime in the 1970s.

It comes from the popular brand of ketchup made by the H. J. Heinz Company which used this number in its slogan – Heinz 57 Varieties.

Supposedly, there were 57 varieties of products that the company made, which included baked beans, sweet mustard pickles, and Beefsteak Sauce, among many others.

So it became a playful expression to describe a mixed breed dog this way since their makeup is often of many different varieties of dog breeds.

Officially though, they are known in many different ways throughout the world.

In the USA, mixed breed is the officially accepted term, while mutt and All-American dogs are also commonly used.

The term mongrel is frowned upon and considered insulting, but in contrast, this is the widely accepted term in the UK and its colonies (including former colonies).

Over in Brazil, they are mostly known as vira-lata (trash-can tipper).

Lots of other names have been given to this often misunderstood dog, including cur, tyke, pavement special, Pot Cakes, and random-bred dogs.

Learn something new: List of dogs that are good with guinea pigs

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Why is the Heinz 57 Dog Unique?

All dogs have individual personalities just like us humans, so why not mutts too?

Purebred dogs typically display little variances in appearance, although they have distinct personalities.

However, every mixed-breed dog is unique.

No two dogs look exactly alike, even if you do see similar ones.

Heinz 57 dogs are among the cutest and sweetest dogs you will ever find.

They are essentially the result of the love of two different purebreds, or occasionally two mixed breeds.

The genetics of these mutts, which combine the beauty of two breeds, make them far more genetically diverse than their parents.

What is the Physical Appearance of a Heinz 57 Dog Breed?

A mutt is a mix of two or more breeds.

The term “mutt” is often used to describe dogs that have no breed identification, but that’s not always true.

For example, a dog with one breed in its background (such as a Labradoodle) is still considered a mutt by some standards.

It is often observed that mutts tend to be larger and heavier than the average purebred dog.

They may also have longer or shorter snouts than their purebred counterparts—again, depending on their background.

In general, they can look like pretty much anything!

What Are the Characteristics of Heinz 57 Dogs?

Again, there is really no hard and fast rule that can help to put these unique dogs in a particular description box, but there are some general characteristics that are common in most Heinz 57 dogs.

  • They are usually medium to large in size, with a short to medium coat
  • They can be any color or combination of colors
  • Heinz 57 dogs are usually friendly and good with children
  • They are also usually intelligent and easy to train
  • Like all dogs, they need plenty of exercise and socialization

Do Mutts Make Good Household Pets? Reasons to Get One

Do Mutts Make Good Household Pets

Heinz 57s are also known for their strong herd instinct and this means they will usually try to get along with other animals in the home, but they can be territorial if they feel threatened.

Mutts are not particularly aggressive toward humans but may respond aggressively if provoked, just like many other pure-breed dogs.

Overall, the Heinz 57 dog is a gentle and friendly breed that makes a great family pet, and here are a few more compelling reasons.

Budget-friendly and readily available

Mutts are often very affordable animals to adopt, and they can be easily found in many shelters and rescues.

And because of this, you will find that the cost of getting a mutt compared to buying a purebred from a breeder is much, much lower.

Many people have even rescued strays themselves, so if you’re looking for a pet that doesn’t come with an expensive price tag, this is your best bet.

Plus, if you want to adopt a dog but don’t want to wait for one to be born, you can always search for one at your local shelter or rescue organization.

These organizations typically have lots of animals waiting for homes!

Healthier than purebreds

It’s a common misconception that mutts are less healthy than purebreds.

In fact, many people believe that mutts are healthier than purebreds because they have not been bred specifically to have certain traits or characteristics.

Mutts are not subject to the same scrutiny in terms of breeding—which means that their genetic makeup is much more diverse than that of purebreds.

This can actually be beneficial for the health of your pet because it means there’s less chance of developing an inherited condition that could cause serious health problems down the road.

If you are keen to learn more, do some research on hybrid vigor.

Easy to train

Dogs that are purebred have been bred for certain jobs like herding, hunting, or guarding.

These characteristics can frequently turn into an issue unless the owner has a particular need for the benefits that a purebred dog delivers.

For example, if their high activity needs are not regularly addressed, dogs who were bred for outside activities are prone to become frustrated, resulting in behavioral issues.

If you’re looking for a dog that’s easy to train, then a mutt might be the right choice for you!

Most people who adopt a mutt are looking for an animal that is loving, friendly, and playful—and it turns out that these characteristics make them pretty easy to train.

As long as you have patience and consistency in your training methods, there’s no reason why you can’t teach your mutt to walk on a leash or sit when asked.

They make wonderful service dogs

I guess most people associate only Golden Retrievers and Labradors to be service dogs, but this cannot be further from the truth.

It’s just that the bulk of working dogs who have graduated from an organization over the past few decades have been Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, or German Shepherds.

This holds true for other working dogs too, including police dogs and detector dogs, in addition to service and assistance dogs.

However, The dog’s disposition, trainability, and physical capacity for the task at hand are what really count, and rescues have shown a great propensity to take on this kind of job.

There are even organizations that specialize in using mutts, such as Medical Mutts.

What is the Difference Between Crossbreed and Mixed Breed Dogs?

A crossbreed is a dog that has been bred from two different purebred parents.

For example, a Pomeranian Chow Chow mix would be considered a crossbreed because it is the result of breeding two purebreds.

On the other hand, a mixed-breed dog is one that neither belongs to a particular recognized breed nor was created through carefully monitored and documented purposeful breeding.

It will have at least one parent that is not of a pedigree or purebred animal.

Why Do People Not Like Mixed-breed Dogs?

Some people don’t like mixed-breed dogs because they think that you can’t tell what the dog will look like when it’s grown up.

They think that mixed breeds are unpredictable and could be any number of different things.

Other people don’t like mixed breeds because they think they’re not “purebred”, making them second best.

And another reason could be that people think that mixed-breed dogs are less intelligent than purebreds because they don’t know what kind of dog they might be.

But this isn’t true at all!

Mixed breeds are just as smart as any other type of dog, and in some cases even smarter.

In fact, many mixed breeds have received awards for their intelligence and obedience in competitions.

How Can I Help Mixed-breed Dogs?

Mixed-breed dogs are often neglected by shelters because they do not have a breed, but this does not mean that these dogs should be overlooked.

If you are interested in adopting a dog, you should consider adopting a Heinz 57 puppy from a dog rescue.

Mixed-breed dogs have unique personalities and traits that make them wonderful pets.

They also tend to be healthier than purebreds and are more likely to live longer because of their diverse gene pool.

Other ways you can help is to spread awareness through your own social channels and encourage other prospective dog owners to consider adopting from a shelter or rescue.

It’s unbelievable, but over 3 million dogs are sent there each year!

How Can I Identify the Breed of My Heinz 57 Dog?

How Can I Identify the Breed of My Heinz 57 Dog?

It’s really difficult to determine the breeds that make up your Heinz 57 dog as they are not documented and you really don’t know who their parents were.

Plus, their parents were most likely mixed breeds too, adding more complication to the equation.

Luckily, there are readily available DNA testing kits these days, and they can give you the exact breakdown of their ancestry and even tell you about potential health problems that might occur in the future.

You may get the kit from Embark, the leader in such technology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are mongrel dogs healthier?

There is no certainty that mutts will definitely be healthier than pure breeds or crossbreeds, but because they are not linked to specific genetic disorders, and they don’t have a history of inbreeding or poor breeding practices that can cause problems later on in life, they tend to enjoy a healthier life.

Is a mutt better than a purebred?

The answer isn’t black and white. It depends on the dog, the person, and all sorts of other factors. You need to consider what you really want and weigh the pros and cons of having each type of dog. Some might enjoy the unique looks of a mutt, while others might prefer the pedigree behind a pure breed.

How long do Heinz 57 dogs live?

There are no official statistics or data that provide an accurate answer, but a study by the American Animal Hospital Association did find that mixed-breed dogs generally have longer lifespans than purebred dogs.

In Conclusion: Heinz 57 Dog Breed

Now that you know what the Heinz 57 dog breed is, go out and spread the knowledge!

All dogs are equal and each one deserves a good life, so if you are planning to get a new dog or add another one to your family, consider getting a mutt too!

Read other articles about dog breeds here too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!


  1. I liked your article but I had to put you right on the origin of the “57” from Heinz “57”. This originated from early Heinz ads that declared Heinz had “57 varieties” of products for sale! It had nothing to do with “ingredients”!
    And this is how mongrels came to be known as “Heinz dogs” as they had “57 varieties” of dog breeds in their lineage!
    Simple really….!

    • Hey Terence! Thanks for pointing that out! I have edited the post and also added a bit more information about the breed in the FAQ section. Thanks again and I’m glad you like the article 🙂

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