What is the Difference Between Purebreds and Mixed Breeds?
In terms of intelligence, health, or family pet, the difference between purebreds and mixed breeds can only be compared in general terms, and neither may come out ahead.
For a bit of history, the first dogs were called "original village dogs" and roamed the villages reproducing randomly. It wasn't until much later in the 1800's that purebreds came along and were developed through these village dogs.
To understand the difference between purebred and a mixed breed dog, one only has to look at the genetic makeup of both. The genetic makeup should provide clues about the characteristics of the dog.
There are only two categories of dogs: Purebreds and Mixed Breeds.
Purebred Dog History
Purebred dog history shows these dogs were developed with specific characteristics that these so called "village dogs" carried. The documented history of how purebreds were developed and the American organization that represents these dogs began in 1887 and was named AKC (American Kennel Club). Back then, the sole purpose of this organization was to document a reliable Stud Book. American purebred dogs are usually registered with the AKC and when you purchase a purebred puppy, you will receive AKC papers documenting their lineage history. To date, the AKC is comprised of seven types of dogs which equates to over 150 specific dog breeds.
Characteristics And Temperaments Of Purebreds
Generally, when looking at purebred dogs, you will find that their physical characteristics and temperaments are very predictable. When you see a purebred puppy, you pretty much know what he will look like as an adult. These are 'hard-wired' into their genes. Skilled breeders with a knowledge of genetics can predict the ending results from taking one dog's genes and combining them with another dog's genes.
Sacred Truths of Purebreds:
There are three sacred truths held by virtually all dog clubs and virtually all show dog breeders.
1. Purebreds must be preserved. The loss of any breed would be a tragedy.
2. Responsible breeders should try to improve their breed.
3. Breeding to "show standards" - best way to preserve and improve the breeds.
Most purebred dog breeds were originally developed for working purposes: hunting birds or rabbits, killing rats, guarding estates, pulling sleds, and herding sheep. Working behaviors can be a nuisance and hard to change.
Working Behaviors of Purebred Dogs Include:
Putting their nose to the ground and running.
Grabbing smaller animals as though they are prey.
Digging holes in the ground.
Acting suspicious or threatened towards strangers.
Baying and howling.
Barking, nipping and chasing moving things: bikes, cars, running children, and other animals.
Choosing a Purebred
When choosing a purebred working dog, there is always the hope that you can guide them into good behavior by raising and training them well. Some have such strong genetic tendancies that anything you do will not have an effect on the dog, whatever their genetic make-up may be. If choosing one of these types of purebred dogs, it might be wise to enroll your new puppy into a puppy class and then move on to obedience training.
Health Of Purebred
The health of purebred records show over 300 health defects have now been documented in many purebreds due to what is called as 'inbreeding' or 'linebreeding'. Inbreeding refers to the many pedigrees showing the same dog, or even several of the same dogs, listed twice in the first few generations. Show breaders call it this when breeding parent to offspring or brother to sister. Linebreeding is termed by what show breeders call when they breed grandparent-to-grandchild or uncle-to-niece, or aunt-to-nephew, or cousin-to-cousin.
Registries of purebreds such as the AKC (American Kennel Club) require that all future offspring come from the mating of dogs registered with their club, restricting the vast majority of other dogs that would otherwise be available for breeding. Without introduction of new and unrelated genes, "loss of genetic diversity" will inevitably lead to weaker dogs with health problems. Most breeds were built on relatively few founding dogs so same sets of genes are being reproduced over and over again. For a list of some of the known defects of any purebred dog, go to: Genetic Defects Amongst Purebreds.
MIXED BREED DOGS
Characteristics And Temperaments Of Mixed Breeds
The characteristics and temperaments of mixed breeds is challenging somewhat. The term mixed breed often is misleading. What many think is just a combination of different purebreds could actually be and most likely be just generations of different mixed breeds. So, unless you know for sure that the puppy's parents are purebreds, its just a wild guess.
Mixed breeds do tend to have the personality type of one of the dominant parent types. So a herding dog mix will likely have a herding dog personality. A cross of a Sporting Dog and Herding Dog will likely have a temperament more like the Sporting Dog parent.
Health of a Mixed Breed
Mixed breeds do not have a limited gene pool as the purebred has, therefore, they have a good genetic diversity which tends to promote good general health and vigor. Because their genes are usually unrelated, the chances are good that the parents of a mixed breed puppy did not have the same defective genes. Most likely mixed breeds also come from a long line of original "village dogs". No doubt about it, mixed breeds are unpredictable. They aren't bred for a specific task or behavior.
When deciding between a purebred dog or a mixed breed dog there really are no secrets. When buying a good purebred dog it will depend on the knowledge of the buyer and the willingness to utilize that knowledge when confronted with a bunch of cute, fuzzy balls of fur. An informed buyer will be less likely to be taken because they take choosing a dog seriously.
Since there is no Consumer Report on dog breeders, that means you, the buyer, have to do your own due diligence. If purchasing a puppy or dog on the web, online fraud can be a concern with any transaction. Therefore, we strongly urge you to use an escrow service when purchasing any dog online and do your research! See if the web address of the escrow site is registered with the Better Business Bureau. By all means, try to visit the breeder before purchasing.