Mutt or Pure Bred?

With December 2 being National Mutt Day, we're addressing the ongoing debate between whether a mutt or a pure bred is better!
Tips & Advice → Mutt or Pure Bred?

Therehas long been a debate among dog owners whether it's better to get a pure bred or a mutt. By definition a mutt is generally a dog with many different breeds of unknown parentage. Mutts are also known as "mixed breeds" (mongrel is such a derogatory term). A "pure bred" denotes a pure strain obtained through many generations of controlled breeding for desirable traits.

Advantages of a Mutt

  • Have a lower chance of being born with inherited congenital diseases, since the mating process naturally leaves out the defective genes.
  • Generally don't suffer from breed-specific health problems.
  • Mutts are also able to perform any task a pure bred can including search and rescue.
  • Mutts are literally one of a kind ... even litter mates can look very different.
  • Mutts are less expensive because you don't pay the price of a high-end breeder.
  • According to, many studies comparing the lifestyle of mutts and purebred dogs have shown that mixed-breed dogs usually have longer lifespans than pure breeds.

Disadvantages of a mutt

  • With a puppy, you don't know the exact mix of breeds that have come before that puppy. Will the dog be small or big? If you can't tell the breed, you won't know if there is a propensity toward certain behavior issues. Breed is often a good indicator of some behavior issues.

Advantages of a Pure Bred Dog

  • With a puppy, the breeder can tell you what you can expect in terms of size, behavior and health. You can generally predict the dog's appearance including body type, ear shape, tail style,
  • Their parents and other ancestors are all members of the same breed, and generally conform to a specific breed standard.
  • The AKC recognizes more than 150 breeds of purebred dogs. Purebreds are the result of carefully selected, researched and documented breedings. Some breeds originated relatively recently, while others have existed since civilization began.

Disadvantages of a Pure Bred

  • They can be very expensive.
  • Pure bred dogs can have just as many health problems as mutts (or more).

Did you know that mixed breed dogs are euthanized far more than pure bred dogs? Due to the popularity and demand for designer and pure bred puppies, mutts often end up in shelters in higher numbers. That's unfortunate.

The bottom line is that both sorts of dogs are good -- it really depends on what you want and the training and support dog owners provide.


At Bark Busters, it doesn't matter whether your dog is a pure bred or mutt, particularly if you are just looking for a loving companion who will be totally devoted to you. Regardless of his pedigree, we will work diligently to train him to be a great, well behaved dog.


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