The Mixed Breed vs. Purebred Debate

by Melissa R. on August 4, 2014

PurebredA 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.
Mixed Breed
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 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 a side.

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 matter.

Although of course, if you DO decided 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.

Dogs of all types

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

chrisdwane August 16, 2014 at 4:54 am

Nice article. Both are nice because both contains some qualities. Mixed Breed dogs and puppies have lower chances of diseases and Purebred puppies and dogs have an advantage for breeders because they can easily describe about dog and their size, behavior and health..

Linnaea Rose Newman August 4, 2017 at 10:26 am

Good points-all of them. While I’ve never actually purchased a pet, I’ve had equal amounts of mutts and purebreds “given” to me. Some were originally purchased from breeders, some from rescues, and my first GSD was purchased from a pet shop back in the day, and then given to me when the owner went into military service. They were all wonderful, and most also held many surprises. All were very special, and all were generous with their unconditional love!

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