Whether you call them mutts, “Heinz-57s” or mongrels, mixed-breed dogs are truly something special. Understandably, purebred dogs are a big deal to many people. With well over 100 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, there is basically a breed to suit any lifestyle and personality. However, there are millions of mixed breed dogs that die in animal shelters each year because there are no homes available. Before you buy your next purebred dog, consider the magic a mixed-breed dog can bring into your life. I would not trade my mutt for the world - she’s the best thing to ever happen to me. Just remember, as with anything, there are ups and downs to consider.
One-Of-A-KindEach mixed-breed dog is unique. Even if you meet a similar dog, no two are quite the same. Yes, even purebred littermates are genetically unique, but your mixed-breed dog truly stands alone. It can be fun guessing the breed origins of your mutt. If you really need to know, ask your vet about easy, affordable DNA testing which can identify up to three breeds. Your mixed-breed dog will hold a special place in your heart – you will never find another quite the same.
Worth the GambleMixed-breed dogs do not come with a list of hereditary problems. This is not to say your mutt will be perfect, but mixed breed dogs are less likely to possess breed-specific hereditary heath and behavioral problems. If your dog is a Labrador mix, she could still have hip dysplasia, but it may be less severe because the breed is basically “diluted.” A Chow mix may be less likely to have aggression problems than a purebred (though not all Chow Chows are aggressive). Though any dog may have serious hereditary problems, it really seems worth the risk to get a mutt. However, while the mystery of a mutt can be exciting, it is important to prepare yourself for a few surprises along the way.
Whether you decide to get a mutt or a purebred, please know there is no right or wrong. Follow your heart. However, if your heart says to save even one of those darling mixed-breed dogs from homelessness – good for you! If you cannot decide between purebred and mutt, consider one of each if your lifestyle is fit for more than one dog. No matter what type of dog your choose, your life will be forever changed!