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What do the generations represent (F1, F1b, F2, F2b, etc.)?


These are nomenclatures that identify the generation and pedigree of hybrid dog breeds. The most common values you'll see are:
  • P = Purebred: E.g., AKC-registered Golden Retriever or Poodle
          These dogs are 100% of their breed

  • F1 = First Generation Hybrid: The result of breeding two different purebred dogs
            These dogs are 50% of each breed

  • F2 = Second Generation Hybrid: The result of breeding two F1 hybrids
            These dogs are 50% of each breed

  • F3 = Third Generation Hybrid: The result of breeding two F2 hybrids
            These dogs are 50% of each breed

  • F1b = First Generation Backcrossed: An F1 hybrid bred back to a purebred
              These dogs are 75% of the backcrossed breed and 25% of the other

  • F2b = Second Generation Backcrossed: An F2 hybrid bred back to a purebred
              These dogs are 75% of the backcrossed breed and 25% of the other

  • F1bb = First Generation Double-Backcrossed: An F1b hybrid bred back to a purebred
                These dogs are 87.5% of the backcrossed breed and 12.5% of the other

  • F1bbb = First Generation Triple-Backcrossed: An F1bb hybrid bred to a purebred
                  These dogs are 93.75% of the backcrossed breed and 6.25% of the other

  • Multi = Multi-Generation: These are an F3 or higher bred with another F3 or higher
                 This nomenclature is not specific and could include a variety of ratios

Keep in mind that the breed % does not necessarily directly correlate to the attributes of the dog; cross-bred (hybrid) dogs will almost always maintain traits of both breeds and individual puppies will pick up some traits more than others. That said, the backcrossing will generate a higher likelihood of picking up more genes of the backcrossed breed.
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