July 31st was National Mutt Day! If you missed it, fear not, it comes twice a year, so you’ll get another chance to celebrate with your beloved mutt on December 2nd. So why do mutts get twice as many ‘holidays’ each year as Santa Claus? Because mixed breed dogs (mutts) are pretty darned cool.
**DISCLAIMER** We love all of our furry friends, but today we are going to talk about the benefits of our mixed breed companions.
Actually, the whole crazy concept of purebred dogs became popular just a few hundred years ago when the intent of breeders was to manipulate the size, shape and character of their working dogs to create the best hunters, herders, and guardians. Over time, however, humans began to focus their genetic efforts on their home companion pets. They desired pets with extremes in size like the portable “teacup” breeds, and exotic looks, like the adorable flat-faced pug. Of course, there were drawbacks to all of these different mutations, but demand was high, and despite health issues, breeders persisted in trying to perfect their dogs to set breed standards.
The good news for our mutt buddies is that traditionally they are significantly healthier than most purebred dogs. As our friends at Your Dog Advisor have shown us, mixed breed dogs have a much lower incidence of genetic disease. It is very common when breeding animals that have similar familial backgrounds to pass on diseases. Since mutts are a mix of genetics, they have a lower rate of disorders such as hip dysplasia, certain knee diseases, spinal diseases, heart diseases, and even cancer. This also increases their lifespan (They’re quite the tough mutters). Adopt a mutt and save thousands of dollars on vet bills every year? Deal, Howie!
Not only are mixed breeds hardier, but they are also known for their excellent dog sense and general intelligence. Check out the video of our very own Buck doing agility training below at only 9 weeks old. Buck is a mix of Cattle Dog, Miniature Long-Haired Dachshund, Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier and Wild Dog.
Most mixed breed pups are wonderfully unique, and it can be incredibly difficult to identify which breed your pup has to thank for his adorable bat-ears, or his short little legs. If you really want to find out about your pup’s genetic background, get a DNA test!
Hopefully this gives some insight on why mixed breed dogs are just as desirable as their purebred counter parts.