National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month: Celebrating the Mighty Mutt
By: Jeff Noce, Voyce President
Mutt. Mongrel. Heinz-57. Whatever you want to call them, mixed breed dogs are in a class all their own. Yet despite having many of the same characteristics as purebreds – fun, affectionate, loyal, loving – mutts are often passed over in favor of better-known breeds.
Of course, I completely understand falling in love with a particular breed. After all, my dog Scout is a purebred. But when looking for your next four-legged family member, don’t discount the mighty mutt. They have a lot to offer!
Variety, Variety, Variety
Walk into any shelter and take a look at the mixed breed dogs. What do you see? Pups of all sizes, shapes, temperaments, looks and ages. If you were hoping for a medium-sized adult dog with a brindle coat, laid-back personality, and who happens to love cats…well, you’ll probably find it. No waiting required.
When you adopt a mutt, you can bet that you probably won’t meet another one like him for a long time…maybe ever. They’re truly one-of-a-kind, due to the hodgepodge of genes they possess. For example, your dog may resemble a German Shepherd dog but have the personality of a teacup poodle. The best of both worlds!
They May Be Healthier
Although it has yet to be definitively proven, some experts believe that mixed breed dogs are hardier than purebreds due to greater genetic diversity. While caring, reputable breeders do both genetic and temperament tests, there are certain gene-related diseases like cataracts and hypothyroidism that purebreds are more prone to. There’s some evidence mutts may live longer, too.
A Mix for Every Need
Have you always dreamed of participating in agility but only have space for a small dog? Or maybe you love the gentle nature of Golden Retrievers but don’t want to deal with long hair. With the huge variety of mixed-breed dogs available in shelters, chances are you’ll be able to find exactly the right one to fit with your needs and lifestyle.
Canine Conversation Starter
If you’re looking for a way to meet new people, especially other dog lovers, having a mutt is a great way to do it. When you’re walking down the street or playing in the park with your one-of-a-kind pup, it’s almost guaranteed that someone is going to ask, “What kind of dog is that?” Be prepared with either an accurate answer (through doggie DNA testing) or a clever one (“What kind? He’s one of a kind!”).
Puppy Mill Fighters
Puppy mills are large-scale commercial dog-breeding facilities. As with any industry, they thrive when there is a demand for their product. Unlike reputable breeders, puppy mills are focused solely on profit and care little about the health of the parent or its offspring. By adopting a mixed breed dog from a shelter, you reduce the demand and help prevent the suffering of adult breeding dogs.
I’d like to hear from you! If you have questions you’d like me to address on this blog regarding pet health or behavior, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.