Deakin Communicating Science 2016

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Cross breed or Purebred? Which is better?

 What is better?

The big question is, when choosing your potential best friend, what kind of dog will be better and ultimately healthier? Purebred dogs, with all we now know about selective breeding and how it has essentially mutated these beautiful creatures, or cross-bred dogs?


This argument has been longstanding amongst dog lovers, so what are the merits of a mixed-breed versus a purebred puppy? The practice

of cross-breeding (as well as selective breeding) has caused some controversy amongst the dog world. The word mutt tends to be thrown around by breeders of purebred dogs, why is that? Cross-breeding dogs has been argued to be helping reverse the effects done to purebred dogs that have been bred too closely for generations. To distinguish which side is right, we first should look at the advantages and disadvantages of cross breeding dogs.



  • The Unique look – some people may actually prefer owning a dog that doesn’t look like any other breed
  • Make great pets – socialization and training will bring out the best in your dog, purebred or not.
  • Fewer hereditary issues – we know from my recent blog that many purebred dogs suffer from genetic conditions and diseases. Cross breeding can lower the chances of these inherited issues
  • May be the future of pure breed dogs – in the past our purebred dogs were also crosses of different breeds, some of today’s crosses could evolve into stronger purebred dogs.
  • Tend to have a more moderate temperament then their purebred counterparts


  • Hard to Judge Adult size
  • Potential of high risk deliveries – breeding dogs of different size can sometimes lead to difficult deliveries, this is more so if the male dog is much larger than the female dog.
  • Still a possibility of congenital health issues – hip dysplasia, eye diseases, epilepsy and kidney disease have been evident across multiple breeds, this means there is still a possibility of breeding two different dogs that are carriers of one of more of these genetic issues

So ultimately do the pro’s outweigh the con’s? Is cross breeding a better choice to purebred dogs? This issue has long been debated and 30219127-01_bigthere is still no real clear cut answer, it really just depends on your own personal opinion. Purebred dogs are prone to many genetic diseases due to such close breeding, but as we have learnt today a crossbred animal are not always necessarily healthier, as there is still a possibility of them inheriting some sort of genetic disorder.

Both purebreds and cross breeds have their own advantages as well as disadvantages, but the way your pet turns out as an adult will depend entirely on how you raised it, properly socializing and training your puppy is so important and can really make all the difference. Regardless of your own preference, purebred of cross breed, I think we can all agree that it is extremely important that we work towards improving the health of all dogs, it’s the least we can do.




3 comments on “Cross breed or Purebred? Which is better?

  1. anitapsara
    May 6, 2016

    I enjoyed reading your article as I am a dog owner myself. I have never owned a purebred dog due to their relatively high marketed price since they are seen as a rare species. I did not know that there is possibility of cross-bred inheriting a genetic disorder as it is very common nowadays to have cross-bred dogs but it is understanding that the wrong DNA mix can produce an unhealthy pup. It was interesting to read that purebreds are also prone to many genetic diseases as they are seen as the golden species, having possess a genealogy of a descending ancestor from the same family. They can be referred to as being ‘pedigreed’ and after reading your article and doing further research on pedigrees I am shocked to understand how detrimental it can be to the health of dogs undergoing selective breeding. Essentially, selective breeding based primarily on producing the “perfect” dog which has resulted in exaggerated physical appearances such as shorter legs and a flat snout which substantially affects their quality of life. It saddens me to know this as many purebred owners are highly praised for owning such an appealing dog. You are exactly right in stating that putting the health and welfare of dogs first is definitely a priority instead of picking them out for their physical traits.

    More information regarding this issue can be found here:


  2. andyfung141
    May 7, 2016

    Very Interesting topic! The reality is that most dogs have been bred to be aesthetically appealing or cute in a sense in order to appeal to potential buyers. However not all bred dogs are healthy and some have permanent problems. This is however a problems that can be avoided. The world of puppy-farmers who breed dogs to meet demands, mostly care about quantity not quality and thus, most dogs from these farms can already have parasites, kidney and heart problems before going home with their new owners. This is due to the lack of health checks that most long-term pedigree breeders have constantly insisted on doing for years. The dogs bred in these farms are caged from birth, and usually stay there for the rest of their days. These environments are also very unhygienic and usually are never cleaned or cared for. I believe that cross-breeding has its faults but can be avoided if they are bred properly in a caring and clean environment. All in all it is as you said, it all comes down to one’s personal preference, but everyone should do their research before they pick their new pet.


    Puppy Farm:


  3. djchivers
    May 8, 2016

    What’s not to love about dogs? Great article! I’ve only ever had pure-bred dogs so I well know the problems that can come with them. Unfortunately the importance of genetic diversity wasn’t discovered until after it was cool to make your dogs have shorter faces or legs.
    That said there is a benefit to knowing what genetic problems to expect which can often be hard to know in mixes.
    Something I find interesting is that all domestic dogs belong to the same subspecies Canis lupus familiaris which is why cross-breeding can still occur across remarkably different breeds as their DNA are still basically the same.


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This entry was posted on May 5, 2016 by in Geelong - Wednesday 3pm.

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