Purebred vs. Mixed-Breed Dogs
Choosing between a "Sure Thing" and a "Surprise Package"
Jul 18, 2009 Jacque Newman
The most common reason for choosing a purebred dog is the expectation of certain attributes. But many people choose a mixed-breed because they enjoy a unique blend
A Newfoundland dog, for instance, will most likely ensure a companion who will be extra-large in size, possess a gentle disposition, and a genuine fondness for swimming. A Jack Russell Terrier, on the other paw, will display his heritage with a small, athletic body, a fondness for digging and a happy "Gotta go!" disposition. Purebred Standards are Only Guidelines
There are Newfoundland dogs whose dispositions are less than gentle and some who prefer dry land to water. There are Jack Russells who abhor the idea of digging in the dirt and some who believe "Gotta go!" translates into "Gotta go... jump on the couch for another long snooze." Regardless of the breed type, much of a dog's temperament depends upon his environment, past experiences, and other issues. But there are inherent traits commonly known to each purebred type and potential owners should research carefully prior to making a commitment.
First-time dog owners may be wise to choose a purebred dog due to these bred-into-them predispositions. Health issues may be inherent as well which helps inexperienced owners prepare for possible upcoming veterinary bills. For instance, some breeds are more prone to certain allergies, heart problems, cancers, or sensitive digestive systems, just to name a few. Mixed-Breed Dogs: a Unique Combo of Two or More Breeds
Many people choose a mixed-breed dog because they enjoy watching their "surprise package" unfold to reveal personality and appearance that can be overwhelming in scope. Within each mixed-breed can be two or more purebreds.
For example, a Cocker Spaniel/Poodle-mix ("Cocka-Poo"), will display traits known to each breed combined with his or her uniquely individual qualities. When researching Cocka-Poo, study the genetically-programmed traits existing within each.
A "Heinz 57" will be a mystery mixture of any number of breeds. For example, a Husky/Old English Sheepdog/Labrador Retriever-mix may have a Husky's blue eyes, a Sheepdog's coat, and a Lab's love of water. Or a Husky's luxurious tail, a Sheepdog's square body shape and a Lab's sociable nature. A mixed-breed will be a scintillating combo of whatever breed type entered that particular gene pool.
Many veterinarians agree that a mixed-breed dog enjoys "hybrid vigour," as genetically-induced health problems aren't bred into them. Careful Consideration Needed
All dogs are unique and choosing a dog of any type requires extensive research. Potential owners are advised to consider their ability to provide a dog with consistent physical and mental exercise, proper training, a good quality diet and regular veterinary care. Further advice on choosing the right dog is available from veterinarians, groomers, kennel clubs and professional dog trainers.