With a pedigree as long as his tail, you might expect the pure-bred pooch to trounce his mongrel cousin in an IQ test.
But it seems that all that breeding may be for nothing. For when it comes to intelligence, scientists say the crossbreed wins, paws down.
Researchers who tested dozens of dogs found that mongrels have superior spatial awareness and are better at solving problems.
Their abilities mean they would be well-suited to working for the police, for the blind, and as sheepdogs.
And those tempted to spend hundreds on a pedigree pup should take note. It could be that these skills also make crossbreeds better pets.
The Aberdeen University researchers put the dogs through a series of tests designed to rate their abilities out of 30.
In one test, a bone was covered with a tin to assess whether the dogs were intelligent enough to realise it still existed.
In another, they had to find their way through a maze.
Top dog was a collie-spaniel cross called Jet, which scored full marks.
Joint second came a labrador-collie cross, a labrador-golden retriever cross, a Jack Russell-cocker spaniel cross, a German shepherd-labrador cross, and a lhasa apso-poodle cross.
The crossbreed also did better overall, with an average score of 20 - two points higher than the pedigrees.
In fact, seven out of the top ten were crossbreeds.
Researcher Dr David Smith said: "Being a purebred does not improve the intelligence, and our tests showed that a number of cross-bred dogs actually scored higher than pedigrees.
He suggested that it might be wise for the police to consider training crossbreeds, rather than relying on pedigree German shepherds.
"Crossbreeding a German shepherd with a rottweiler, for instance, would produce as good a police dog as a pure-bred German shepherd," he added.
There is another downside to the pedigree animal. They can be susceptible to medical problems that arise from inbreeding.
For example, German shepherds are vulnerable to hip injuries which may cut short their working lives.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is already certain of mongrels' value. It breeds more 1,000 animals a year to train as guide dogs.
Matthew Bottomley, breeding manager for the charity, said: 'We are finding that, statistically, crossbreeds make better guide dogs.
About 45 per cent of the dogs we now produce are crossbreeds and we are planning to produce more in the coming years.
About 80 per cent of the crossbreeds currently become guide dogs compared with 65 per cent of pure-bred dogs.
We will always produce purebred dogs because some of our clients still want them.
But crossing breeds definitely makes for a good mix in terms of adaptability and temperament."