Make Mine a Mutt: 6 Reasons to Love Mixed Breed Dogs
To some, the term mutt has a negative connotation.
The same goes for mongrel, but to lovers of mixed breed dogs, these terms are badges of honor. Here's a few reasons to love mixed breed dogs and why, when the time comes to find a new best friend, you should say "Make mine a mutt."
You're Saving a Life
One of the best places to find a mixed breed dog is your local animal shelter. By adopting a mixed breed from a shelter, you are not only getting a companion, but ensuring that your new friend will not meet an untimely end. What's better than that?
The initial cost of a dog is a very small portion of what will be spent over her lifetime on feeding, veterinary care, and incidentals, but it's still tough to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a pooch when a perfectly good mixed breed companion can be had for a fraction of the price. Your mixed breed dog won't win any AKC show championships, but this is certainly not a case of "you get what you pay for."
Mixed breed dogs have lower chances of developing genetic health problems such as hip dysplasia, cataracts and hypothyroidism. They are also less likely to exhibit temperament and intelligence issues often associated with interbreeding of purebred dogs. Owning a mixed breed dog doesn't mean the dog won't need care or will never develop health problems, but the chances of your dog having a genetic defect are lower.
Purchasing or adopting a mixed breed dog can be a little scary, especially if you haven't met one or both of the dog's parents. However, watching your puppy grow into an individual is also part of the fun of owning a mixed breed. With a little bit of care, a lot of love, and a solid training regimen, your mixed breed dog will become an important part of your family, even if they turn out a little different than expected.
They're In Style
Are you the kind of person who always has the latest phone, car and clothing? Do you enjoy being on the cutting edge of everything new and hip? If you answered yes, now is the perfect time to get a mixed breed dog. Oh sure, they've got fancy names like Labradoodle, Peekapoo and Puggle (and often a price tag to match), but make no mistake about it, these dogs have all the advantages of a mixed breed dog. Find a reputable breeder and one of these mixed breeds might be perfect for you and your family.
Mother Nature Knows Best
Over the last several thousand years, humans have developed dogs to perform a number of tasks including hunting, herding and providing protection. A problem often arises when purebred dogs bred for a hyper specific purpose are stripped of their jobs and asked to be companions instead of workers. While mixed breed dogs will often perform these working dog duties if asked, the instinct is typically weaker, resulting in fewer problems if you just want your dog to hang out and be a part of the family.
Whether you are purchasing your first dog or your fiftieth, it's never too late to give a mixed breed a try.
Micah Sargent is a freelance writer and photographer living in northern Pennsylvania. He enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing. When he's not tapping away at a keyboard or behind a camera, you can find him hanging outdoors with his wife and two sons.