So, you have decided to bring home a furry friend, but perhaps you are grappling with whether you should adopt from a shelter or rescue, or if you should purchase a purebred that you have had your eye on from your local breeder. Naturally, many people find themselves gravitating towards wanting a specific breed. However, there are many reasons why bringing home a mixed-breed dog or mutt can be advantageous. Let’s take a moment to examine the pros and cons of mutts vs purebreds.
Without question, compared to purebred dogs, mutts cost much less for you to bring home. This is unless we are talking about a specific mixed breed dog that was crossed to create a new breed, such as a Puggle or a Chiweenie for example. Purchasing a purebred puppy definitely comes with a very expensive price tag.
The best place for you to pick out a mutt is at your local animal shelter. In this case, you will only need to pay the adoption fee, and spay/neuter and vaccination fees. Aside from the low cost, the best part about adopting a mutt at your local shelter is knowing that you saved a life. Taking this a step further, you are providing an empty space for the next homeless pet that desperately needs help.
Infectious Disease Factor
With that being said, one aspect to consider in making your choice is that if you are getting a mutt from a shelter, he or she has likely been exposed to more infectious illnesses than a dog coming from a respectable breeder. This could turn out being a good or a bad thing.
One possibility is that you could end up adopting a dog that needs special veterinary care. However, the other possibility is that the mutt you adopt has a strengthened immune system because of his mixed genes, and he has the ability to fend off the illnesses he has been exposed to.
Because mutts are mixed with several different breeds, they are far less likely to have a high level of one specific gene from a particular breed. As a result, most mixed breed dogs have less of a chance of having specific hereditary conditions which may include hip dysplasia, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Knowing What to Expect
Logically, if you are getting a mixed-breed puppy, you are taking a risk as to what exactly you are getting. This is the main argument of those who side on buying a purebred canine. For example, it may be difficult to determine whether your mutt puppy is going to grow up to be a small or a large dog.
Breeders can let you know what to expect regarding how big the dog is going to get, how it is going to behave, and how healthy it should be. Some breeders even take things a step further by matching their dogs according to their genetic test results. This is done to avoid the possibility of the puppies receiving particular genes from the parents that predispose them to certain diseases.
On the other hand, many people prefer mixed breed dogs because they may be far less likely to become a product of inbreeding, such as might occur with purebreds. Although this may be true, this does not mean that a mixed breed dog will always have better health as a result.
If you choose a purebred dog, educate yourself on its particular history. Many purebred dogs have been used to carry out specific tasks, such as hunting or guarding for example, and it is in their very nature to perform these tasks. For example, if you are just looking for a lap dog, and you buy a purebred that is known for its love of fast running, you would be better off adopting a mutt. Mutts have the tendency to be more easygoing and more adaptable to their family’s way of life.
The Bottom Line
Is a mutt the right choice, or a purebred? It all comes down to what is personally important to you and your family. If saving a life is your main goal, then your choice is clear-adopting a mutt from your local shelter or rescue. However, if your heart tells you that bringing home a purebred is what you want, then, by all means, find a respectable breeder. In either case, making sure your choice does not support puppy mills is a step in the right direction.
What type of dog do you have a mutt or a purebred?