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Pure Breds vs Mixed Breeds

Have you ever heard it said that "Mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebred dogs"?

As to mixed breed dogs - it is a wives tale that they have better health.  What is a mixed breed dog? By definition - mixed breeds are mixtures of pure-breed dogs.

First of all, No respectable breeder would allow mixing of breed types, thus a mixed breed came about most likely because of a breeding that took place by a roaming vagrant. If the breeding was not something that a reputable breeder would plan, then what was the quality of the 2 dogs that came together to have a litter of mixed breed pups? What sort of health testing was done to those 2 dogs before the breeding took place?

The answer is clear. It is extremely unlikely that such a breeding occurred between health tested animals.

The problem with mixed breeds are multiple. If there are health issues in the sire and dam, you now have multiple probabilities of issues in the pups. And what if both parents have the same health issue? Now you have doubled up on that problem, magnifying the possible negative outcome. It is certain that these pups will be born with the same defect.

What about the predictability of temperament? How do you have a standard of temperament to measure? This is simply not possible with a mixed breed dog, whereas, it is expected in a purebred dog, such as an AKC registered Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Someone in their infinite street wisdom, dubbed "line-breeding" as "in-breeding". Line breeding is an acceptable and respected methodology to produce sound animals - in any genus. If you have healthy dogs in a bloodline, breeding to say, second nieces or cousins is a good thing. Now we are multiplying on the good health, not the bad. Bad line breeding is breeding mothers to sons or Fathers to daughters and brothers to sisters. This is usually a puppy milling activity, and not the practice of conscientious breeders. However, carefully selected line-breeding stamps a trusted bloodline.The rigidness of the standard is then imprinted heavily on future generations, so that like begats like - proper heads, angulation, good bone structure, nice tight feet, temperament, etc.

And here is something else to consider - most purebreds came about back in the early history, such as the Rhodesian Ridgeback, by the mixing of breeds. Of course, Its just much more controlled now amongst reputable breeders, and mixing of breeds is never done.

Pure bred dogs can have terrible issues if responsible actions are not uncompromisingly instituted in a breeding program. It has been uninformed, and uneducated breeders who have allowed a breeding to take place between pure-bred dogs that have not been health tested. The German Shepherd, Labrador Retrievers and others are good examples of what happens when poor breeding practices run rampant. It should be noted that almost without exception, it is these very people that have accidental breedings resulting in mixed breed dogs.

It was a very uninformed individual that started the fallacy that mixed breed dogs are healthier. It has caused a number of misconceptions about dogs in general, and cast a shadow on the good reputation of conscientious breeders as a whole.

For more insight on the topic concerning the hereditary health of purebred vs mixed breed dogs, this AKC article is a very good read.