When it comes to mutts vs. purebreds, there are myths mixed in with the realities. There is a lot of information about these two distinct groups of dogs and supposedly what makes one superior to the other. Most pet owners have an opinion about why their dog (mutt or purebred) is the best. 

The team at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital is here to explore the great debate of mutts vs. purebreds. We may surprise you with what you thought was fact.

4 Things You Should Know About Mutts Vs. Purebreds

There are multiple factors that go into why we choose to adopt our furry companions. Many choose a breed based solely on looks or disposition, while others select health and longevity as their primary concerns. No matter what factors go into the mix, certain beliefs we have about pedigree dogs and those who are of mixed breed persist. Here we separate fact from fiction:

1. Fact: Mutts are healthier.

We generally believe that mixed dogs are sturdier and overall don’t succumb to certain diseases. That is generally true. Genetics do play a big role in a dog’s risk of developing certain diseases and conditions. Some breeds are indeed more likely to acquire disease or disorder because of their DNA

A 2013 study by UC-Davis determined that certain conditions like patellar luxation, cataracts, and hypothyroidism, were almost eight times more likely to occur in purebred dogs. The likelihood of a specific breed developing disease or disorder varies by breed.

Mutts are generally sturdier than purebreds with a more resistant genetic makeup. But any dog can be susceptible to disease and illness, no matter their breed or combination thereof. 

2. Fiction: You can’t look at a mixed-breed puppy and see what they’ll look like as an adult.

The truth is that, if you take a good look at a puppy, you will get a sense of what they will look like as a mature adult–purebred or mutt. Paws also give you an indication of how big your puppy will be. Of course, looking at the parents is the best clue as to what the little one will grow into. That isn’t always possible with rescues but certain visible characteristics that you see in your puppy as a youngster will probably remain in adulthood. 

3. Fact: You can better know what to expect personality-wise based on purebred genetics. 

If you want a mellow dog, then you might opt for a bloodhound. Or, if you like lively, energetic breeds, a Jack Russel Terrier or an Australian Shepherd would both be great. Through many generations, dogs were bred for certain traits and personalities that make them good at what they do, like hunting or herding sheep. 

This is why you can get a better sense of what your pet’s personality will be when you choose to adopt a pedigreed dog. That’s one reason why people choose to do so because they have a better sense of what their dog’s personality will be like.

4. Fiction and fact: Mutts carry disease.

Most Heinz 59 dogs from crowded shelters or rescues are exposed to more infectious disease. This isn’t about the breed, but an issue of where the pet has been and what they have been exposed to. Rescue pets are often strays or in bad health when they arrive at shelters, due to negligence on the part of humans. It takes time to rehabilitate them back to good health. 

Purebreds come from a breeder. If the breeder is responsible, they breed responsibly and limit exposure to other animals. They want to ensure the best health for their dogs. Some breeders over breed their dogs and end up with genetically weak puppies. Overall, mutts are more likely to be exposed to disease in life. But they are also sturdier and have a more diverse genetic makeup, so they tend to have better immune systems.

The Bottom Line

There are benefits to both pedigreed and mixed-breed dogs. So much depends on the environment of the dog and the emphasis placed on their health and well-being. Good nutrition, exercise, and consistent veterinary care contribute to a healthy adult who lives a long life. Excellent dental care, weight management, training and socialization, and love also play center roles in what your sweetie becomes.

If you would like more information about the myths about mutts vs. purebreds, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us! No matter what your pet’s pedigree, or lack thereof, we think each of them is perfect in every way.