A purebred puppy is one that has been bred for a specific purpose, whether that is herding sheep or keeping your family safe. Mixed breed puppies are a mix of two or more breeds, while mutts may have a truly mixed heritage. But which one is right for you? Here are a few tips on how to choose between a purebred and mixed breed puppy.
Know Your Goals
Do you just want a companion animal? A mixed breed puppy can be a viable choice, if the dog has the right personality. A purebred puppy could be a good companion, if it comes from a breed that was literally bed to be a companion. On the other hand, dogs bred to be hunting dogs or guard dogs are rarely good companions regardless of the individual dog’s personality. If you want a dog that will herd goats or play fetch really well, then a herding dog is probably the best choice. A mixed breed puppy probably won’t be able to learn this. If you want to breed the dog at some point, it must be purebred if you want their offspring to be registered and show-worthy.
This means you should create a list of the traits you want the dog to have. This list can include must haves and nice to have features. This list can be used to identify potential breeds and determine whether a mixed breed dog may be an option.
Compare the Breed to Your Lifestyle
Terriers and a few other breeds were bred to chase vermin and even dig them up. Dachshunds love to dig, too, because they’re bred to go after badgers and other burrowing vermin. This means you won’t want these dogs if you can’t stand the idea of them digging up the yard to go after a mole or gopher. Hunting dogs will want to chase everything that fits their definition of a target, and they typically require a lot of exercise. Retrievers like collies and golden retrievers need to be walked long distances or they’re going to tear up the house out of boredom. This is true regardless of their size. Dogs bred to be companion animals tend to have trouble being left home alone, though this can be mitigated by having two or more dogs in the household.
At this step, you should strike potential breeds off your list and know whether a mixed breed dog is a viable option. You should end up with a short list of potential breeds and / or mixed breeds. Know that you could get a dog that is half or three-quarters a given breed and get many of the same traits, though the dog may not have the same sharp instincts as the purebreds. That means you’d need to train it more than a purebred, regardless of your end goal.
Know What to Look for When Shopping for the Puppy
If you’re considering buying a mixed breed puppy, the dog is more likely to be free of genetic defects. However, you need to have the dog checked for general health problems and parasitic infections that can come from neglect if it came from a puppy mill. If you’re looking for purebred dogs, you’ll want to verify the dog’s pedigree and verify that it is free of genetic disease. You can use a website like this when looking for purebred puppies to find breeder who provide health clearance information, genetic test results and authentic pedigrees. Then you won’t pay a premium for a purebred animal with ongoing health problems. However, the dog should still be checked out by a vet.