December is a month celebrating many things that readily come to mind – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza – and National Mutt Day. This “unofficial” national holiday on December 2nd was created as a day to embrace uniqueness, promote adoption and celebrate the mutt. There are millions of healthy dogs with dubious heritage in rescue homes and shelters whose time may be running out waiting for someone to come and adopt them. Their lack of pedigree has no impact on the amount of love and companionship they offer.
The common mutt can boast uniqueness as its’ defining characteristic. No two are the same and they come in an array of sizes, shapes, colors, furriness and personalities. What the final product will be is like a surprise waiting to happen. In recent years, cross-breeding two purebred dogs has yielded “designer hybrids” represented by mixed breeds such as Labradoodle, Cockapoo, Schnoodle, Puggle, Maltipoo, Peekapoo and more. These mixed-breeds are becoming quite popular and are often sold in boutique pet shops for high price tags, and they are have frequently bred for a specific combination. But we are mostly talking full on mutts here – what often were designated the name “mongrel” – multi-generation dogs with unclear breed origins and inimitable characteristics.
Debate Over Mutts Vs. Pedigrees
Dogs have been bred for thousands of years, resulting in one of the most diverse-looking species in the world, with an assortment of distinctive breeds with considerably different colors, types of coat, sizes and shapes. Even color of eyes. When you take two distinctive breeds and combine them you hope to end up with a dog that reflects the best of their most notable properties, but we really can’t control the genetic outcomes in all mixtures. Hence – the debate between mutts and purebreds. On one hand, you basically know with a purebred what the adult dog will be like. However, purebreds, because of selective breeding, have developed certain genetic diseases pertinent to the breed, or are more susceptible to developing anatomical conditions. A mixed breed is usually healthier all around, but their final size and coat type can’t always be determined during the puppy stage. And in rare cases, it’s possible that the less endearing qualities of the parent’s breed get inherited. It’s all up to Mother Nature. However, one thing we know – the best qualities of any dog, whether pedigreed or Heinz 57, are brought to light when living in a loving home environment. Mutts make marvelous pets!
Why Mixed Breeds Make Wonderful Pets
• You’ll Be Saving a Valuable Life. Each life is important no matter what the package.
• It’s Not a Show Dog. Most likely you won’t be entering a dog show, so unless that is your plan, a purebred pedigree is not required.
• Mutts Haven’t Been Overbred to Perform a Specific Function. If you don’t need a dog that can herd sheep, hunt rats and badgers, retrieve ducks, or pull a sled, you can live without a dog bred specifically to perform these tasks.
• Personality, Personality, Personality. A mixed-breed dog has as much or more personality as a purebred dog. Each one has its own character traits.
• You Don’t Have to Worry if the Dog Came From a Reputable Breeder or a Puppy Mill. When you visit our local shelter, all you have to worry about is finding the dog who catches your attention, and whose personality fits into your lifestyle
• Mutts are Readily Available Everywhere. There are multitudes of mixed-breed dogs in a local shelter who are waiting for homes and can offer you the same companionship as a purebred – and you don’t need to search for a reputable breeder who may reside in another state.
• Mutts are Affordable. Purchasing a purebred can cost a lot of money. A mutt usually just comes with an adoption fee price tag.
• Mutts Combine the Best of Their Breeds. A mutt isn’t breedless, it is a meld of multiple breeds. What a deal! You get 2 or more dog breeds in a single furry package, and usually mutts are less prone to temperament or health issues associated with a purebred.
• Mutts are Unique. Each one is different and special. Some have mugs only a mother could love, others are amazingly beautiful.Unlike a purebred – there’s really nothing to compare them to. It’s what’s inside that counts.
When you visit a local shelter or rescue home, all you have to do is worry about is finding the mixed-breed dog who steals your heart, and whose personality and evident physical characteristics seem to meld with your lifestyle. Each mutt is one-of-a-kind. After all – mutts were designed by the best in the business – Mother Nature. Need we say more?
Here are some places to search for your forever mutt:
- A New Leash on Life
- Greater Huntsville Animal Shelter
- Ark Inc Shelter
Once you’ve found your companion, Whitworth Animal Clinic, providing animal care to the residents of Madison, Huntsville, Decatur and other surrounding areas in Alabama for over 30 years, will work with you to keep your pet healthy to ensure a long and happy bond. At Whitworth Animal Clinic we understand that your pet is part of your family and we offer preventative health care through wellness exams, needed vaccines, and effective flea and heart-worm protection, state-of-the-art medical and illness veterinary treatment services.