Do Mixed Breed Dogs Have an Advantage Over Purebred Dogs?

In the world of canine companions, a long-standing debate has simmered: do mixed-breed dogs have an advantage over their purebred counterparts? This question isn’t merely about preference for one’s lineage over another; it delves into the heart of what we value in our four-legged friends. Mixed-breed dogs, often celebrated for their unique combinations of traits and unpredictable characteristics, bring to the table a host of qualities that purebred enthusiasts and casual dog lovers alike find appealing. On the other hand, purebred dogs are prized for their predictable traits, lineage, and the specific roles they were bred to fill, from lap warmers to relentless herders. However, beyond the surface of this debate lies a myriad of considerations including health, temperament, and adaptability. This discussion isn’t just about choosing a pet; it’s about understanding the profound implications of our choices on the wellbeing of these animals and the dynamics of our homes. As we explore the advantages mixed-breed dogs may or may not have over purebred dogs, we’ll uncover the complexity and depth of a seemingly simple question, shedding light on what truly makes a dog man’s best friend.


The debate between choosing mixed-breed dogs versus purebred dogs is multi-faceted, touching on aspects of health, temperament, and even the ethical implications of dog breeding and ownership. Let’s explore the arguments from both sides:

Health and Genetic Diversity

Mixed-Breed Dogs: One of the most significant arguments in favor of mixed breeds is their reputed health advantage, often attributed to a broader genetic pool. This genetic diversity can theoretically reduce the likelihood of inheriting specific hereditary diseases and conditions that are more common in certain purebreds. The term “hybrid vigor” is frequently used to describe this phenomenon, where mixed-breed dogs are believed to benefit from the mixing of genes, potentially leading to healthier and more resilient offspring.

Purebred Dogs: Purebred enthusiasts argue that with purebreds, there’s a predictability in health conditions, which means potential owners can prepare for or even mitigate certain health issues through responsible breeding practices. Purebred dogs’ health can be closely monitored through generations, allowing breeders to eliminate undesirable traits over time. However, the limited gene pool can lead to a higher prevalence of genetic disorders within certain breeds.

Temperament and Behavior

Mixed-Breed Dogs: Mixed breeds are often lauded for their unique combinations of behavioral traits, leading to well-rounded pets. However, their temperament can be less predictable than that of purebreds, as it may draw from a wide range of ancestral behaviors. This unpredictability requires a flexible approach from their owners but can also result in a dog that adapts well to various environments and situations.

Purebred Dogs: Purebreds, bred for specific traits and jobs, often have more predictable temperaments, making it easier for prospective owners to choose a dog whose behavioral tendencies fit their lifestyle. For instance, a family might choose a breed known for its gentleness with children, while an active individual might prefer a breed known for its high energy and endurance.

Ethical Considerations

Mixed-Breed Dogs: Advocates for mixed-breed dogs often point to the ethical consideration of adopting from shelters or rescues. Millions of mixed-breed dogs end up in shelters each year, and choosing to adopt one not only provides a home to a needy animal but also combats the puppy mill industry, which is criticized for its often inhumane conditions and overproduction of puppies.

Purebred Dogs: On the other hand, proponents of purebred dogs argue that responsible breeders ensure the health, well-being, and preservation of the breeds they love. They contend that ethical breeding practices contribute to the health and vitality of dogs by carefully selecting for positive traits and against health issues, thus ensuring the continuation of specific breeds for future generations to enjoy.

The mixed-breed versus purebred debate doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. The choice between a mixed-breed dog and a purebred dog depends on a variety of factors, including personal preference, lifestyle, and the potential owner’s ability to meet the needs of their future pet. Whether mixed or purebred, the most important factor is providing a loving, forever home for these loyal companions.


Each pet owner has his own opinion and the dogs under their care are well-loved. And there are illnesses wherein no type of dog has an obvious advantage. These sicknesses include :

1) Heart Disorders – Ventricular septal defect, mitral valve dysplasia, patent ductus arteriosus, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy;

2) Cancers – hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, lymphoma, and mast cell tumor;

3) Orthopedic Ailments – Patellar luxation or dislocated kneecap;

4) Eye Sicknesses – Lens luxation wherein the clear lens behind the iris is dislocated;

5) Endocrine Disorders – Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Disease) and Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s Disease).

All the ailments above occur at about the same rate in both mixed breeds and pure breeds.


The only ailment that is most likely to occur in mutts is the Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture. The ligament is the part that helps the knee joints at the hind legs stable.


Sad to say, there are more sicknesses wherein pure breeds are more susceptible to develop:

Cataracts, bloat, allergic dermatitis, elbow dysplasia, aortic stenosis, hypothyroidism, dilated cardiomyopathy, portosystemic shunt, epilepsy see epilepsy and intervertebral disc disease.


The mixed genes of mutts might have a lot to do with their lower tendency to have health problems. They don’t get a high dose of the weak genes of a particular breed within their system. (ex. Great Doodle)

As for pure breeds, there is a solution to diminish the prevalence of inherited disorders or weak genes from their ancestors. There are advanced genetic tools today which can predict and even avoid altogether expected weaknesses in a bloodline.


There are new genome sequencing technologies and also new diagnostic DNA disease tests wherein the full range and prevalence of inherited disorders in pedigrees can be diminished or even avoided altogether.

Veterinary scientists are analyzing the common defects and setbacks associated with managing and improving genetic diversity.

One option they use is through breeding strategies that utilize a combination of screening schemes, DNA tests, genomic selection, and pedigree information. The inherited disorders are spotted immediately and measures are executed to improve the health of the pure breed puppies even before they are born.

Meaning, it is a no-go in creating a litter of puppies when the expected menace of inherited disorders is “too much to handle”.


For the past 200 years, dog shows have become popular and folks have turned to inbreed so that their dogs will retain some specific physical features.

Kennel clubs all over the world have defined standards as to what each purebred canine should look like. To attain these criteria, breeders executed line-breeding which is an inbreeding that mates direct relatives with each other – grandson and grandmother, father and niece, etc.

The line-breeding is even more intensified when a male dog of this breed wins several dog show championships. He is bred far and wide to propagate his strong and quality genes. This is a practice called Popular Sire Syndrome.

The result, ironically is, that there is an increased incidence of inherited ailments. Not only that, there are also alarming health issues like disorders to body frames and structures such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.

In the USA, due to this persistent inbreeding, the purebred dog count has been divided into 4 distinct main clusters: African and Asian ancestry dogs; Mastiff breeds; Herding dogs; and Hunting canines. Breeders do their best to propagate these breeds for their all-important dog shows and professional reputation in the dog breeding industry.


1) Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – It has a loving and sweet disposition and its appearance of nobility featuring drooping ears and silky fur have made dog lovers pay hundreds up to thousands of dollars to acquire a puppy.

Its pureness in lineage has rendered them prone to genetic disorders. By the age of 5, fifty percent of all Cavaliers will have mitral valve disease which is a serious heart ailment that can lead to premature death. At around this same age, 7 out of 10 Cavaliers will be developing canine syringomyelia, a crippling neurological disorder wherein the brain becomes too large for the skull to handle. This causes much pain to the Cavalier in its neck and shoulders and also severe damage to parts of the dog’s spinal cord.

2) Bulldog – In the middle part of the 19th century, bulldogs look sturdy, athletic, and energetic with an elongated muzzle. Dog shows became popular in the early 20th century and with this development, the bulldog (because of inbreeding) metamorphosed into having squat bandy legs and acquired a large head with a much-flattened muzzle.

The result is they cannot reproduce without assistance, resulting in artificial insemination. And the changes in their facial structure gave one-third of all bulldogs major breathing problems. Most females can’t give birth easily too, because the heads of the puppies are too large for her birth canal.


Cross-breed dogs at present have a relatively longer lifespan than pure breeds because of their genetic diversity. But the pure breeds have a bright future too with the advent of advanced genetic tools.

What should be pushed is that these genetic tools should be made more affordable and available to the general population rather than just to professional breeders. Each dog, whether pure or mixed, have the right to live long and satisfying lives in the loving protection of their owners. And these genetic tools might just improve the health conditions of pure breeds and elevate them up to par with that of mixed breeds.

If you want to know more about pure and mixed dog breeds, visit

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Richard Hayes

Hey there! Meet Richard Hayes, the big boss and marketing guru behind Pet Dog Planet. He's been a total doggo fanatic since forever and loves all kinds of pups, from tiny teacup Chihuahuas to big, burly Bulldogs. His absolute favorite pastime? Snuggling with adorable puppies—he can't get enough of those cute little faces! Plus, he's totally into iced coffee, chilling in hammocks, and, of course, more puppy cuddling!

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