We recently shared a list of the Top 20 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the country. What breed sits in the top spot? The Mixed Breed! America is often called a melting pot, as people from all over the world come here and we blend together. Greater than the sum of our individual parts, we are all American. It is no surprise, then, that more than ever we are adopting dogs that are a combination of this, that, and the other glorious thing. Mixed Breeds are as American as apple pie. Here are 8 reasons why.
Did you know? The term ‘mutt’ came about in the early 1900’s as a shortened version of ‘muttonhead’ meaning “stupid or foolish person.”
#1 When You Choose a Mixed Breed, You Save a Life
Visit any shelter in this country and you will find dogs of every variety that need homes. Dog that are small, big, shy, outgoing, athletic, calm, smart, silly, and everything in between are just waiting for a family to call their own. More than any other time in our history, we Americans are fully behind the notion ‘Adopt Don’t Shop.’ Shelter euthanasia rates have dropped 75% partially because so many of us have chosen an American Shelter Dog.
#2 No Two Mixed Breeds are Exactly Alike
If you want a dog that is not the same shape, size, color, or temperament to any other dog, an American Shelter Dog (Mixed Breed) is for you! Our dogs are a reflection of our personalities and preferences . Adopting a dog means that you can pick one that is uniquely yours.
#3 Fewer Inherited Health Problems
It is well known that inbreeding has led to a host of health problems in some breeds. Purebred Boxers tend to have heart problems, Dalmatians are prone to deafness, and German Shepherd have hip dysplasia in disproportionate numbers, for example. Limiting a gene pool causes problems over time. Dogs that are the result of many different breeds mating are products of a much more diverse gene pool so they have fewer inherited health problems.
#4 Purebred Puppies Are Expensive
I get it. You have always wanted a Labrador Retriever and you can’t imagine settling for anything else. A purebred Labrador Retriever from a reputable breeder will cost you an average of $800-$1200 with championship bloodlines starting at $2500. Contrast that with an estimated adoption fee of $200-$400, which includes vaccinations, microchipping, and spay or neutering and it’s easy to see why so many American families choose a Mixed Breed.
Did you know? Labels for this ‘breed’ of dog have changed over time from the derogatory Mutt to Mixed Breed and now, to American Shelter Dog.
#5 Mixed Breed Dogs are Great Conversation Starters
No matter where you go with your American Shelter Dog, strangers are going to be ready to hear your story. They will want to know where you got your dog, how old she was when you adopted her, and of course, what mix of breeds you think are the make up of your special girl. Everyone will have an opinion of what breeds they see in her and it’s nice to have an icebreaker when socializing with new people. Of course, you can always get a DNA test done on your dog and solve the mystery, upping the ante for breed guessing games with fellow dog lovers.
#6 Mixed Breeds Usually Have Longer Lifespans
As mentioned above, purebred dogs are the products of a limited gene pool. This lack of genetic variation leads to a host of health problems. This can mean that a purebred dog will have a shorter life span than one that is mixed. In general, dogs that have two or more breeds in their genes will have a longer lifespan than their purebred buddies. You and your mixed love bug will get to spend more time enjoying each other!
#7 Everyone Loves to See the Underdog Win
Many American Shelter Dogs had a rough start in life. Some are homeless strays who have never known the comfort of a bed and regular meals. Others have been terribly abused, neglected, or abandoned by the humans they thought they could trust. Still more just weren’t a good match for their family and were given up as too difficult, rowdy, badly behaved, or loud. Every one of these is a human problem, not a dog one. These dogs need someone like you who will commit to giving them the life they deserve, even though it may not always be easy.
#8 Mixed Breed Dogs Are Eternally Grateful
Dogs are emotionally intelligent beings. When you adopt an American Shelter Dog, he is going to look at you like a hero. He will be eternally grateful to you for taking him away from the cold hard kennel of the shelter and surrounding him with the cushy comfort of your home. He will know that you saved him and he won’t ever forget it. You are his human for life, no matter what, and he knows it.
Are Mixed Breeds your favorite? Why do think they are the most popular ‘breed’ in America? Share your story with our community in the comments below.
Featured Image by Willfried Wende from Pixabay