Our friend and mom blogger, Kerry Sauriol from Crunchy Carpets, found herself reflecting on the pros and cons of mutts versus purebreds after reading a Facebook thread discussing the genetics of purebred dogs over mixed breed dogs. She shares her thoughts with us:
Mutts, or mixed breed dogs, are the type of dogs you mostly find at the pound or through rescue groups. I had always gone with the mantra that mixed breed dogs would be healthier since they couldn’t carry the hereditary problems many purebreds face from hip dysplasia, to cancer and other disorders that can affect the various breeds out there. I scoffed at the over-bred dogs with breathing problems and so on. Then my “mutt” died of a type of tumour most common in German Shepherds. Her mixed heritage did nothing to save her.
The person defending purebreds was quite right in her logic: if you are cautious about where you purchase a purebred and have researched the type of dog you are interested in, then you will no doubt have a better chance of at least knowing what to expect than you would with mixed breed dogs. This is true of health and demeanour. If you are a smart shopper when it comes to a purebred dog, you will get what you pay for. Purebreds are bred to be a certain way, physically and mentally. You can assume a Terrier will be high energy. You can assume a Great Dane will be low energy.
With a purebred you will know whether they shed a little or a lot. You will also know their general emotional needs. Does the dog need a job? Most breeds were originally bred for a purpose. Does the dog need constant stimuli? While many traits are trainable, if something is bred into the dog, you won’t have much luck fighting nature.
Mixed breed dogs are just that…a mixed bag of genetics. You have no idea what you are going to get unless you do know the parentage of the dog. Since the majority of mixed breed dogs tend to be rescue dogs, knowing a dog’s genetic history can be highly unlikely. However, you can make judgements based on the look of the dog and what breed that they resemble for a rough idea on how they will behave and what sort of size they will grow into if still a puppy.
It all boils down to doing your homework. Learn about dogs. Learn about dog traits and behaviours. There is no perfect dog…but there are perfect dogs out there for you.