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The Advantages of a Mutt

Catherine Forman

So you'd like to get a dog, but you're not sure what kind. Purebred? Mutt? There are certain advantages to owning a mixed-breed dog, believe it or not.

  1. Mixed-breeds are often healthier. With purebreds, there are certain health problems that are particular to the breed. Mixed-breeds may develop those health problems, but they may escape them thanks to their mixed heritage. Some purebreds have health problems simply due to certain exaggerated breed traits, like short faced dogs with bulging eyes tend to have eyes pop out! A mixed breed may be less likely to experience something like that.

  2. Mixed-breeds can live longer than purebreds. A healthier dog can live longer than a dog that is predisposed to major health issues. Genetic issues that are caused by recessive genes may not show up in a cross-breed thanks to other dominant genes from the parents.

  3. Mixed-breeds often have the best qualities of each parent breed. Look at the popularity of "labradoodles", the personality of a Labrador and the low-shed coat of a Poodle.

  4. A shelter pet will cost less than a purebred pet. Purebred puppies can cost several hundred dollars from a reputable breeder! A shelter pet may come with an adoption fee of a hundred dollars and a coupon for a free neutering.

  5. A shelter pet often knows that you saved them, and will be all the more loving and loyal. It will be rewarding for you too!

As I write this, one of my mutts (a Boxer mix) has just settled down at my side. She has some of the best qualities of Boxers in her, the playful energy, the loyalty, and the intelligence. Looks wise, she has the unmistakable Boxer under bite and the slender Boxer build, but her coloring and other features are all about her other half, Shar Pei. She has a lot of loose skin on the neck, and her forehead crinkles up so cutely. It makes her look like she's thinking really hard.


Shar Peis are known for being a little standoffish to strangers, but in my pup, the aloofness is countered by the Boxer friendliness to give her a great, loving temperament!

By Catherine Forman

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March 28, 20060 found this helpful

I agree with you completely. I have a Purebred Golden Lab and also one mixed breed dog. The mixed breed is so much healthier and with less hangups (such as anxiety, and hypersensitive) as well as is easier to train. I love both of my dogs, but would definitely get a mixed breed again if the opportunity presents itself.

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March 29, 20060 found this helpful

But for those of you who have your heart set on a particular breed, please remember that there are rescue organizations for almost any breed. I have two rescued longhaired dachshunds - both beautiful and well-behaved dogs.

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March 29, 20060 found this helpful

I totally agree. I would never buy a purebred dog. There are to many rescues & wonderful dogs in shelters who might not get another chance. I've had mixed breeds all my life & I've only had a health issue with one. I lost her @ 13 to cancer. The last 1 I had pts was 20 & she was completely healthy up to the last week.

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March 29, 20060 found this helpful

I have had two dogs, one SPCA lab mix for 14 years, with few health and no behavioral problems, and a pedigreed toy poodle who is 15 now, and has a heart condition for which he takes 3 prescriptions. I love them both, but Pookie the rescue poodle has been much more expensive and demanding. If I ever get another dog after Pookie, it will be a heinz.

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April 6, 20060 found this helpful

I like the look and traits of certain breeds but how many of us can say we are purebreed? So with that in mind, I'll probably never own a pure bred pet JMO

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July 4, 20060 found this helpful

We have enjoyed ALL our dogs, but our "Mutts" (capitalized due to respect!) have been healthier and "smarter" that the others. Our first (Penny) made it to 16. Our second (Molly) is healthy and active at 10. Our newest (Hopi-a Jack Russel/Beagle mix or a 'Jack-a-Bee') is a dynamo at 10 weeks!! She seems to have "the best of both sides of the family"!! I hope her picture is with this note!!

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