The Mixed Breed vs. Purebred Debate


A debate recently occurred on a friend’s Facebook wall, even though that was not what she intended. She had posted about how she loves her Purebred dogs, and values that she knows their bloodlines and genetic history back for ages. She had in the past owned mixed breeds – which she loved dearly but somewhere along the line she started with Purebreds and has decided she would never go back.

This started a very long, drawn-out debate which I’m sure my friend never really intended on, but it is such a hot topic, I knew where it would inevitably go… Bickering and a never-ending back & forth where nobody can win.

This debate rages daily. My Facebook wall almost always has something about “Don’t Shop, Adopt”, or the opposite in favor of Purebreds. Countless Rescue potentials and “No time left” for dogs in kill shelters scatter my wall. Personally, I am torn about this issue, as I am the owner of several Purebreed pets: two Ocicats, and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Not to mention the fact that I also have only EVER owned Purebred dogs, although they all came through Rescue. I never knew their bloodlines, but they were Purebred.

In fact, now that I sit down and really think about it – even when I first started researching to get my own dog when I was out on my own… I never really looked at mixed breeds, but it wasn’t intentional, I just never thought about it. Growing up, we had a Beagle, a Cocker Spaniel (who I think was a bit mixed!), an Irish Setter, and then a Golden Retriever.

Perhaps it has just been my upbringing that has made me always go the route of Purebred. Every day though I see many pictures of Mixed Breeds that are so adorable and wonderful, I would love to give them all homes. But I’ve just never gone that route.

Why did I choose a Purebred dog? Because 1) I wanted a puppy that was raised properly and raised with cats. 2) I wanted a dog specifically for Agility and I knew Tollers to be great Agility dogs. 3) I wanted to have as much of a guarantee on health & genetics as I could. 4) I wanted to have some idea of the personality and traits that I might expect. 5) I did not want a dog with an unknown background that may have behaviors I would have to re-train or un-train.

I could have covered #1, #2 and #5 with a Mixed Breed, but #3 & #4 were very important to me. Though, as it turns out, I have discovered no matter how much you know of a dog’s lineage or breed characteristics, you still can wind up with a dog you didn’t expect. So this debate is even more difficult for me to pick aside.

Honestly, I don’t think we need to “pick sides”. A pet is a pet. If your new family member is Purebreed or Mixed Breed – it simply doesn’t matter. That you love and care for them properly is what does matters.

Although of course, if you DO decide to go the Purebred route, and aside from rescue, be sure you research your chosen breed and pick a reputable breeder. Often by visiting the national breed club website, you can find contacts to breeders of merit, and I encourage potential new owners to also get to know breeders in their area before settling on one person.