A dog is a dog

A dog is a dog and a mutt is healthier than a purebred.    This is a common misperception and it is true and false.  I can see you all now, reading with your mouth hanging open.  Before you jump to conclusions, read on.  Dogs are dogs as far as the heart and soul of a canine.  From the tiniest 5lb pocket pooch to the 200 pound giants that walk amongst us, they are all dogs.  Whether they have very little fur, are covered in large quantities, have a long and slender faces or nearly no face at all, they are all dogs.  What is the same about each and every one is their dogness, that amazingness that can only be dog. 

The false part of the opening statement is that mutts are healthier than purebreds.  A blanket statement like that has and is thrown around all the time.  Many people say to me "oh, I want a mutt, they are healthier," or "I don't want a show dog, I just want a dog."  Well, I don't want a show dog either but I would like a healthy dog. 

You see, I have talked to people who have gone with mutts and I know many people who choose purebreds and unfortunately both sides have sad, sad stories.  Illnesses that plague dogs whether or  not they are mutts or purebreds.  What it comes down to is us, that's right, humans.  It is all on us and how much we are willing to do; are we committed to get rid of or reduce illness and disease in our dogs?  There are environmental issues that can cause illness but much of it rides on genetics and that is solely on us.  Canine genetics and health testing. 

Unlike many people, I am not horrified by the idea of mixing breeds.  What I am horrified and disgusted in, is the lack of concern for the dogs.  Whether dogs are mix or purebred, we (as in humans) should only be breeding the best.  Sadly I know many people who turn a blind eye when health issues arise.  They continue to breed dogs who have less than robust health and/or temperaments.  This is the problem, bottom line. 

Did the guy down the street who bred his beagle to the neighbors Pug do health testing?  Pretty doubtful.  Do Puppy Millers test for anything?  No, they don't care about health or anything else other than money in their pocket.  Do all purebred breeders who show their dog's test for health?  Nope. 

The whole matter is quite complicated and if you would like to really understand it all you must have an open mind.  Many people just shut down when the topic of purebred vs. mutt comes up.  They may have their own opinion and cannot fathom anything that strays from that.  My own opinion on purebred vs. mutt is a little more straight forward; health, testing, concern for our dogs. 

Being that my own breed is one of the most fluffed and sprayed breeds out there, much rides on appearance.  But to find what you are looking for as far as health; you have to get through all the fancy clips and fluff and get to the core.  Are we doing the best for our dogs concerning health?  Some are, some are not.  Just because a dog looks amazing and struts through a ring with Judge approval does not make that dog a healthy one. 

Looking at dogs 100 years from now, it could go either way.  Let's face it, human intervention is at play here.  How many dogs do we need?  Well, a lot less than are out there for sure.  As we manipulate "man's best friend," are we doing what is best for them?  I for one think dogs are amazing just because they are dogs.  But if we love them so much, shouldn't we do what is best for them?  So that we can live long and happy lives together?  I think so.

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