Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

PureBreed Vs Mutts



When it comes to owning dogs, pure breeds are the preferred option for most people. But why?

Breeders will argue that purebred dogs are more predictable than mutts. If you know the dog’s family history, you have a basic idea of the characteristic the dogs will have. This can be reassuring for owners that have young children. Also with purebred dogs, you know how big the dog is going to get.

So what are the points for Mutts being better? First of all, mutts have far fewer health problems. Take the King Charles Spaniel, for example. these dogs have heads that are too small to hold their brains, or pugs with eyes that will randomly pop out of their heads, or even the dachshund which suffers from various back problems. Cancer is also far more common in purebred dogs. To keep dogs ‘pure’, breeders will resort to interbreeding dogs, which makes genetic problems and cancer far more likely.

A subgroup of purebred dogs, however, are spared from most of these health problems, working dogs. Unlike King Charles spaniel, pugs and dachshund, the working dogs were not bred based on appearances. The working dogs were bred based on athleticism and for intelligence. Dogs like German Shepherds, Jack Russell Terriers, Border Collies, and Huskies are all bred to achieve certain things. That does not, however, mean these dogs are right for everyone. Working dogs have more energy and need more attention than other types of dogs, and this even goes for the small ones like Jack Russell.

So how do we think the genetic problems in purebred dogs? There is one simple solution. Crossbreeding! By crossbreeding we can get bigger stronger and healthier dogs. This doesn’t solve everything through. We would need to be careful about which dogs we bred together. As anyone can tell you a bulldog cross pug would be horrible. That poor dog it will have so many health problems.

Another bad pairing can be less obvious. Such as a Chihuahua and Jack Russel. I can hear you thinking, what is so bad about that combination. You have no idea! Those dogs are killing machines. My family adopted two Chihuahua cross jack Russell dogs and over the course of TWO DAYS, they killed three chicken, bit my stepfather and gave my cats anxiety. We sent those dogs away. Chihuahua are yappy little dogs while Jack Russel are born hunters. So I think we can all see how this could be a bad decision.

Dogs are man’s best friends but through our pursuit of having ‘pure’ breeds we have caused our best friends to suffer from horrible genetic problems that we could fix.


BarkPost. (2014). 17 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Your Dog Live Longer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Apr. 2016].

Dogtime. (2016). German Shepherd Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts – Dogtime. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Apr. 2016]. (2016). Chihuahua Behavior and Temperament Information. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Apr. 2016]. (2016). The Truth About Purebred Dogs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Apr. 2016].


4 comments on “PureBreed Vs Mutts

  1. ginachin93
    May 3, 2016

    Hi, I find this whole pure breeding dogs thing so interesting as it is so understated in the community. It could be so simple to make the next generation of dogs healthier! I liked the explanation behind why pure breeding continues and why it does have it’s advantages. Interesting examples as well, I never realised jack russells were working dogs and didn’t know their breeding was slightly different with vast health effects. Your anecdote about your killer chihuahua cross jack russells was hilariously startling, not surprised that you had to get rid of them!

    We all know inbreeding is bad and it’s because as the gene pool decreases as we continue to inbreed the problems that we already have will only get worse.Inbreeding increases homozygosity since relatives share alleles the likelihood of bringing together identical copies of alleles is very high!


    • rachelmcnamarablog
      May 4, 2016

      Jack Russells are technically Terriers, which is a subgroup bred for hunting. I used Jack Russell as an example because I know a lot about that. I have had two as pets and my grandfather breeds and trains them to hunt foxes.


  2. kayleighsingh
    May 6, 2016

    In my opinion, “pure bred” dogs should be discouraged. You take these animals that have gone through thousands, even millions of years in evolution to be what they were originally, and breeders play god by genetically crossing breeds to achieve an “aesthetically” desired dog, at the expense of the dog itself. Its sad that people feel the need to own them because its amusing to watch a squashed nosed pug wheeze and struggle for breath.

    This brings me onto my next point with regards to athletic dogs. Specifically the pitbull. These dogs are highly intelligent, and despite the terrible image we have given them, they are very loveable dogs. These dogs were bred into society for the purpose of defence, and we have mistreated them in unimaginable ways.

    Somehow the cross linking of species never seemed to take into account the welfare of the dog, rather for the entertainment and showboating of the owners.


  3. kayleighsingh
    May 6, 2016

    Im aware that my last comment is rather extensive, but I feel strongly about this topic and I will not apologise for that.


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This entry was posted on May 3, 2016 by in Burwood - Friday 10am, Uncategorized and tagged , .

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