Purebred vs. Mutt: Adopting the Best Dog for You
When you’re looking to adopt a new furry family member, you may wonder whether you should purchase a purebred dog or find a mixed breed. If you need a little help deciding, here is how to choose the best cute canine for you.
Choosing a Breeder or Shelter
Of course, before you even consider which type of dog you want, you need to think about where you want to get your pup. Purebred dogs end up in shelters just like mixed breed pups, but certain breeds are likely to go quickly. If you want both a purebred and a shelter dog, you just have to wait for one to come along. A breed-specific rescue is always a good choice if you’re looking for a dog to adopt that is a certain breed, but even then, don’t get in a hurry. It could be one day, or it could be years, it takes time to find the right dog for you.
If you do want a purebred, some organizations specialize in adopting out full-blooded dogs. To find an organization or even a purebred up for adoption in your area, you can use PetFinder. This website focuses on matching dogs to new forever-owners.
If you want to adopt a mutt, you’re in luck can easily find one in several locations. Shelters, rescue organizations, and even newspapers have listings for dogs that are either free or have low adoption fees. One benefit of adopting from a shelter is that the dog will be spayed or neutered and up-to-date on its shots.
Considering Health Issues
You may have heard that purebred dogs are unhealthy and are prone to suffer from genetic disorders when compared to mixed breed dogs. Unfortunately, this statement is more-or-less true. Some dog breeds are more inclined to suffer from genetic disorders, which compound when you breed two of the same type of dog. This practice increases the chance they’ll get diseases prone to their breed.
Recent studies have shown that purebreds are 42% more likely to suffer from genetic disorders compared to mixed breeds. Specifically, some purebred dogs suffer from the following:
- Aortic stenosis: narrowing of the large blood vessels of the heart
- Dilated cardiomyopathy: enlarged heart
- Elbow dysplasia: developmental abnormalities of the elbow joint
- Intervertebral Disc Disease: disc problems where material escapes into the spinal column
- Hypoadrenocorticism/Addison’s Disease: lower production of hormones
- Atopy/allergic dermatitis: higher tendency to develop allergic conditions such as rhinitis, asthma, and eczema
- Bloat: stomach unnaturally fills with gas, food, or fluid, causing it to expand
- Cataracts: focal or diffuse opacity of the normally transparent lens
- Epilepsy: brain disorder that causes dogs to have sudden, uncontrolled, recurring physical attacks or seizures
- Portosystemic shunt: a bypass of the liver by the body’s circulatory system
Mixed breeds are slightly more likely (4%) to suffer from a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament, which is when the stabilizers in a dog’s knee rupture and cause issues walking, running, and moving in general. Both purebreds and mixed breeds suffer from other common dog diseases equally. However, if a pup is highly likely to develop a disease, know that the likelihood will increase when two are bred together. Remember Punnett squares from high school biology?
Benefits of a Purebred
You may be more likely to receive a particular personality when you get a purebred. Most of these dogs are bred so they have a particular temperament, coat, exercise needs, and other characteristics that are optimal for some people. For mutts, what you see is what you get, and some factors are undeterminable, especially if you get a puppy. Breeds may have specific traits that help with exercise, vision and hearing, and several types of mental disorders, such PTSD and autism. This fact doesn’t mean that mixed breeds cannot have these protections, but purebreds are designed to have them. Finally, you’ll also know exactly how large a purebred dog will get, which can be an important factor for some people.
Benefits of a Mixed Breed
We’ve already covered that mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds due to their diverse genetic pool. Mixed breeds also historically have better temperaments compared to purebreds. For example, Border Collies may be more focused and intense whereas a Border Collie mix may be more playful. Additionally, you may get an entirely unique dog. Outside the mutt’s own litter, you’ll probably never see the exact same combination in another dog. Mixed breeds are wonderful because they’re all different colors, sizes, and shapes. Plus, we can’t deny the fact that a mixed breed will be much, much cheaper.