I Love My Mutt: Five Perks to Owning a Mixed-Breed Dog


Ace the mutt

My mutt Ace is a big, drooly black Lab mix with long legs and a blocky head.

Most people think he’s some sort of great dane or hound mix, but all his mixed-breed DNA test could tell me was “50 percent Labrador.”

When I adopted my dog, I wasn’t set on any particular breed or mixed breed, but I did know I wanted to adopt a dog in need.

This allowed me to choose a dog based on personality, temperament and energy vs. the dog’s appearance, which is the best advice I can give anyone when choosing a dog.

I have to admit, I will have a much harder time ignoring a dog’s appearance the next time I head out to adopt. Like most of us, I’m now drawn to all the dogs that look like my current dog – the big, shorthaired, black dogs.

And while I love purebred dogs, mutts will always be special because of my first dog Ace.

Here are some of the perks to owning a mutt:

Lindsay and Ace1. Mutts are unique!

Sure, all dogs are unique, but even more so with mutts. There is just so much variety! No matter what you’re looking for in a dog, you’ll be able to find a mutt that will make a good companion.

2. Mutts are less likely to be judged by their “breed.”

For the most part, mixed-breed dogs aren’t expected to act a certain way. While we unfairly expect Labradors to fetch and love water, and we unfairly expect golden retrievers to be sweet, we don’t place such expectations on mutts.

Instead of expecting the dog to “act like a cocker spaniel” or to “act like a beagle” or whatever, mixed-breed dogs are free to be individuals.

3. Mutts can compete in dog sports too.

You don’t have to own a purebred dog to compete in most agility competitions or obedience trials, or flyball, rally, etc. I’ve done obedience, agility and rally for fun with my dog and we could’ve gone to actual competitions had I been interested.

4. Mixed-breed dogs are healthier.

Some people say mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier than purebreds. I have not seen any facts to back it up.

However, I personally believe mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier. The reason is because purebred dogs are often bred for appearance and meeting a certain “standard,” and sometimes that takes priority over breeding for health.

I’m curious what the rest of you think on that. Do you think mixed-breed dogs are healthier?

5. You can generally adopt a mixed-breed dog for less money.

Sure, you can pay an adoption fee around $400 or more to obtain a mixed-breed dog through some rescue organizations, especially if you want a puppy.

However, you can also obtain a mixed-breed dog for $100 or less at most shelters. Sometimes mixed-breed dogs are even free.

I adopted my dog directly from his previous owner, and she gave him to me for free.

I’ve spent plenty on my dog over the years as far as training, vet bills, food and all sorts of dog supplies, but he was a “free to good home” dog.

If you’d prefer to spend your money on your dog’s actual care vs. his adoption fee, a mixed-breed is a good option. (There are plenty of exceptions, of course.)

So those are some of the perks to owning a mutt, in my opinion.

There are some odd things that come up, too.

People will assume I “rescued” my dog just because he’s a mutt, for example. I had a woman approach me on a walk, put her hand on my shoulder and say “Bless you for rescuing him.”

Only, Ace is a dog I adopted directly from his previous owner. Hardly a “rescue” situation.

Regardless, I’m glad my mutt can encourage others to consider adoption, because there are plenty of homeless dogs in shelters. Purebred or mutt, the majority would make wonderful pets.

Do you have a mutt? We would love to see a picture!


About Lindsay Stordahl

Lindsay Stordahl is a blogger for dogIDs.com. She has a black Lab mix named Ace and two naughty cats named Beamer and Scout. Lindsay owns a pet sitting business called Run That Mutt and also maintains the blog ThatMutt.com. ... Add Lindsay to your Google+ circles at . You can follow Lindsay on Twitter @ThatMutt.

  1. I do tend to assume mix-breed dogs are healthier. Most pure-bred dogs I’ve met seem to have some sort of problem, but then again I’ve seen plenty of unhealthy mutts, too. I fostered a purebred poodle once and her teeth were a disaster. She needed surgery and I think some extractions and her breath was like death warmed over. She was only three! My vet said that was very common with poodles.

    I do tend to prefer mutts mostly for reason #1 you stated. I find something slightly off-putting about purebred dogs that all look identical (have you seen a Vizsla that didn’t look like a clone?!), like some breeders are taking the fun out of nature. That being said, I have tentative plans to get a purebred beagle from the Beagle Freedom Project sometime in the next few years.

    • All good points! Had to smile at your vizsla comment. Very true! 🙂

      That would be so exciting if you adopted a beagle. I hope you do!

  2. I extremely love my mix-breed female dog, She’s perfect for me, she’s my best friend, I’m in heaven with her. thanks for this article. kisses.

  3. I do believe that the mixed breeds are more healthy than the pure breeds, just like people.
    We rescued a mixed breed black lab after losing two (also mixed breed) within two months of eachother. We renamed her Sophie because her cousin was already Chloe, and the shelter only had her for a few months and had named her Chloe. She doesn’t mind Sophie, but she prefers her “pet” name, Bean. She is absolutely beautiful, adorable, spoiled, and in charge. She loves talking and herding us for walks. She is strong and fast, and runs and jumps like a deer. She rescued us.

    • Aww, she sounds like such a special dog. I also tend to think mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier. I’m so glad you adopted such a great dog. Sophie is a cute name, too!

  4. I would just like to say that I adopted my present dog, Tess from a shelter when she was 7 weeks old. Actually when she was 4 weeks old, my girlfriend who volunteered at the shelter occasionally called and told me that the shelter she volunteered at just picked up a 4 wk old Siberian Husky puppy off the streets. She was running around following her Siberian Husky mother. When the shelter went to get them both, instead of the mom running over to protect her baby she ran off leaving the puppy to be picked up by the shelter workers. I had just put my pure bred Siberian Husky of 13 years to sleep due to cancer throughout her body a little less than a month before my girlfriend called me. I went to the shelter and saw this little red husky ball of fur and fell in love and the foster parent there knew that I was a good person.
    Three weeks later he brought her to my house after a previous meeting with my 13 year old German Shephard. When he brought her out of the car she was now brown and beige, ears straight up and only a widow’s peak of brown on her head. Almost all husky markings has disappeared and now she looked more like a German Shephard. I asked if she was the same dog and he said it was the only one he was fostering. When I brought her inside my German Shephard seemed to recognize her and when I went to take her first picture in my house she sat up and stared right at the camera, exactly what she did at the shelter. Well, on October 5, 2015 she will be 5 years old and she has really been a blessing to me as she has helped me get through a lot of tough times these past few years.
    I also now am a foster parent to dogs from a local shelter to get them used to a home environment before they are adopted. My dog, Tess also gets to play with a variety of dogs in the comfort of her home and doesn’t need to go to a dog park to exercise. Whenever one dog gets adopted it seems like she gets excited and can’t wait to see who will be coming into the house next.

  5. I don’t currently have a mixed breed dog but have a Schnauzer. I do believe, in my opinion, that mixed breeds do tend to be healthier.

  6. We love our Husky Shepherd (Mighty Moku Thunderpaws ) mix to the moon and back. He was a stray and choose our carport to find a cool place to nap. We gave him some water and a hot dog. Even as hungry ad he must have been he took the hotdog from my hand so politely I knew he was a great dog. We took him to the vet to check for a chip but there wasn’t one but there were plenty of ticks and fleas. And he was heartworm positive.
    That was four years ago and he has been the best dog we ever had. We had his dna done…he is mostly Siberian Husky and GSD.
    I like to say he gets his intelligence from the Shepherd side and his sense of humor and stubbornness from his husky side. Both sides give us love and loyalty everyday.

  7. Two of my girlfriend and myself have “Mutts” and were rescued from abandonment, and each was 5 weeks old, if that. All three are mixed breeds. I myself have had many dogs through my life and all were special. These three are sooo much more than pets….. They sleep with us, sense when something is wrong( even before we have a clue), and won’t leave our side when something happens to either of us. They’re our kids and I mean that with all my heart!!!! I can’t speak for everyone who have had a mutt but I will tell everyone that they’re so special and loved so much by us that NO AMOUNT OF MONEY EVER MADE ADDED TOGETHER WOULD EVEN MAKE US PAUSE FOR A SECOND TO SAY NO!!!! I’ll go as far as saying I’d give my life without pause to ensure their safety!!!!

  8. Working in rescue I see a lot of mixed breeds and unfortunately too many get classified as pit bulls or pittie mixes. There are so many breeds that when mixed with another breed give that appearance and then no one wants them. I for one love them. Its like a box of chocolates never know what you are going to get.. I agree with #1 they do seem healthier as they not having the curse of the breed following them


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