Are mutts good dogs to have? The Ultimate Guide

Mixed-Breed Dogs Can Be Healthier

It is claimed that mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds. While this isn’t proven, it is known that certain purebreds are more prone to specific illnesses such as hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts and even epilepsy. Mixed breed dogs are thought to be less likely to develop these illnesses because even if they are part, say, German Shepard, they have fewer German Shepard genes than a purebred one. However, while there may be a seemingly higher occurrence of mixed-breed dogs living longer lifespans, it must be acknowledged that healthy pure-breeds can also live long lives — and many without health issues —just as some mixed-breeds may need treatment for medical conditions throughout their lives. Nothing is a guarantee in the canine kingdom, as in life in general.

Are mutts good dogs to have?

Mixed-Breeds Cost Less Than Pure-Breeds

Most pure-breed dogs are expensive to buy, ranging in cost from $800 to $2000. Many shelters and rescue groups only require a $50 to $200 donation in order for you to adopt a dog. Plus, a mixed breed from the shelter is likely spayed or neutered and is up-to-date on vaccinations, resulting in even more savings. Keep in mind, however, that all dogs need the same level of loving care no matter what type of breed they are: a good healthy diet, a dog bed, toys, a leash and collar, training and obedience classes, and routine veterinary care.

In addition to mutated genes, a purebred has a higher chance of carrying diseases that are common in that breed. For example, purebred English Cocker Spaniels are predisposed to have eye problems, bleeding disorders, deafness, and allergies (Calvert Animal).

According to, a mutt is “any dog that’s a combination of different breeds, rather than one identifiable breed.”

Mixed breed pets are considered “normal” sized. Whereas purebred dogs can be three pounds (such as a Chihuahua) or 130 pounds (like a Mastiff), mutts have a healthier average weight and usually range from 30 to 60 pounds, according to Your Purebred Puppy.

Mixed breed dogs have more moderate temperaments. This is because they were not bred for specific activities, such as hunting or herding.

Our favorite thing about mutts is that each one is unique and combines distinguishable features of each type of dog in the mix. Some examples of what your mixed breed dog could look like include

Which is better? Purebred or Mixed breeds? The Answer is in the DNA!

Depending on where you live, there are a number of fascinating names for them. Here in the U.S. we refer to them as mutts, Heinz 57, Sooners, mongrels, hounds or tykes. In Hawaii, they are known as Poi Dogs. Country folks in the South, call them feists or curs.

In Newfoundland you will hear the term a Cracky. In the Bahamas and nearby islands, they are called Potcakes. Jump over to South Africa and you will hear the people refer to them as a Pavement Special. Our Australian friends call theirs Bitzers.

No matter what they are called, for many dog owners, mutts are the only real dogs. To them, the more breeds in the mix, the better!

Let’s start with the advantages. The fact they are less likely to be stolen is a good one. There is often a lower incident of genetic defects, as there is a larger gene pool. It’s a fact, the bigger the gene pool, the less likely the odds of combining two defective genes. That is a plus for many less discriminating, yet adoring dog lovers.

Additional advantages are mutts are less expensive to purchase. Usually, they are also less expensive in the upkeep department as they require few, to no visits to a groomer for a fancy hairdo.

It is also a fact, mutts tend to have a higher than average natural longevity compared to pedigrees. The reason for this as studies have shown, may be mutt mothers are normally excellent moms compared to their pedigreed cousins. It’s true. Documentation in many countries show, they normally provide better care, as well as more and a higher quality of milk. Because of that, infant mortality in mutt litters is noticeably lower than with purebred-bred litters.

Between a diluted gene pool, and quality postnatal care, it appears a mutt pup has the advantage a healthier start and possibly a longer life.

Finally, whenever you look into their eyes, there is the sense you did the right thing. They may not be the cutest, fluffiest, most handsome, or prettiest dog in the dog park, but they are forever grateful, that you saw their “inner beauty.”

The disadvantages are few. Granted, you won’t find a mutt participating in the AKC/Eukanuba or Westminster Dog Show.

Nor will you see them at most AKC events…although that is changing a little with their AKC Partners Program.

The only other disadvantages of owning a mutt are you will never really be sure how big they will get, or what their temperament will be. Not that there is any guarantee with a pedigreed dog. Nonetheless, responsible breeders do have a general idea of the likely size and temperament of the offspring of their mating pairs.

If sharing your life, love and home with a blue-blooded pedigree is imperative to you, than this article won’t make a difference.

However, if you are less discerning about your and want to share your life, love and home with a wonderful pet, consider adopting or rescuing a mutt.

At a local shelter or rescue, the perfect companion and new best friend is anxiously waiting just for you. Save a mutt’s life!

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