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Articles > Dogs

Purebred Versus Mixed Breed

Topic: Is a dog right for me?

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Filed under Dogs
Tags: Breeding, Family Breeds

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When choosing a dog, it is very important to consider if a purebred or a mixed breed dog is the best choice for you and your family. Since most breeders are staunch supporters of their particular breed or breeds of dogs, remember that these individuals will almost universally advise on a purebred - particularly of their breed - as the best option when purchasing a dog. Reputable breeders will, however, let you know if they don't think that the breed is right for you and your family, based on your requirements or lifestyle routines. They may even choose not to sell a puppy for those reasons.

There are many myths and misunderstandings that have developed over the years, with regards to the age old debate of purebred versus mixed breed. One of the most common myths is that mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds, because of genetic problems with purebreds. It is true that in some lines the practice of inbreeding, or breeding blood related dogs was used many generations ago to build certain characteristics, and to develop breeding stock in rare or unusual breeds. This practice is no longer used by reputable breeders, and most of the genetic problems that occurred in the inbreeding in these few breeds and lines is slowly being bred out of the dogs. In addition, purebred breeders will typically have their dogs checked by a vet before breeding, to ensure there are no health conditions or genetic issues within the dogs prior to breeding. There are now special registries for both eye and hip health, to ensure that breeders are using only genetically sound breeding stock.

Mixed breeds are typically not health checked before breeding, and in many cases the male is completely unknown. This does not mean that the puppies may not be healthy and genetically sound, but it does mean that there is less of a guarantee that they will be. In addition, there is no assurance that two unrelated breeds could not be carrying the same genetic condition, which could potentially result in hip dysplasia, blood disorders or eye conditions as the puppies mature. There is no truth that a mixed breed will only inherit the strong or good characteristics of the parent breeds, because actually they are just as likely genetically to inherit the more negative and bad qualities as well.

While breeding two purebred dogs of the same breed will result in a fairly accurate understanding of what the puppies will look like when they are born and what they will look like as they mature, the same is not always true for mixed breeds. It is impossible to cross two different breeds and know with certainty which attributes of which breed the puppies will have. For example, if you were to cross a Poodle with any other breed you can predict with a fairly good certainty that the resulting puppies will have somewhat curly hair and will be a low shedding breed. But you cannot always predict their final growth size, the shape of their head, ears or body, or whether they will be gentle or highly strung.

Typically, the temperament of the puppies in both purebreds and mixed breeds is similar to that of the parents. It is possible to have aggressive or timid or shy dogs born in either mixed or purebred litters. It is also possible to have highly independent or aloof dogs in both types of breedings, just as it is possible to have highly intelligent, loving and wonderful companion dogs.

Two of the biggest deciding factors for most individuals in choosing a purebred or mixed breed dog is both the cost and what they would like to use the dogs for. In the world of obedience, agility, hunting trials and herding events, being a registered or purebred dog is often not a criteria for entrance to the events. On the other hand, in the American Kennel Club or Kennel Club of the UK or any other registry or kennel club, being a purebred is an essential element for entering the show ring. Those potential owners that wish to become breeders or show their dogs should only consider purebred dogs of established championship lines. It is not uncommon for a purebred puppy from championship lines to sell for thousands of dollars, whereas a mixed breed puppy is usually under one hundred dollars (and sometimes "free to a good home"), especially from a private owner or animal rescue. Mixed breed dogs are usually much less costly to purchase than purebred dogs. It is possible to find a mixed breed dog that looks and acts identically to a purebred, but simply does not have the bloodlines. If you are interested in a great dog that has all the positives of the breed without the cost, consider a dog from a rescue that may be a mixed breed or an unregistered purebred.

Mixed breed dogs can occasionally be just as expensive as a purebred dog. One of the latest trends among celebrities and other individuals is breeding and selling "designer" dogs. These are specialized hybrids, that are being bred to highlight the best in two breeds in one dog. An example of one of the more popular designer breeds is a Puggle, a cross between a Pug and a Beagle. Toy and Standard Poodles are often used in hybrid dog breeds, simply because they have the non-shedding coats and the low allergenic factor that makes the breed ideal for many owners. It is possible to cross specific breeds and get consistent looking puppies, some of which may eventually become breeds of their own should they be able to continue to breed true through more than just the first crossing or generation. Some of the more popular hybrid dogs include:

  • Goldendoodle - Golden Retriever crossed with a Standard Poodle

  • "Yorkipoo" Yorkshire Terrier and Miniature Poodle

  • "Raggle" Rat Terrier and Beagle

  • "Jack-A- Bee" Jack Russell and Beagle

  • "Mauxie" Dachshund and Maltese

  • It is important to remember that there are some groups that will register mixed breeds, designer dogs or hybrids, but these are not the same as the kennel club registries nor are the hybrids a recognized breed, rather they are a breed cross.

    Other articles under "Is a dog right for me?"

    Article 1 - "Your Commitment To A Dog"
    Article 3 - "Dogs For Families"
    Article 5 - "Purebred Versus Mixed Breed"
    Article 6 - "The Cost Of Owning A Dog"
    Article 7 - "Responsibilities of A Dog Owner"

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