Mutts hold a special place in my heart, so I’m happy to see that mutts are getting a little more love and recognition. July 31 is National Mutt Day, an observance established to save 10,000 mixed breed dogs. If you’re considering adopting a dog, here are some tips — seven solid reasons why you should add a mutt to your family.
Mutts are gaining momentum with the general population. VetStreet.com conducted a recent survey of the most popular dog breeds, and six of the top ten breeds were mixed breeds. They are the Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever/Poodle mix), Puggle (Pug/Beagle mix), Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever/Poodle mix), Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle mix), Yorkipoo (Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle mix), and a Shihpoo (Shih Tzu/Poodle mix).
With a mutt, you get the benefits of both breeds. Purebred dogs are more prone to genetic diseases as a result of interbreeding, but a mixed breed dog is less likely to develop an inherited disorder. These could include issues with the dog’s temperament, intelligence, or health.
Your puppy is a combination of two or more breeds. How tall will he or she be when full-grown? How heavy? What will his or her face look like as an adult? With a mixed breed puppy, it’s more difficult to predict what breed features will be more prominent, versus a purebred puppy, where you will have a better idea how the dog will look grown up.
A friend of mine recently adopted an adorable puppy named Toby that looked like he was a Dachshund mixed with something else. She ordered a DNA test because she was curious what breed he might be mixed with. The results were not even close to Dachshund. His lineage includes Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, and Old English Sheepdog.
Mixed breed dogs cost less than purebred dogs purchased from breeders. Save that extra cash to buy some dog toys or to go on a vacation with your new furry best friend.
Most of the dogs in my life have been mutts. There’s my current fur baby, Sasha, an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, and my beloved Buster who crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, also an Australian Shepherd mix. From my childhood there was Willie, an adorable Maltese/Poodle mix, and feisty Cuddles, a Maltese/Spitz mix. Each of these dogs has had a unique look and personality to match.
Perhaps the best reason of all! Only about a quarter of all shelter dogs are purebred, according to the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), so you’re more likely to fall in love with and adopt a mixed breed dog from an animal shelter or rescue group.
Do you have a mutt? Can you add to this list? Tell us in the comments!
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About the author: Cathy Weselby is a purple-lovin’ ambivert who enjoys exploring new places and ideas, the arts, humorous memoirs, collecting old magazines, and making collages. She and her husband live with Sasha, a rescued Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.