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Purebred dogs can be better?!?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
http://www.toybreeds.com/purebred.htm
Many of the purebred owners that I know cite the fact that dogs are bred for traits, and with a purebred you have a much better idea of what you are getting. What I have discovered makes sense but I'm still not sold.
All but my last mutt have been great , easily predictable dogs, but my latest is, according to my vet, "conflicted". She is a Great Pyrenees/Golden Ret. crossed with a bona fide winning-illegal dog fighting Rottweiler. For the most part, she is a great dog, but once in awhile, her prey drive will kick in and she will kill small animals and has been caught "stalking" human babies (fortunately, she was in a fenced yard). With me, she knows better, even around cats & birds, but with overly permissive people, she dominates, walking between their legs, crossing in front of them, "alerting" if I'm not nearby. Almost any dog will go after chickens, no matter what breed. I do realize, though, that some breeds, such as the Goldens, seem to be easier to control.
I've been getting told that it's cuz I'm a "cat person" that I have trouble seeing the difference Maybe it's because I AM a cat person, that I usu. manage any dog very well. I handled the "dog-cases" for the last census and that went very well - the dogs instinctively respected me. Some were much more agressive, esp. the "watchdog" breeds (my PC term) but understood it when I explained (yes, I talk to animals ) why I was there. Several people were upset that their normally very mean dogs would let me go to the front door
On a side note, I have realized that many purebred cat owners also own "moggies" while the purebred dog owners don't approve of mutts
post #2 of 17
Catsknowme I don't think it's because you're a cat person. This discussion can split dog lovers too, believe me.

After having gotten plenty of scars from jumping into the fray on this topic what I've gotten out of it is this:

1 - People tend to be strongly influenced by their anecdotal experience. If they've had the greatest dog in the world that happened to be a mutt, they swear by mutts. If they've had a rotten experience with a mystery pound puppy, they say never again and only want purebreds.

2 - It's very easy to find lists of genetic diseases that different purebreds are prone to, which leads some people to believe that mutts are generally healthier. The usual counterargument is that the studies that led to these lists include PBs from puppymills, BYBs AND reputable breeders. The reputable breeders maintain that they keep track of ailments and yank any animal from their breeding program that they believe might be carrying bad genes. They then go on to argue that people who breed mixes or let dogs mate randomly aren't doing anything to track diseases so there is no proof for the claim that mixes are healthier.

3 - I've seen snobs on both sides of the fence. Some PB owners will drop snipey comments about mutts, while some people who are anti-breeder give you the impression that they subscribe to a higher standard of morals than those who breed or get a dog from a breeder. Most dog people are middle of the road and love ALL dogs equally, but do condemn someone who is breeding for profit, and it doesn't matter whether it involves PBs or mixes.
post #3 of 17
I've got 2 purebred dogs - both have cost me a fortune - and one mutt. Over $1,000 on Izzy in one year - not including spay/vaccines. My mixed breed, both parents were purebred, is in good health, though. I probably wouldn't go for a purebred again - but should there be one in the shelter I wouldn't dismiss the dog due to being purebred.
post #4 of 17
I have gotten 2 pure breeds from shelter s ...Gotten a pure breed from a hobby breeder .. a mutt via a opps litter and a few mixes from the shelter...

my absolute mutt lived to 16 yrs 10.5 months without any major issues ..... hobby breeder pure breed had hip issues common to the breed and before fancy testing... one mix from shelter massive allergies just like one of the shelter pure breeds


I love all types mixes ( ie you know what mom and dad were ) , mutts and pure breeds ...

I just lost the most expensive dog ... she was a pure breed from the shelter with papers ... she cost me somewhere around $20 K in 8 yrs just in vet bills ... I got likely a near pure breed ( she looks pure to casual observer) from my local shelter , she is a dream so far
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post


3 - I've seen snobs on both sides of the fence. Some PB owners will drop snipey comments about mutts, while some people who are anti-breeder give you the impression that they subscribe to a higher standard of morals than those who breed or get a dog from a breeder. Most dog people are middle of the road and love ALL dogs equally, but do condemn someone who is breeding for profit, and it doesn't matter whether it involves PBs or mixes.

This is where I fit in. However from personal experience..... we adopted a pure bred lab, and he did live till 14 however had hip dysplasia from about 7 onwards.
We now have a mutt (lab X wolfhound) and she is just 10, and hasn't had a single problem..... She is by far the best and healthiest dog we have ever had.

My best friend has purebred dogs and argues that atleast you know what you're getting, what to test for and what to look for......with a mutt you don't really know, however I think the point is mute because most of those nasty health problems are caused by recessive traits and the likelihood of a puppy getting 2 recessive genes from parents of different breeds is slim to null.

However on the opposite side I would never ever buy a mixed breed puppy (designer or otherwise) from a petstore or a breeder. From a pet store you can assume they were a whoops from someone too lazy to get their dog fixed, from a BYB or from a puppy mill and I will not endorse this. However as long as there are mutts in the shelter that's where I will be going. If I was going to buy a dog (which may become a reality since my SO is obssessed with Shiloh shepherds) it would be heavily researched, I would be contacting multiple references, from a reputable breeder with years of health testing done.

I would also never condemn someone for owning and buying purebred dogs. Some people just LOVE the look and personalities of certain breeds. Nothing wrong with that as long as they do it right, don't support BYB and have money set aside for some potentially costly vet bills.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
1 - People tend to be strongly influenced by their anecdotal experience. If they've had the greatest dog in the world that happened to be a mutt, they swear by mutts. If they've had a rotten experience with a mystery pound puppy, they say never again and only want purebreds.
I think you are spot on based on the responses in this thread. My first thought when responding was to use incidental experiences also. I think it is natural to do so.

I've had both mutts and pure bred dogs. The worst health problems were with ones who had hard times while very young - didn't matter if they were mutts or pure breds. In my mutts, there are problems that are typical of one of the breeds that are in them. In my pure breds, I've had the typical problems for that breed.

I chose dogs that are homeless and need a home, and if they are hard to place (like black dogs), even better. If that be a pure bred or a mutt, it doesn't really matter to me. I don't think that one is any better than the other.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post

1 - People tend to be strongly influenced by their anecdotal experience. If they've had the greatest dog in the world that happened to be a mutt, they swear by mutts. If they've had a rotten experience with a mystery pound puppy, they say never again and only want purebreds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I think you are spot on based on the responses in this thread. My first thought when responding was to use incidental experiences also. I think it is natural to do so.
Yup I agree.

We've had 7 dogs since I was little. Let me explain.

Dog #1. Purebred Lab - had him for less then 12 months. He used to target men and male dogs and mount them. Not a good thing for a baby (I would have been 1-2 at this age). He was aggressive too - we gave him away to a man and he lived until 18 years old.

Dog #2 Pug cross - from the SPCA. He was cute, cuddly but used to c*o*c*k his leg on EVERYTHING including my toys, bunk beds, the cats ( I would have been 4-5 at this age). He left to a very good home also, not sure what age he lived too.

Dog #3 Lab/Doberman/German Shepard cross - from the Petshop, although we were offered her privately first. Lived to the age of 15/16. Never cost more then $100 total at the vet. This incuded ALL vaccinations and spaying. Beautiful, laid back dog.

Dog #4 Suspected German Shepard - from friends. She lived until 14 years old when arthritis and back troubles meant she had to be PTS. Beautiful, caring, loving dog. Used to look after the baby kittens when they were born and loved the cats.

Dogs #5 & #6 - Staffordshire/Pitbull cross - from mob/gang associations. Mum & I thought we were doing the right thing getting 2 puppies (1 male, 1 female) but yeah right they tried to kill our cats, they used to try and fight each other to the death and used to attack humans. They ended up being rehomed also.

Dog #7 - Purebred Staffy. Gorgeous, loving dog. She's currently 2 years old. Good with the cats, good with people (not little kids) and has probably got Mum $1,000 to health problems.

So a mixed response with my dogs. I would not probably buy a pedigree dog - my Mum's bought all these dogs so I would most probably adopt one from the SPCA when the time comes I'm allowed one.

Cats are a different story though.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
Catsknowme I don't think it's because you're a cat person. This discussion can split dog lovers too, believe me.

After having gotten plenty of scars from jumping into the fray on this topic what I've gotten out of it is this:

1 - People tend to be strongly influenced by their anecdotal experience. If they've had the greatest dog in the world that happened to be a mutt, they swear by mutts. If they've had a rotten experience with a mystery pound puppy, they say never again and only want purebreds.

2 - It's very easy to find lists of genetic diseases that different purebreds are prone to, which leads some people to believe that mutts are generally healthier. The usual counterargument is that the studies that led to these lists include PBs from puppymills, BYBs AND reputable breeders. The reputable breeders maintain that they keep track of ailments and yank any animal from their breeding program that they believe might be carrying bad genes. They then go on to argue that people who breed mixes or let dogs mate randomly aren't doing anything to track diseases so there is no proof for the claim that mixes are healthier.

3 - I've seen snobs on both sides of the fence. Some PB owners will drop snipey comments about mutts, while some people who are anti-breeder give you the impression that they subscribe to a higher standard of morals than those who breed or get a dog from a breeder. Most dog people are middle of the road and love ALL dogs equally, but do condemn someone who is breeding for profit, and it doesn't matter whether it involves PBs or mixes.
Well said!
post #9 of 17
I have had a lot of both in my life and I know I will have another Purebred dog in the very near future. Most of our mutts have lived longer but our purebreds have been Great Danes and they are not known for their lifespan unfortunately. We have 2 mutts in the family now and one is a year and the other is 14ish and is very healthy minus some arthritis. He was an outside dog most of his life mostly by his own choice, he would not come in the house unless it was well below freezing and even then he was antsy inside. We did have a concrete out building that was heated and had beds for him and his mom that he would go in a lot.
I think it does depend a lot on the breeds.
And a big part of being a great breeder is running the test needed to know the health of your pups. And thats why its important to do research on the breeder you are going to. And that is why we are already researching for our puppy we are getting next spring.
post #10 of 17
I've never owned any dog, so am not biased in any particular direction, but these have been my observations.

Purebreds have a known temperament, and generally have a great personality. They do often have health problems though. My relatives who have purebreds have spent a fortune on the dogs health problems. The ones with mutts have less predictable personalities but have been much healthier.

I personally LOVE the look and personality of Weimeraner's and Vizsla's, so would probably have a tough choice deciding between a shelter dog and a Weimeraner/Vizsla, but would search the shelter first to see what's there.
post #11 of 17
I don't think either mutts or purebred dogs are inherently healthier.

However, if you have a dog from parents who have been tested for hereditary conditions and whose parents/grandparents/etc are free of those conditions and have been healthy with long lifespans, you are more likely to have a healthy dog free from those conditions. It not common to find mixed breeds where you know that much information about their ancestors or where the parents/grandparents/etc have been tested and had their health monitored closely. There are also many breeders of purebred dogs who don't breed for health and do health testing to that extent.

As for predictability, purebred dogs temperaments can be predicted to a greater extent than mixed breeds because there is a standard for the purebreds. With a mixed breed you first need to know what breeds make up the dog's parentage, and then you need to know what percentage of the dog's temperament comes from each parent breed so it can be more difficult to predict their traits. However of course there is also a lot of variation in individual dogs and you can also have dogs who act nothing like the norm for their breed.

I have owned wonderful mutts and purebreds, I like both and I don't really prefer one over the other... All of my dogs so far have been rescues though, except for the one my family owned when I was a kid which was a mixed breed my parents got from friends of the family before I was born, after the friends' "cockapoo" had a litter with a mixed breed down the street.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_jordi View Post
And a big part of being a great breeder is running the test needed to know the health of your pups.
Good breeders breed out the problems, and have their dogs tested to make sure they aren't breeding issues.
post #13 of 17
My dad has been a leading professor in vet science most of his life, at North Carolina State and then at Virginia Tech, and now at the University of Georgia. We've had this conversation many times, and we own both purebred and mutt dogs. In all his years, he's seen more problems with the purebreds than the mutts. All his vet friends say the same thing.

I don't think it comes down to temperament. Our shitzus are just as loving and loyal as our half lab/half shepherd, and just as energetic.

It just comes down to who is healthier. Not saying that mixed dogs don't have health issues, because they do, and that's part of life for any living thing, of course.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmeraldSongbird View Post
I don't think it comes down to temperament.
Doesn't come down to temperment, comes down to simple genetics.

Purebred dogs come from a very small genepool which means more recessive traits.
Generally recessive traits are the ones that cause health problems.
post #15 of 17
Personally, I would stick with purebreds who are also used for work. The working bred versions of purebreds are often healthier than their confirmation-bred counterparts because they need to be sound and fit to the work they are bred to do. For example, a working bred lab is lean, muscular, and athletic, whereas a bench bred (show bred) lab resembles a barrel.

For breeds who's work isn't really needed anymore, I would look for a breeder who breeds for the whole package, not just a pretty dog.

You can find plenty of healthy, sound mutts out there, but they can be a crapshoot because they didn't have a conscientious breeder planning and standing behind their breeding.

But I love 'em all.
post #16 of 17
I have had dogs all my life. Some purebred, some not. I have some with health problems, both purebred and mutts. I would love to buy another purebred Pomerainian. I love the breed. I lost my sweet Sophie last October. She died because of a negligent neighbour putting out rat poison. She put it beside our fence. We have two mutts Rosie is a shepard/sheltie cross 12 years old. Macie is a 9 month old Maltese/poodle cross.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Personally, I would stick with purebreds who are also used for work. The working bred versions of purebreds are often healthier than their confirmation-bred counterparts because they need to be sound and fit to the work they are bred to do. For example, a working bred lab is lean, muscular, and athletic, whereas a bench bred (show bred) lab resembles a barrel.
I totally agree. I would go for a purebred who was conformationally sound for the job it was bred to do. All of my dogs are mutts and knock on wood are all healthy.
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