When you’re ready to welcome a new pup into your family, your first step may be to start researching which breed is right for you. But before you give that breeder a call, consider these five reasons to adopting a mutt.
Mutts Usually Have Fewer Health Problems
You probably know that dog breeds are man-made. After many years of selective breeding for certain personality or physical traits, we ended up with our corgis, collies, cocker spaniels, and so on. But did you know that to achieve those genetic traits, early breeders often resorted to inbreeding their dogs? As a result, many pure breeds have genes that increase the likelihood of developing certain health problems. And some breeds—like modern bulldogs—are all but guaranteed to come with a host of health issues.
Mutts on the other hand? With a more diverse gene pool, many mutts often avoid the issues that plague pure breeds.
It’s Way Cheaper
Have you looked into buying from a breeder lately? Did you come away with sticker shock? It’s not uncommon for breeders to charge upwards of $1000 for a purebred puppy, and some breeds sell for even more. Buying from a reputable breeder is always better than saving money at a pet store, where your puppy may have been sourced from a puppy mill, but you have another option.
Adoption fees at shelters and rescues usually max out around $250 and are often even lower, especially if you’re not adopting a purebred. And there’s a whole lot included in that price; your pet will usually come spayed or neutered and up-to-date on all of his shots.
Mutts Are Just as Smart
It’s a total myth that purebred dogs are smarter than their mutt counterparts. Sure, some breeds like German shepherds are known for being particularly intelligent, but that doesn’t mean that a mixed breed dog can’t be just as brainy. The tricks and commands a dog is able to perform have a lot more to do with training than with breed.
You Can Still Get the Traits You’re Looking For
Do you want a golden retriever for its family-friendliness? A poodle for its hypoallergenic fur? You can still find these qualities in a mutt. Workers at humane societies and rescues usually know their dogs really, really well. Let them know you’re looking for—whether it’s a medium-sized dog that doesn’t shed, a dog with enough energy to be your jogging partner, or a puppy that’s great with kids and cats—and they’ll point you to the right pooch.
You’ll Save a Life
No one likes to think about it, but a lot of dogs are euthanized in shelters and pounds every year—anywhere from 600,000 to 1.2 million. And most of these guys are put down simply because nobody chose to take them home.
When you choose to adopt a mixed breed, you’re giving a home to a dog who might not have made it without you. No amount of American Kennel Club papers can replace that feeling.
Don’t get us wrong—we love purebred dogs, and we’re thankful for every family that buys from quality breeders instead of supporting puppy mills. But we also know that mutts have a lot to offer. They may not come with fancy papers or a genealogy, but they do come with a lot of love—and, in the end, isn’t that the point of having a dog?