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  • Writer's pictureJagger Brocious

Let's talk about purebred dogs

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

Bear with me as this is my first-time putting words into writing on the topic and this is really off the cuff as I just saw a video online bashing purebred dogs and it just triggered a desire to address the elephant in the room.


If you somehow found yourself on my business' website for the first time my name is Jagger Brocious and I am a balanced dog trainer with five years’ experience and countless mixed bred and purebred dogs under my belt. The topic of this first post is to clarify the misinformation out there in regards to purebred dogs, well-bred dogs, and mutts. The pros and cons of all the above and maybe (hopefully) helping take some of the pressure off a potential new dog owner in making that choice!


To start let’s go over purebred dogs as a whole. To be purebred means to have been purposely bred for a long enough period of time to set a standard and once established continuing to bred within that standard without crossing with other dogs keeping the line "pure" rather than "mixed". Historically purebred dogs were created to complete specific tasks or have specific traits. Simple examples exist like the Border Collie, a highly athletic and intelligent breed. Though today people use Border Collies for a number of sports, activities, or even just companionship they were created to herd livestock. As such a well-bred Border Collie almost has a "sixth sense" when it comes to herding. I've seen so many "pet" Collies go out and herd sheep like a natural just based on that genetic trait without any previous exposure or prior learning! Terrier's hunt, Retrievers retrieve, the list can go on and on but purebred dogs’ best traits are these breed standards that in most cases help people match a dog to a task. Heck, even outside of these working traits size, shape, it all is helpful to have an idea of what you sign up for when getting a new dog!


With that being said let’s take a step back and talk about the unfortunate side of purebred dogs. I have to make a distinction between purebred and well bred. Supply and demand really have impacted the lineage of purebred dogs over the past hundred years or so. As modern society moved from working dogs to household companions purebred dogs’ traits began to water down. People stopped buying a dog just to fulfil a job and started buying dogs based on color, looks, and cuteness. Which on the surface doesn't seem to be a problem but when for profit breeders started to capitalize on the monetary gain or breeding for a specific desired uncommon color or trait they stopped caring about temperament, health risks, and the things that made purebreds pure!


Next up we have the mutts! Not that hard to talk about as anything that isn't pure is a mutt. Take a Golden Retriever and a Poodle you get a "Doodle" but at the end of the day it's not a recognized breed and you end up with a mutt or mixed breed. Just like the unethical "purebred" for profit breeders plenty of "breeders" exist who sell designer dogs labeled cute names like "Mini Hippos", "Morkies", and all sorts of extra expensive mutts. You also have your backyard accidents and shelter dogs who are just out on the streets making mixed dogs without a need for profit.


Now that I have gone over a little on the difference between the three types of dogs if you are still here let’s talk about the pros and cons to all three.

Pros


Purebred (not well bred)

· Trying to look on the brighter side they in theory should be cheaper!

· Normally they don't come with strings attached! Not as common to have binding contracts.

· Easier to obtain and more than likely available in your area.

Well Bred Dogs

· You are getting a support system. Most good breeders set up their clients for success, educating about their breed, placing dogs in the homes they are fit for, etc.

· Health tested dogs ensure you know what you are getting without as high of a chance of surprises later.

· Matching the traits, size, and temperament for what fits your lifestyle instead of just the looks of the dog!

Mixed Bred Dogs

· It's a pro and a con but you can get the best traits of multiple breeds! (Or the worst)

· Easy to obtain, so many shelter dogs need a home these days.

· A heck of a lot cheaper (shelter dogs), "designer" dogs won't be so cheap.


Cons

Purebred (not well bred)

· Breeding for profit or just for the sake of breeding sacrifices the desired traits just for the sake of making more puppies.

· Often bred in unethical ways puppy mills run rampant, overbreeding, poor living conditioned, etc.

· Breeding dogs that should not be bred. Such as hereditary medical conditions, aggressive traits, etc.

Well Bred Dogs

· I won't lie they normally cost more. All those health tests and selective breeding takes more time and effort and as such they normally need to make up for that with a higher purchase cost.

· Waitlists, well-bred dogs from a lineage that is healthy and happy normally have a long line of interested people waiting to get one for themselves.

· Research is needed! Figuring out if a dog is Well Bred vs just Purebred takes some digging.

Mixed Bred Dogs

· No pun intended but they are a mixed bag! Could get all the good or all the bad.

· Was it in a shelter? Was it a "designer breed" these dogs come with strings attached that you may not be able to understand till the transaction is complete.


Myths


Purebred


"They are Inbred and riddled with medical problems."

I can't say it isn't true to some extent. Bad breeding and selective breeding can lead to Hereditary medical issues from the Brachycephalic breeds (smooshed faced dogs), hip dysplasia and so much more. However, this goes back to pure vs well-bred as good breeders test for medical issues AND do not continue lines prone to those issues.

Mixed Bred Dogs


"They are healthier"


I wish this was true and in theory it can be sometimes but genetics aren't always so simple! Look at Doodles, bred too hypoallergenic yet most are not. I've had the displeasure of meeting a happy mutt named Kota that had hip dysplasia at 8 months!


Alright, I didn't source information and I threw this together in about an hour. It came off the cuff as mentioned earlier so I hope it maybe helped a bit? My closing note is going to be this; adopt or purchase there isn't a right or wrong. I will say supporting unethical "designer dogs" or Puppy Mills is in fact unethical. But I know that there will always be the devil’s advocate that those dogs need homes as well. You may have the exception to the pro's or con's above as well and I hope that's for the better and not for worse just don't let people guilt you into not getting a Well-Bred dog!


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