You might know, or have seen recently on social media, that July ended with National Mutt Day. Putting aside the dozens of “Happy #NationalMuttDay!” tweets that flooded our timelines, the occasion gives rise to a more serious conversation about breeding.
For breeders, it’s a challenging conversation to have. Their thought is that purebred dogs come from a long line of pure, traceable ancestry and boast polished, documented pedigrees. Mixed breeds do not, and many breeders believe that they are inferior.
This line of reasoning fails to take into account the many drawbacks of breeding and the detriment breeding can bring to a dog’s health and overall well-being. Not to mention how breeding contributes to the alarming overpopulation of dogs—a problem that shelters, rescues, and organizations like Get Your Pet are desperately trying to solve.
We’re not suggesting that breeders don’t genuinely love their dogs, excepting the horrible puppy millers of our country. We’re simply taking issue with the idea that a purebred dog is automatically superior to the equally lovable mutts we tend to find in shelters. Some people hear the hype and think that buying a purebred dog will somehow guarantee them a superior companion.
We don’t buy it.
There’s nothing “wrong” with having a preference for a certain breed of dog. Who can explain why we find one thing more attractive than another? But don’t reinforce your preference with any of the common myths about purebred vs. mixed breed dogs.
- Purebred dogs don’t necessarily conform to the breed characteristics you might expect of them. We talked about this in a a previous blog, but it’s worth repeating. You might be in for some serious disappointment when a purebred dog behaves like the individual he or she is.
- Purebred dogs aren’t necessarily likely to be healthier. Medical ailments and genetically inherited diseases are quite common in certain breeds. Whereas mutts are often hardier.
If you’ve got your heart set on having a purebred dog in your life, you have options. Get Your Pet routinely sees purebred dogs listed for adoption, and there are many reputable breed-specific rescues out there. You can even check out your local shelter because, according to the ASPCA, roughly 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred.
The fact is that even with purebred dogs, we can’t always know the history or genetic lineage of a pet. What we can do is shape its future. Overlooking the stereotypes and stripping away the bias about breeds can bring our community of pet lovers closer to giving all dogs a good home—mutt or not.