Selecting the Right Pet for You: Pure or Mixed Breed
Dogs and cats fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed
breeds. The only significant difference between the two is that
purebreds, because their parents and other ancestors are all members
of the same breed, generally conform to a specific "breed standard."
This means that you have a good chance of knowing what general physical
and behavioral characteristics a puppy or kitten of that breed is
likely to have.
The size, appearance, and temperament of most mixed breed dogs
can be predicted as well. After all, mixed breeds are simply combinations
of different breeds. So if you can recognize the ancestry of a particular
mixed breed dog or cat, you can see how a puppy or kitten is likely
to look as an adult.
Some people think that when they purchase a purebred, they're
purchasing a guarantee of health and temperament, too. This is simply
not true. In fact, the only thing the "papers" from purebred dog
and cat registry organizations certify is that the recording registry
maintains information regarding the reported lineage and identity
of the animal.
Mixed breeds, on the other hand, offer several advantages that
prospective pet owners may fail to consider. For example, when you
adopt a mixed breed, you get the benefit of two or more different
breeds in one animal. You also get a pet that is less prone to genetic
defects common to certain purebred dogs and cats.
Whether you're thinking about adopting a dog or cat, purebred or
mixed breed, it's important to make sure your favorite type of animal
fits with your lifestyle. You may love border collies, for example,
but these active dogs likely aren't a good match for busy apartment
dwellers living in a city. So first become knowledgeable about what
kind of animal you want and about what it takes to be a responsible
There are several types of organizations from which you can adopt
a companion animal, whether purebred or mixed breed. Not all sources
are the same, however, so it's important to learn as much as you
can, and then choose carefully.
Reprinted with permission from the
Humane Society of
the United States
Copyright © 2003, All Rights Reserved.