Chapter 5
How To Know The Best Source For Your Dog
Mixed Breeds vs. Purebred Dogs in Shelters. The vast majority of dogs in shelters are mixed breed dogs. Many shelter dogs are a result of unplanned litters, where unspayed females become the object of interest for a passing neighborhood dog. Breed rescue groups typically comb shelters for purebred dogs, as they like to handle the re-homing of purebreds themselves. Additionally, purebred dog owners are less likely to surrender their dogs; they typically pay far more for a purebred and are more reluctant to surrender it. Many of the owners who do give up their purebred dogs are governed by their sales contract to return the dog to the breeder to be re-homed. As a result, fewer purebred dogs are turned in to shelters or humane societies. But still, it is estimated that between 25% and 30% of dogs that enter shelters and humane societies are purebred dogs. Mixed breed dogs have some great benefits over purebred dogs. Mixed breed dogs are less likely to suffer from inbreeding and breed-related medical issues than purebred dogs. They tend to be healthier overall, due to the diverse blend of genes. Adopting a mixed breed dog from a shelter is also significantly less expensive than getting a purebred dog from a breeder. Mixed breed dogs also have disadvantages over getting a purebred dog. While temperament testing can tell you a lot about a mixed breed shelter dog, it still might not be as accurate as selecting a purebred dog for getting a predictable temperament. Additionally, mixed breed puppies come in a variety of shapes and sizes. When you adopt a mixed breed puppy, you may not know how large it will be or exactly what it will look like as an adult. Advantages of Shelter Dogs. Adopting a shelter dog yields financial and health-related benefits. Shelter dogs are significantly less expensive than purebred dogs. You can generally adopt a shelter dog from $75 to $200; compared to buying a purebred dog from a breeder from $400 to over $2,000. Shelter dogs also typically come spayed or neutered, or with a spaying or neutering certificate, whereas you generally, to get purebred dogs unaltered and must pay to have the surgery performed yourself. Mixed-Breed shelter dogs also have the benefit of being generally healthier than inbred purebred dogs. Many more purebred dogs have genetic health issues due to inbreeding and poorly-planned breeding programs than mixed-breed dogs. Because shelter dogs are generally mixed breeds, they lack many of the genetic health-related issues that plague purebred dogs. They're generally healthier overall and have fewer exaggerated features that can cause issues, such as excessively short snouts that can cause breathing problems. Finally, many people find it more fulfilling to adopt a shelter dog than to buy a purebred dog from a breeder. These people feel sympathy toward shelter dogs with their unknown backgrounds or are motivated by the pet overpopulation problem and choose to adopt a shelter dog. These people maintain that shelter dogs make steadfast companions and are grateful for a home after living in the shelter or humane society. Realistically, both purebred dogs from breeders and shelter dogs can make great pets but, if you find the idea of 'rescuing' a shelter dog appealing, it can add to your overall satisfaction of being a dog owner.