By Karen A. Soukiasian
Depending on where you live, there are a number of fascinating names for them. Here in the U.S. we refer to them as mutts, Heinz 57, Sooners, mongrels, hounds or tykes. In Hawaii, they are known as Poi Dogs. Country folks in the South, call them feists or curs.
In Newfoundland you will hear the term a Cracky. In the Bahamas and nearby islands, they are called Potcakes. Jump over to South Africa and you will hear the people refer to them as a Pavement Special. Our Australian friends call theirs Bitzers.
No matter what they are called, for many dog owners, mutts are the only real dogs. To them, the more breeds in the mix, the better!
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a mutt?
Let’s start with the advantages. The fact they are less likely to be stolen is a good one.
There is often a lower incident of genetic defects, as there is a larger gene pool. It’s a fact, the bigger the gene pool, the less likely the odds of combining two defective genes. That is a plus for many less discriminating, yet adoring dog lovers.
Additional advantages are mutts are less expensive to purchase. Usually, they are also less expensive in the upkeep department as they require few, to no visits to a groomer for a fancy hairdo.
It is also a fact, mutts tend to have a higher than average natural longevity compared to pedigrees. The reason for this as studies have shown, may be mutt mothers are normally excellent moms compared to their pedigreed cousins. It’s true. Documentation in many countries show, they normally provide better care, as well as more and a higher quality of milk. Because of that, infant mortality in mutt litters is noticeably lower than with purebred-bred litters.
Between a diluted gene pool, and quality postnatal care, it appears a mutt pup has the advantage a healthier start and possibly a longer life.
Finally, whenever you look into their eyes, there is the sense you did the right thing. They may not be the cutest, fluffiest, most handsome, or prettiest dog in the dog park, but they are forever grateful, that you saw their “inner beauty.”
So, what are the disadvantages?
The disadvantages are few. Granted, you won’t find a mutt participating in the AKC/Eukanuba or Westminster Dog Show.
Nor will you see them at most AKC events…although that is changing a little with their AKC Partners Program.
The only other disadvantages of owning a mutt are you will never really be sure how big they will get, or what their temperament will be. Not that there is any guarantee with a pedigreed dog. Nonetheless, responsible breeders do have a general idea of the likely size and temperament of the offspring of their mating pairs.
If sharing your life, love and home with a blue-blooded pedigree is imperative to you, than this article won’t make a difference.
However, if you are less discerning about your image and want to share your life, love and home with a wonderful pet, consider adopting or rescuing a mutt.
At a local shelter or rescue, the perfect companion and new best friend is anxiously waiting just for you. Save a mutt’s life!
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