Adopting an Adult Dog

Catherine Forman
March 28, 2006

Adopting a Mutt mixed breed light brown dog in shopping cartSo 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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October 27, 2011

I recently got my husband a 2 1/2 year old Red Merle Blue Heeler for his birthday. His previous master had passed away a few months before. This sweet little boy has won our hearts forever!

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5 Questions

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August 7, 2009

I would like information, on a Shih tzu dog, 5 years of age. A lady that has to move to another state is giving him to me in a week. Will this dog take to me, being that he has been with this family for 5 years? Thanks for any info.

By Darlene from Sharpsburg, GA


August 7, 20090 found this helpful

Most dogs will; it may just take some time. My mother takes in animals like that. She has an old rat terrier from a neighbor that died recently, the poor pup was 12yrs old, and got used to her quick! He treats her now just like he always lived with her. She said he would pace and look for the original owner, and she always made sure that the only time he was outside, was in the fence, where he couldn't leave.


It just takes time and patience on your part. Hoping it works out, and that you will have a loving new friend soon!

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August 8, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you so much, I feel much more secure, and better about this. I really appreciate the feedback. God bless.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
August 8, 20090 found this helpful

Fatboyslimsmom hit the nail on the head with what she wrote. You shouldn't have any problem with the dog acceptiing you. The first few months or (if you're lucky) weeks the main problem you'll have is he'll miss is other family. But with love and patience and understanding, which I get the feeling you are overflowing with, you'll both do fine.


Just be sure and not let him outside without a fence or a leash. And even in a fence for a couple of weeks I'd be out there with him so be sure he doesn't try to dig or climb his way out. Or squeeze out around the gate. But with a 5 yr old Shih tzu you've got many years coming of love and devotion on both your parts.

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August 11, 20090 found this helpful

Lucky you! Shitzus are very nice dogs. I would love to have another. I adopted one and he was a love, but my son's girlfriend fell in love with "Butch" (and he with her) that I finally gave him up to her. Anyway, lots of treats, patience and time. He will mourn, but you can win him over.

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December 2, 2010

I am adopting a 5-8 yrs old Poodle mix. The owner told me that he is a good dog, but pees sometimes at night. He also bites me when I want him to do something that he doesn't like. I have never owned a dog. Is that normal?

By newdog from Orlando, FL


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December 2, 20100 found this helpful

What things are you are wanting the dog to do that causes it to snap at you? Talk to the previous owner and find out what they do in handling the dog to do certain things. It may be distrustful of you depending on how long you've owned this dog.


If you are wanting to shampoo or do toenail clipping, a lot of dogs either do not like water or hate to have their toenails cut. In this case, buy a muzzle for it when you are grooming the dog.

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June 15, 2008

Scruffy is less than a year and is all American! The little guy just showed up one day three weeks ago.

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