PUREBRED VS MIXED BREED DOGS THOUGHTS
Purebred dogs were invented over the last 300-400 years by man to help him live his life. Dogs were needed for hunting birds, for herding livestock and the like. Over time, there were all sorts of dogs to serve any purpose man might have. People wanted little companion pets so you have the toy breeds and the like. Others had issues with rodent infestations and hence along came the terriers. For years, there has been a discussion about purebred vs mixed breed dogs. When it comes down to it, all dogs are wonderful whether it is a Poodle or a mixed Poodle! The difference though usually boils down to genetics.
When we speak of a purebred dog we are referring to the fact that to maintain the look, the personality or the size of the dog we have to limit the variation in genes. This is referred to as the “gene pool”. To make a Doberman a Doberman, there has to be a certain combination of genes to make it that breed of dog. Coloration of the breed in question often has an effect on personality. A mixed breed dog has, regarding the gene pool; a “little bit of this and a little bit of that”.
Sometimes it is even impossible for me to figure out which breeds are in a mixed breed dog. With the variation in the gene pool comes hybrid vigor. This means that the health of the individual is superior to that of its parents. For this reason many purebred dogs are prone to certain medical issues. An example would be the German Shepherd being prone to canine hip dysplasia or a Poodle being more susceptible to Diabetes mellitus. Summing up, the mixed breed is usually healthier overall than the purebred. The purebred vs mixed breed dogs tail (tale!) continues!
The dog genome (number of genes) is right at 20,000! Only 50 of those 20,000 (0.25%) will determine the PHYSICAL APPEARANCE of the animal. You will be surprised at what is lurking under the hood of the dog! To check out your dog for the surprise of your life look into the MARS (Wisdom) DNA Canine Test Kit.
YING AND THE YANG
With a purebred dog, you know what you are going to get. Of course, all members within a certain breed are individuals and come with different personalities but they will look the same overall. A mixed breed can have many different breeds in it so trying to figure out what that puppy will turn into can be difficult to figure out. Clients would often ask me how big a newly acquired mixed breed would turn out. I would suggest the size of a Schnauzer. Months later the dog would barely fit in the front door of my office! Clients would never let me forget that!
There is also the cost factor. Purebred dogs can cost a pretty penny to purchase but many a mixed bred dog can be gotten for a song or at minimal cost from a humane society or even for free from a neighbor’s dogs unplanned pregnancy!! The funny thing about this is the fuzziness regarding the designer dogs that is, purebred cross between the Poodle and Schnauzer (Schnoodle), Maltese and Poodle (MaltiPoo), Maltese and Yorky (Morkie) and the list goes on. These crosses LOOK like purebreds but they are not. Highly adorable and cuddly, yes!
PROBLEMS WITH INBREEDING
There are issues that can arise with excessive inbreeding within a breed of dog. This can mean mating siblings to each other or a sibling back to its parent. This can cause severe personality disorders within a breed such as has happened with the Dalmatian or in the 1980’s with the buff colored Cocker Spaniel. Medical issues such as deafness and other musculo-skeletal disorders can occur.
Finally, make sure if you are paying for a purebred dog that you are actually getting one! Ask for American Kennel Club (AKC) papers. For example, all purebred Labrador Retrievers WILL NOT have any white blotches or hairs on the brisket area. This is indicative of a cross.