Once you’re sure you’re ready to adopt a puppy, one of the first things to consider is whether to buy a purebred or a mixed puppy. While every dog deserves a good home and purebred, cross breed, and mixed breed puppies can all make wonderful companions, one may be a better fit for you than another.
Every dog breed was created for a purpose and today each one is recognizable by its physical features and general temperament. If you’re thinking about choosing a purebred puppy, you should consider the job the dogs were originally bred for rather than deciding on appearance alone. A Scottish Terrier may appeal to you physically, but they were bred to dig up rodents and other small game; you may be adopting a puppy with a habit of digging in the yard. Behavior can be changed, but keep in mind that each dog will likely act on the genes he has inherited.
With a purebred puppy you can generally predict the physical characteristics and temperament of the adult dog. If a puppy was bred responsibly, he’ll grow up to look like his parents and other dogs of the breed. There should be no surprises.
It takes time and effort to find a responsible breeder and purebred puppies are often expensive. Of course, they’re expensive for a reason. Good breeders spend a lot of time and money to make sure their puppies are top notch, and they usually have the pedigrees, medical histories, and competition trophies to prove it.
Cross and mixed breed puppies
A cross breed puppy is one that has purebred parents each from a different breed. Mixed breed puppies have more than two different breeds in their background. If you know the exact features you want in a dog, then a cross breed may fit the bill. By taking two different dog breeds, each with traits you like, you can cross them to get a hybrid that potentially meets your requirements.
If you’re worried that a mixed breed puppy won’t have the competitive opportunities that a purebred dog has, don’t be. The Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America offer trials for conformation, obedience, tracking and more just like the American Kennel Club (AKC) does for purebreds.
A cross breed or mixed puppy is likely to be one of a kind. They’re readily available from your nearest animal shelter and are inexpensive when compared to a purebred puppy, as long as you choose one that’s healthy.
There’s no guarantee how a cross or mixed breed puppy will mature either physically or temperamentally. You’ll need to do what you can to learn about the puppy’s history and the breeds in his bloodline. If you find a Great Dane or two on his family tree, your little puppy may be a big surprise.
Aren’t mixed breeds healthier?
It’s a common misconception that because a mixed breed puppy has a varied heritage he’s healthier than one that’s purebred. Both types of dogs are susceptible to genetic disorders. A mixed breed dog has the potential to inherit the genetic disorders from every breed in his background.
Certain breeds are known to have genetic ailments. However, responsible breeders screen the dogs they breed and can move away from these disorders when possible. You can make an informed decision when adopting a purebred puppy not to take one from a breed that is susceptible to a particular problem.
Which type of puppy is right for me?
With proper training, every puppy can grow into a terrific friend. No type of dog, whether purebred, cross bred, or mixed, is better than another.
That being said, first-time dog owners or those that aren’t confident in their handling abilities should choose a purebred puppy. There’s no better way to predict the appearance and temperament of the dog your puppy will grow into. Senior dog rescue is also an option since adopting an older dog is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get proposition.
The most important point is to adopt a puppy that’s healthy whichever one you choose.