Is it Better to Get a Crossbreed Dog?

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You know those commercials where they say “Do Your Own Research”? Well, when it comes to pets, it really does pay off. The Internet is full of information about different types of animals, from cats to horses, as well as all kinds of other potential issues like training and behavior problems.

 

You can also find out everything you need to know about specific breeds, including their origins and characteristics. It’s easy to do research online, and once you’ve done some investigating, you’ll be able to make an informed decision before making any purchases.

 

So why not take that same approach when deciding which type of pet to buy? That way, if you end up finding out later that your choice isn’t right for you, at least you didn’t waste money on something you wouldn’t have wanted anyway. There are plenty of purebred dogs available today, but did you know that some people don’t consider them the most ideal option?

 

In fact, some experts argue that buying a purebred might actually cause more harm than good by creating health problems due to inbreeding. Instead, they suggest giving crossbreeds (a mixture of two different dog breeds) a chance. But how much better is a crossbreed over a purebred? And is it even possible to create such an animal?

 

Crossing Breeds Is Not Always Easy

 

When someone says “mixing breeds,” most people automatically think about mixing up a few ingredients to come up with something completely new. However, we often overlook the fact that the process of breeding animals to produce offspring is already somewhat random. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that crossbreeds aren’t viable options, it does throw into question whether certain traits will emerge, because unlike humans, animals can only mate within their own species.

For example, if you had two wolves who were both interested in mating with another wolf, that combination would probably result in puppies with varying levels of strength, intelligence and coordination.

 

For instance, while one could be very aggressive, others may be smarter or stronger. This happens because each trait tends to dominate the genetic pool. So even though it seems like there should be enough variety among the offspring, the reality is that the children of wolves rarely tend to display these variations.

 

It’s also important to realize that although some people believe that crossbreeds are inherently healthier than purebreds, that’s not always true either. Some crossbreeds are prone to similar hereditary conditions as their parent breeds, and sometimes the opposite can occur, too.

 

Take Great Danes and German Shepherds, for example, whose coats are known to shed significantly less hair than other purebred varieties of large dogs. However, if you pair a short haired Great Dane with a long haired German Shepherd, the short coated dog could easily suffer from bald spots. Also, since crossbreeds haven’t gone through the extensive testing that purebreds have, there’s no guarantee that they won’t develop hereditary disorders.

 

If you’re still curious about crossbreeds, read on to learn about some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with owning a mix breed pet. Some critics of crossbreeds claim that the term itself implies that the resulting animal was created artificially instead of naturally. They point to the idea that the parents weren’t compatible with each other, thus proving that crossbreeding wasn’t the best route to take.

 

However, that’s not usually a problem. For example, if you were considering pairing a Chihuahua with a Golden Retriever, you’d be correct in thinking that it wouldn’t work. Both breeds are small, delicate and nonaggressive. But if you were to pair a larger dog with a smaller one, the larger dog would likely overpower the smaller one. Therefore, the two breeds’ size differences wouldn’t allow them to successfully coexist.

 

The Pros and Cons of Getting a Crossbreed Pet

 

While crossbreeds definitely have their faults, there are definite benefits to owning one, too. For starters, crossbreeds are usually cheaper than purebreds. Since purchasing a puppy from a breeder costs hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, owners of purebreds usually spend more per year on food and vet bills.

 

Plus, there are additional expenses involved in caring for a purebred dog, such as grooming, boarding and daycare. On top of that, many purebreds require special attention and care that owners normally wouldn’t incur with a lower cost companion pet.

 

Owners of crossbreeds, however, save money on food and vet bills, and they typically won’t spend nearly as much time away from home caring for their dogs. Even though prices vary depending on where you live, you can expect to pay anywhere between $250 and $500 annually for a medium sized, healthy crossbreed.

 

Of course, the price difference depends greatly on the quality of food and shelter you provide for your pet, and if you opt for an older, sickly, undersized crossbreed, the annual bill could climb as high as $1,000.

 

Another benefit of crossbreeds is versatility. Because crossbreeds have been bred specifically to combine unique features from multiple breeds, you can choose a crossbreed based on what you want. Maybe you prefer a big dog for protection, but you don’t mind sacrificing its agility.

 

Or maybe you want a terrier, but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of potty training. With a crossbreed, you’re sure to find one that combines the best attributes of several different dog breeds.

 

However, some owners feel that crossbreeds lack character and personality compared to purebreds. Many believe that since crossbreeds have been bred specifically to look different from their ancestors, they often lose something essential. One way around this is to purchase a crossbreed that has been specially trained to blend its unique traits together. Another strategy is to select a crossbreed that exhibits similar behaviors to its ancestor.

 

For example, if you chose a border collie as your purebred canine friend, you could potentially train him to become a herding dog. Then later on, if you decide to acquire another purebred dog, he could possibly bond with that new animal without issue.

 

In addition to being cheaper and easier to maintain, some people also claim that crossbreeds are better suited for families with active lifestyles. When selecting a purebred, it’s important to remember that many breeds were originally developed to perform specific tasks. For example, border collies were originally used to herd sheep.

 

Therefore, if you plan on keeping your dog outside all day and spending lots of time doing activities that call for agility, speed or endurance, it might be best to go with a purebred. On the other hand, if you lead a relatively sedentary life, you might be fine with a crossbreed. Regardless, you should probably start researching the different breeds to see which ones are perfect for your lifestyle.

 

There are dozens of ways to combine various breeds to create a new hybrid, but one of the easiest methods is by using a stud book. Stud books contain detailed descriptions of the physical and behavioral characteristics of male members of a particular breed, along with details regarding their lineage.

 

Owners then use stud books to find males that fit their needs or preferences. For example, a couple seeking a guard dog might search for dogs with strong protective instincts, good temperaments and calm dispositions. Once they narrow down their choices, owners can contact breed associations to inquire about licensing agreements. These licenses allow people to reproduce crossbreeds legally.

 

Most experts agree that crossbreeds are safer than purebreds. Purebreds are bred for uniformity, which means that they tend to exhibit similar characteristics and inherit the same diseases. Although the chances of developing a dangerous condition are low, the risk increases when the number of generations of inbreeding increases. On the other hand, crossbreeds aren’t bred for consistency, meaning there’s no assurance that they’ll carry identical genes. Thus, crossbreeds are generally more resistant to hereditary conditions.