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What are the differences between a purebred and mixed breed dog?

different types of dogs and their breeds group shot

It is an exciting moment when you have decided to add a new furry canine member to your family. Now, you just have to make the decision of what route you are planning on going with to bring a new dog into your house. Should you seek to buy a purebred dog with an established pedigree or to adopt a mixed breed dog who needs a good, loving home? This a big decision which must be taken into consideration when figuring out the best type of dog for you and your family.

Both purebred and mixed breed dogs have many qualities which can help bring excitement into your home. These qualities have pros and cons which you should think about before making your decision, because this is a long term commitment for you and your dog. By evaluating the pros and cons between the two types of dogs, you will be able to make a better decision on which would be the best choice for you and your family.

What are the pros and cons for purebred dogs?

There is a huge selection of purebred dogs out there just waiting to find a place in your home. When thinking about purebreds, you can take into consideration a variety of things from size, shape, temperament, and even group (i.e. working group, herding group, and other dog show groupings). There are even more things to think about when making the decision to bring a purebred dog home.

Purebred Pros

  • Knowing the dog's pedigree for known potential genetic issues. Typically, you will adopt a purebred dog as a puppy though you can also adopt rescue adult purebred dogs.
  • Ability to determine size, temperament, and caring needs due to having a complete breeding family history.
  • Having natural instincts selective bred to ensure peak capabilities and performance.
  • Being able to find a dog that will meet your lifestyle and personality.
  • Having access to advice and information from fellow dog breed owners and breeders.

Purebred Cons

  • Can be costly to adopt. Prices typically range from $200-$15,000 or higher for one puppy depending on the breed. You are paying for the pedigree after all.
  • Some breeders are not reputable. You need to look for accreditations from the breeder from organizations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) to ensure that you are not adopting from someone running a puppy mill for profit.
  • Higher risks for health and genetic defects due to breeding for specific breed characteristics within the dog breed.
  • Cost of maintenance can be high depending on the breed. Some breeds will need additional care due to health issues and grooming needs.
  • Requires additional training if you are planning on putting your dog into a purebred dog show. This can be costly and time consuming if you are considering it.

What are the pros and cons for mixed breed dogs?

Mixed breed dogs tend to be the more typical family pet when considering adopting a dog into your family. Just like purebred dogs, there is a large variety of dogs ranging in size, build, and temperament. Though they are not bred for a specific characteristic, a mixed breed dog can still bring a lot of love into your home. When considering a mixed breed dog, you will want to take in a couple things before finalizing the adoption process to bring one into their new forever home.

Mixed Breed Pros

  • Cost of adoption is cheaper with costs ranging from free to $150 depending on the organization. Most of the costs are for the neutering/spaying of the dog, initial vaccines, medical evaluation, and microchipping. So, the cost is just offsetting expenses of making sure the dog is healthy.
  • Can have a lower chance of health issues due to mixing dog breeds together so genetic defects are not as likely to occur.
  • It is easier to find adoption and rescue groups with dogs readily available for you to adopt.
  • There is less paperwork involved for mixed breed adoptions since the focus is to finding a good home rather than trying to deal with an associations registration forms.
  • There are a lot of happy puppies and dogs who are looking for a loving forever home.

Mixed Breed Cons

  • It will be difficult to determine the final size and build of a mixed breed puppy since you will most likely not know the information about the parents and their pedigree.
  • Due to a lack of pedigree, you will not know what kind of medical issues your dog could potentially have.
  • There will not be information to properly determine the temperament of the dog, which will not be that obvious even with an adult mixed breed adoption. This can also include the care history of the dog by a previous owner.
  • Adult dogs especially can possibly require more work to house train depending on how they were raised prior to the adoption.
  • May have emotional issues (i.e. scare easily, nervous around people, etc.) due to the potential of temperament or prior abuse from a previous owner.

How do I choose between a purebred or mixed dog?

At the end of the day, you really have to think about what route you are going to want to go with before adopting a new furry family member. There are benefits and drawbacks that you need to go through before deciding on whether you are going to get a purebred or mixed breed dog. The best advice is to not jump head first into the adoption process without doing your research on which path is best for you, your family, your lifestyle, and the dog. This is a long-term commitment that must not be taken lightly since it will not only affect your life but the precious life of the dog. Just think it through.

Ultimately, either route you choose to go will bring into your life a whole new world of joy by introducing a new puppy or dog into a loving home. You will have a lifetime of joy from your new canine companion. Regardless of whether you are getting a purebred or mixed breed dog, you are going to love your new dog.