Our last post was about the possible advantages and disadvantages of owning a purebred dog or cat (check out part 1 of this article at https://www.sugarpaws.me/dog-or-cat-breed-part-one/).
In this post we cover mixed breeds and why they make great pets!
Mixed breed dogs and cats are exactly that – a mixture of breeds. Sometimes the breeds are known but sometimes it’s not as clear.
Mixed breeds can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there is accidental mating of two breeds (for example, between pets in the same house that were not spayed/neutered). Sometimes different breeds are crossed together on purpose to create a new breed (which then becomes a breed of its own if it gains enough popularity). And sometimes there can be mating between purebred house pets that aren’t spayed/neutered and strays.
An example of unintentional breeding is of a Husky and Pug that are pets in the same house. If they have not been spayed or neutered and have a litter, the puppies will be a mix of both breeds. They could look more like one or the other or a mixture of both. The same is true for their behaviour. With mixed breeds, you usually don’t know what you’re getting until it’s right in front of you and even then things might not be instantly clear.
An example of intentional breeding to create a new breed is when Labradors and Poodles are mated together. The resulting puppies are called Labradoodles. They grow up to be medium sized dogs with curly coats and have very friendly and loving personalities. They are mated together on purpose so breeders ensure their looks and behaviour remain consistent. Breeders only choose those animals for mating that have the qualities they want the resulting offspring to have.
The third example of cross breeding is when there’s completely random mating between two animals.
A ginger male Persian cat might mate with a black and white female Arabian Mau he met on one of his outdoor adventures and the resulting offspring would then be a mix of the two. Some kittens might look more like the male, some the female, or they might look a bit like both. If these kittens are rescued from the street for homing, the rescuers may be able to make an educated guess about what their parents’ breeds are but they probably won’t be able to tell for certain. The kittens may be very active like their Arabian Mau mom, or more laid back like their Persian dad. Personality traits become more obvious as the kittens grow. Until then, it is difficult to predict exactly what they’ll look like or what their adult personalities will be.
Mixed breeds make great pets and there are no disadvantages to getting a mixed breed pet (other than not being able to enter it in a pedigree competition or knowing its exact lineage).
It is difficult to predict the personality of a mixed breed puppy or kitten when they’re young as they’re still developing in every aspect. Personality traits stabilize as pets get older but if you like certainty then a very young pet might not be a good idea. However, if you get an adult dog or cat (about a year old) instead of a young puppy or kitten, you’ll have a fairly good idea of what they’re like. With an adult dog or cat you get what you see. If you spend some time with them and gather all the information you can, you’ll have a good idea of their temperament.
Mixed Breed Health
The good news is, mixed breeds generally have fewer health problems than purebreds do. They suffer less genetic abnormalities and disorders and generally live longer than their purebred counterparts. This is true for both dogs and cats. However, not all mixed breed pets are healthier than all purebreds as a lot depends on the genetics of the parents (which in the case of mixed breeds might not be known). There are genetic issues that are more prevalent in certain purebred pets, but this does not mean that they can’t occur in mixed breed pets or that there’s a guarantee a mixed breed won’t suffer from health issues down the line. Pets are the same as humans in that there’s no way to predict these things.
There is even some research that shows mixed breed dogs score higher on intelligence tests than purebreds do. Of course this doesn’t mean every mix breed dog is smarter than every purebred, but it indicates that mixed breeds don’t suffer any disadvantages when it comes to health or intelligence.
Finding Your Pet
There are lots of great rescue organizations in the city that are working hard to find good homes for animals who come under their care. Rescue groups have a wide variety of pets of all ages and types. There is usually a screening process to ensure that adopters and pets are a good match for each other. There may be some adoption costs that need to be covered such as the cost of getting the pet health checked, vaccinated, and at times spayed or neutered. Rescue organizations don’t make any money when they charge adoption fees. They’re simply trying to cover the amount they spent so they can continue to help other animals in need. The actual cost incurred while the animal is under their care is usually higher than what the adopter is charged. In the case of some pets (dogs in particular), this can involve training to correct discipline or behaviour problems to ensure they can find a new home and will make good pets.
Friends and Family