It seems like everyone's first dog was a mutt. Hard to describe, but easy to love, the mixed breed dog has held a favored spot in the hearts of children and adults alike for as long as he's been in existence.
Unlike the purebred, the dog of mixed origin boasts no pedigree and holds no place in the ranks of kennel club history, but in every dog lover's past, the mixed breed dog played an important part.
Many owners of mixed breeds refer to them as “just mutts,” a “Heinz 57 Variety,” or, as I call my dog, “a Domestic Shorthaired Black-Tailed Wiggler.” Still others try to pinpoint what they think their dog's heritage might be; for example, Shepherd-Collie mix or Cocker-Poodle cross.
But whether a dog's sire was the next door neighbor's pooch or a handsome rogue of a traveling salesman, no one can convince the owner of a mixed breed that his dog is any less valuable than the show dog with generations of champions highlighting his pedigree.
Are Mixed Breeds Equally As Healthy & Smart As Purebred Dogs?
That the mixed breed pup is healthier or more intelligent than his purebred cousin is, of course, highly debatable. Generally he suffers as frequently and as debilitatingly the ills common to all dogs.
However, there is a certain validity to the claim of health in mixed breed animals. This truth lies in the fact that when breeds mix and create crossbred and mixed breed offspring, extreme factors such as the pug noses, long, narrow heads and bulging eyes of many breeds are modified, producing pups that no longer suffer the hardships caused by these extreme characteristics.
One Of A Kind
The owner of a dog of uncertain ancestry need keep only one factor in mind when challenged by those who favor the purebred exclusively:
If your Afghan dies and you want to replace it, you can easily find an Afghan that looks nearly identical to yours. And when your Shih-Tzu passes on, there are always more where that one came from. But your mixed breed dog is one of a kind. No one owns or can produce a dog quite like yours. We think that makes him a rather special and valuable animal.
And just as there is no limit to the variety you can find in mixed breeds, there is also no limit to the number of places where you might be able to locate your new pup or dog: animal shelters, S.P.C.A.s, pet shops, next-door-neighbors, or the lady dog who deposits a pup on your doorstep are all likely sources.