Tuesday, 2 December 2014

National Mutt Day December 2: The pro's and con's of adopting a mixed breed dog

National Mutt Day: The pro's and con's of adopting a mixed breed dog

By Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez

My loving mutt Keira is wishing you a very happy National Mutt Day. Dec. 2 is National Mutt Day and Keira is a proud Saint Bernard mixed with a Saint Bernese. Mixed breeds can be just as beautiful, sweet and intelligent as pure breed dogs and often live healthier lives. Some studies have shown that mutts or mixed breed dogs are healthier on average because the health issues that are genetic in certain breeds are diluted or 'watered down' by mixing it with another breed. 


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Pet parents who chose to adopt pure breeds often have specific qualities in a dog they are looking for. Even with pure breeds every dog is different and every blood line is different- meaning that cookie cutter dog you may be looking for just doesn't exist. For example my sister's dog is a pure bred German shepherd named Django and is incredibly smart. Django likes to drag his water bowl around when it is half empty making a huge mess. This is a behavior passed down to Django through his lineage- all of his siblings do it. This isn't a specific trait that all German shepherds have.


NylaPhoto byStacey McIntyre-Gonzalez Copyright©
So although pet parents can pint point a personality type in a pure bred dog each line is different and every dog has different qualities. However you can still find all of those qualities you are looking for by mixing specific breeds. For instance Keira fetches a ball just like a retriever would- Saint Bernard dogs are highly trainable. She has the calm and loving side to her that she gets from the Saint Bernard. The Bernese mountain dog side of her makes her very active outside and extremely loyal. 

Some mixed breeds or 'designer dogs' that are bred purely for ascetic results- like look, coloring or size- have health problems bred into them. Breeders that want a dog a certain way for looks may not understand the physical harm they could be doing. The English bulldog is a great example of a designer dog that has serious health issues- all because of how the breed was created. When adopting a designer dog make sure you research any common health issues. On National Mutt Day it is also important to advocate safe and ethical breeding standards for all dogs.

You may not be able to show or register a mutt but their is something a mutt will always show you: love. With a mixed breed you may know exactly what you are getting- for the most part. But with a mutt you may be pleasantly surprised. Don't discount the companionship that a mutt may offer.

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