What exactly are mutts & mixed-breed dogs? Are they the same or different?
Mutts & mixed-breeds are basically the same thing. As the latter title would suggest, they’re made up of more than one breed of dog. Purebred dogs have registration papers that confirm the dog’s single-breed lineage, while mutts aren’t registered & either/both parents could be a mix of several breeds themselves.
Where it gets confusing is designer or hybrid dogs, where two specific breeds are intentionally cross-bred to create a sub-breed, mixing the best traits of both lines (like mating a poodle with a Labrador to get a Labradoodle). Designer dogs are extremely popular, but the fact is they’re essentially just fancy mutts.
With so many different breeds, why adopt a mutt? Well, approximately 80% of all shelter dogs are mixed breeds. That’s a lot of dogs in need of forever homes. And, there are plenty of benefits to adopting a dog versus purchasing one: first, adopting is usually cheaper than buying from a reputable breeder. And, with so many dogs in shelters, but only so much room to accommodate them, adopting means you’re potentially saving one dog’s life while making room for another.
And the benefits continue once you get your mutt home. Some experts say that, because mixed-breed pups aren’t exposed to as many genetically-inherited health issues, they’re often healthier. And, some statistics show mutts can also have a longer life expectancy. Plus, they’re often great in work situations, too, like serving as therapy & guide dogs or even sniffing out drugs & bombs.
One potential downside: not knowing a dog’s ancestry could cause difficulty in predicting its temperament or unique behaviors. But, many pet parents see that as a benefit, because it means they’re full of surprises & totally unique. And, with a wide variety of doggie DNA tests available, if you really want to know it’s easy to find out what your individual dog-O’s made of.
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