Call it a mutt, cur, mongrel, crossbred or more simply a mixed breed, however you like to call them, consider that these dogs are just as lovable as the purebred dogs that come with pedigree papers. Indeed, they seem to have a special ''charm'' that attracts people upon visiting the local shelter. You may see them barking for attention, whining or simply looking into your eyes deeply pleading you to take them home. If you feel those tugs to your heartstrings, do not fight back: indeed mutts offer several advantages when compared to purebred dogs.
Finally tests to determine what dog breeds are in your mutt!
Why Mutts Make Wonderful Pets: Advantages
Mutts, indeed, offer several advantages when it comes to health. It may sounds like great news to a mutt owner's ears that these dogs are less likely to to suffer fron inherited medical problems. Indeed, one main disadvantage of purebred dogs is that they often have an increased risk of inherited medical conditions.
Mutts instead are less likely to develop inherited diseases because they benefit from hybrid vigor, explains veterinarian Bruce Fogle in his book Dog Owners' Manual . This means that mixing stock from different genetic backgrounds may make dogs stronger. However, mutts may still carry to a certain extent genetic disorders deriving from the breeds that make up their genetics. For instance, a mutt derived from the crossing of a German Shepherd stud with a mixed Collie dam, may still develop hip displaysia, a hereditary condition common in the German Shepherd breed.
One of the biggest advantages of owning a mutt is that they are much cheaper to purchase and maintain than purebred dogs. Most mutts are free or you may just have to pay for a nominal adoption fee.
Disadvantage of Owning a Mutt
It is worth mentioning though that mutts also have a downside and that is they do not carry much guarantee onto what they may turn out to be. In other words, it cannot predicted how large a mutt puppy may turn out to be once adult and no predictions can be made on its future looks and temperament.
This is why many people like purebred dogs. They know exactly what their puppy will look like when it grows up and they have certain expectations on its future temperament. Coat color, height, weight, temperament are all qualities that can be to a certain degree predicted in specific breeds of dogs when they adhere to certain standards.
However, while selective breeding may appear to bring predictable characteristics, it is often forgotten that a dog’s temperament and personality derives not only from genes, but also from early environment exposures and training. You can therefore get a Golden Retriever which is meant to be social and tolerant of children but end up with an aloof dog if you do not work on socializing it and teaching it to accept children from an early age.
Mutts may not offer guarantees on how they may turn out to be, but there are chances they may ultimately become reliable, stable minded dogs with well rounded personalities if given the chance to flourish. It is unfortunate though that often they are surrendered due to unplanned pregnancies or just being unwelcome and are therefore not given much of a chance to prove their worthiness.
Generally, there are higher chances of obtaining a good mutt if taken from the litter as a pup. This way the parents can be assessed and you can work on early training and socialization. While an adult mutt at the shelter is a great option, keep in mind that you may have to work on some issues, such as barking when left alone, destructiveness and fear biting. If you persevere and are consistent though you may rehabilitate the dog and earn years of rewarding relationships.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 31, 2011:
We have owned one purebred dog and the rest have been mutts. All of them were wonderful each in their own distinctive way. Each was a rescue dog and rewarded us with years of love. Good hub. Up and useful ratings.
Gen on May 19, 2011:
I am own by five loving mutts and one of the biggest surprises is how big they're going to be when they grow. From my experience Mutts indeed cost less veterinary bills. I think every mutt is an original and as the experts say no two mutts look the same. I am proud to have mutts.
janiek on February 04, 2011:
I love dogs period -- but I too am a major fan of mutts! I've had both mutts and pure breds and for me, the mutts were always a little healthier! :o)
bigb1291 on February 03, 2011:
I am all for muts! would rather get an animal from ashelter then pay an arm and a leg for a "pure breed"
Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on February 02, 2011:
What a well written story. I love it
carolapple from Suffolk Virginia on January 27, 2011:
I've always owned mixed breeds and they've always been cute charming pets. The fact that you may not know exactly what a puppy will end up looking like does not bother me - in fact, it makes those early months even more interesting.
erthfrend from Florida on January 26, 2011:
Mutts are my favorite breed!!! Thanks for writing. They are so very deserving of being someone's special pet, they are awesome dogs and it is what I have always had and they do always seem to be a lot healthier than purebreds. And just think, mutts are unique! There will never be another one that looks the same as another...unlike all the purebred dogs!
fluke2010 from everywhere at all times. on January 26, 2011:
Fantastic hub, I've got a Dalmation/Staffie cross she is the best "mutt" a man could wish for the saying is true there is no such thing as a bad dog just bad owners, I personally would never pay a breeder for a pedigree dog that's been bred for profit, there are enough homeless dogs, they need our love as much as we need theirs
amybradley77 on January 26, 2011:
I'v always loved the mutts! We had a couple growing up and a pet I believe always leaves foots prints on your heart, in one way or another. So, did these I fall in love again every time I spot one. This is a very heart warming page, thanks, A.B.
Kelly347 on January 25, 2011:
Yay for the mutt! I own 2 and they are the BEST!!!
SUSIE DUZY from Delray Beach, Florida on January 25, 2011:
Any kind of dog is better than none. There are the most comforting little creatures.
Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on January 24, 2011:
Hooray for mutts! My family always had mutts for dogs and they were wonderful pets, so I am one to side with the mutts!
Plus deciding what breed they belong to is fun. We had a Staffordshire mix and her sire, we were certain, had to be an Irish wolfhound! She was the biggest "hambone" around, always trying to get a laugh out of us! We just loved her so much!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 23, 2011:
Dahoglund, you can always purchase a breed test to figure out what the other part is!
Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on January 23, 2011:
The dog who "owns me" is a miniature Schnauzer. She's purebred and, unfortunately, must have her cholesterol level checked as often as my doctor checks mine because she's had pancreatitis (to which Schnauzers are prone).
However, had she been the product of a love match between a mini Schnauzer and another breed, she would probably be prone to both pancreatitis and whatever disease the other breed is likely to get. This way, I only have to keep her diet low-fat and make sure she doesn't steal any people food....JAYE
evvy_09 from Athens, AL on January 23, 2011:
All three of my dogs are mixed, and all are unique. People always comment how beautiful my border collie mix or rottweiler/great pyrneese is or how cute my beagle mix is. Even some friends who don't like dogs love the rott.
Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on January 23, 2011:
As a human "mutt," I identify with dog mutts." We, as a human raqce are better because of our diversities... our "differences" make us better.
Eiddwen from Wales on January 23, 2011:
I have owned pedigrees plus cross breeds and they all have a place in my heart. No difference at all , they all had their own appealing characters and this is what I remember!! Not their parentage.
A great hub.
Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on January 22, 2011:
We have usually had mixed breed dogs. we currently have a Siberian Husky mix. I am trying to figure out what the other parts are.sure looks like a Siberian and acts like one in some ways. In other ways not. We also believe in getting dogs from shelters as we don't like the idea of dogs having to be put down just because nobody wants them.
Annette Donaldson from Northern Ireland on January 22, 2011:
I have had the honour of owning many mutts. All have been characters, cost very little in the way of vet bills and loved just as much as any pedigree dog I have owned.
Hooray for the mutt!