What is a Mixed-breed dog?
Mixed-breed dogs also affectionately called mutts or designer dogs are the pups born as a result of the mating of two non-purebreds. Purebreds are the dogs that have a pedigree, meaning they are registered and are the offspring of two purebreds of the same breed. That is why they have characteristic features, shapes, and colors and can be easily identified.
Mixed-breeds don’t have a pedigree because the mother and father are non-purebreds. Thus they don’t have specific genes. Even experts can’t visually identify the breeds that make up a mixed-breed dog. Only a DNA test can be performed to find out the answer. You might think your dog resembles a particular breed, but chances are you are not guessing right. The reason lies in Biology.
IT ALL LIES IN THE GENES!
So what is the science in all this? Well to understand why a mixed-breed might resemble a breed but would not belong to it, we need to dig into biology. There are two types of genes:
Now the traits in any dog are attributed to these genes. Dominant genes are the ones that outrank the recessive ones. Physical characteristics such as the coat or ears are dominant ones so these can be attributed to a large number of breeds so you can never be sure about the family of your pooch.
Why do people prefer purebreds?
There are multiple recognized dog breeds in the world. Owners are willing to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars to buy a dog from a breeder. So what might be the factors that contribute to the demand of purebreds?
- People want a specific set of traits such as appearance or temperament of a breed
- They think it’s a social requirement to have a purebred to match their class
Although the trend has changed in recent years and people are adopting more dogs specially mixed–breeds from the shelter, there are still almost 670,000 dogs that are euthanized in shelters each year. Among these, the highest percentage is of middle and old aged mixed-breeds.
But what these people don’t realize is that mixed-breeds are amazing. Unlike purebreds, they are unique; each puppy is different from its litter-mates in features and traits. They are a total bundle of joy, some of the cutest mixed-breeds are:
- Bull-boxer pit
REASONS YOU SHOULD GET A MIXED-BREED!
1. THEY ARE HEALTHIER THAN PUREBREDS!
While breeders argue that purebreds are likely to have fewer health issues, studies show that mixed-breeds dogs tend to live longer than purebreds. The prime reason is that they have a lower incidence of genetic diseases because there is little chance that both parents might have the defective gene. Therefore they are less prone to diseases such as hip dysplasia, heart diseases, cancer and many others that are common in specific purebreds.
Other than genetic problems, unethical breeding is also creating severe health problems for purebreds. Breeders breed purebreds to match the set standards of physical appearance and behavior, even if it isn’t good for their health. As a result, many dogs develop health issues due to their body shapes and sizes, such as German Shepherds and bulldogs.
Since mixed-breeds don’t have a standard to match, they are free from such problems. However, that doesn’t mean that your mutt won’t get sick or will never require veterinary assistance. You may still have to get insurance for your dogs whether you get a mixed-breed or a purebred.
2. YOU ARE UP FOR A SURPRISE!
With purebreds, you are well-aware of the temperament of the dog, whether he is suitable for companionship or to be trained as a service dog. But with mutts, you are up for an adventure as you can’t predict their temperament. They might inherit their behavioral traits from any of the various breeds of their parents or ancestors.
However, that doesn’t mean that a mixed-breed dog will pose behavioral problems. The behavior depends upon the training you give your pooch and not only on the genes. It just says that you would never know if your dog would grow up with an instinct for herding or would be a total couch potato.
3. THEY ARE ADORABLE!
Just as you can’t predict your mutt’s behavior, you can’t be too sure about their physical appearance either. The only thing you can guarantee is the cuteness and awesomeness.
When you mate two different dogs, you can’t tell for sure which parent’s size and shape are the pups likely to take after. So you would have to be prepared for the fact that you won’t know how large would your puppy grow.
4. THEY ARE MORE ADAPTABLE THAN PUREBREDS
The best thing about mixed-breeds is that they are flexible. Purebreds demand a particular lifestyle, but mutts are quite laid-back.
At times people plan on giving up their dogs because they are going through a significant life change such as moving to another metropolis and they think their dog won’t be able to adapt. Well, mixed-breeds can adjust to your life-changing decisions.
5. YOU WON’T HAVE TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY
Like I mentioned earlier buying a purebred can cost you thousands of dollars and that is only the initial investment. Raising these dogs costs even more as you have to bear the expenses of frequent grooming sessions.
Mutts in this respect are much better as they are affordable; the initial adoption fee is low. Furthermore, the shelters offer free spaying/neutering surgeries and the first visit to the vet is also free of charges.
6. YOU DON’T NEED TO TRAIN THEM
Although most people want to adopt puppies as they want to witness all moments of their pooch when he is growing up, a lot of people don’t have the time or patience for it.
Well, the best solution is to get a pooch from the shelter. Most mixed-breeds at the shelter already have lived in other homes, and so they are already house-trained. That is a major plus point as it saves you the time and energy required to train a puppy.
7. ADOPT – DON’T – SHOP
There are so many homeless mutts who are in need of loving homes; it is unfair to give up on them because of stereotypes. Also if we adopt a dog, it would free up resources and space in shelters thus making up space for another poor soul in need of help.
Getting a mixed-breed gives you this chance of saving a life. I know so many people who adopted a mixed-breed and felt a sense of lasting satisfaction. Open your door for a mixed-breed and you’ll experience the positive energy and unconditional love they can bring into your lives.
8. THEY ARE UNIQUE!
While all dogs are different from each other, mixed-breeds are the most amazing as they are unique. They make you play a guessing game, and you can never be sure about the breed of your pooch. The unpredictability and surprises make them all the more exciting.
An added advantage of getting a mutt is that you don’t have to search for the perfect one on the entire planet. These dogs are waiting in the nearest shelters for you to give them a fur-ever home. And they are all perfect in their ways so isn’t that a win-win.
9. THEY ARE ALL-ROUNDERS
The reason people begin breeding was that they wanted a specific set of characteristics and nothing different in a dog. But what if you want a buddy that loves to swim and also hike? A pooch who is a great companion but also has good guarding instincts; well a mutt is a complete package.
Since they are the offspring of different breeds, they have a combination of the various qualities that purebreds have. Now times have changed and mixed-breeds can be registered as service dogs and can take part in competitions as well, so there is nothing that could make them any less than a purebred.
10. THEY MAKE YOU FALL IN LOVE
People who visit shelters just to meet new dogs instantly fall in love with mixed-breeds. All dogs are cute, but there is something about a mixed-breed that melts your heart. Most of them have had abusive pasts or have been disheartened because their owners gave up on them, and thus your unconditional love makes them the happiest.
I bet after reading all these excellent reasons you won’t have any confusions about adopting a mixed-breed. Unarguably, all dogs are affectionate and loyal pets, so why should we deprive mixed-breeds of our love and care based on stereotypes. Give them a chance, and you’ll see how they fill your home with happiness. Don’t base your decision of adopting a purebred or a mixed-breed on mere assumptions. Do your research, visit a shelter if possible and then decide what kind of a dog will suit your family.
Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.