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Many people ask the question: "Should we get a purebreed or a mutt?"
Why is this question so controversial? Is one dog the same as another? Is there a benefit to 'getting what you paid for'?
The truth is that one dog is like another - at least in many respects. What is not true is that every dog is equally suitable for your family. Dog rescuers may tell you to look beyond the breed and breeders tell you that you won't know what you're getting with a mixed breed. They're both right.
If you want a family dog the responsiblity is the same regardless of whether you rescued an abandoned dog from the shelter or paid upwards of $1000 for a puppy with registration papers. What is different is how you can predict the suitablity of a dog for your children.
What You Know and What You Don't?
While each individual dog has it's own personality, there are strong traits that can be breed related such as energy requirements, size, determination (a factor to consider when training your dog) and general disposition. I say general because there are always exceptions to the rules. Getting a pure bred puppy can answer some of those questions for you and help you select a good match for your family.
On the other hand you can never absolutely predict a puppy's temperment and if you are not at all concerned with size, energy or trainability then you can find a loving, good natured puppy with any genetic background. Being able to identify these traits is possible although there are still no guarantees.
What About Mixed Breed Dogs?
If however you are looking for a grown dog rather than a puppy you can find many dogs in shelters that have basic training and are already 'settled' into their temperament. Unless the dog has no traceable history and has shown aggressive behavior you should be able to visit with the dog and determine how well it would do with your family without too much concern.
Having even a bit of understanding of the breed groups and requirements will also help you know what to expect since even broad groupings (like terriers or sporting dogs) often have predicitable traits that even a mixed breed dog is likely to show if the genetic history is identifiable. In fact you may find a unique mix that suits your family better than any other dog you could find in a purebreed.
Take time to get to know the puppy or dog before buying or adopting and get your children involved!
Shannon Emmanuel is a freelance writer and the author of 'Choose the Best Dog for Your Child'. Find out more about family dogs at http://www.choosing-a-dog-for-family.com.
Biggest Waste of Money: Pampered Pets
We love our pets, and we love to spend money on them. This year, we'll spend $70 billion dollars on our furry friends, according to the American Pet Product Association, and those numbers grow larger every year! We just can't stop spoiling our furry ...
Baltimore apartments aim to win over renters by appealing to their pets
Dog runs, relief areas, washing stations and treats at the door are becoming more common in large apartment projects as managers look to draw in new renters by winning over their pets. The concierge desk at The Equitable displays a photo of one good ...
Federal Ban Leaves Thousands of Pets Behind in Puerto Rico
Animals larger than 20 pounds aren't being allowed on planes, forcing families to choose between their two- and four-legged loved ones. Meanwhile, shelters ...
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Cold Noses: Adoptable Pets of the Week
(904) 630-2489. coj.net/pets. Daisy is a 1-year-old female domestic medium-hair cat (ID no. 40150). Meet her at St. Johns County Pet Center, 130 N. Stratton Road, St. Augustine. Regular hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Gates close at 4 p.m. ...
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Couple give a home to homeless pets | Pets | willistonherald.com
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Bob and Kathy Helfer have had dogs for a long time, but they aren't just any ordinary pet owners. When they look to adopt, they choose the dogs that most.
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As the state prepares to sweep out an entrenched homeless camp under the airport viaduct next week, animal advocates have moved in first.
Animal House: Foster Pet Parenting Helps Pets Find FURever Home
Foster pet parenting is a way to get rescue pets out of crowded shelters where they may be euthanized, and into the safety and comfort of a home environment. That environment is where the foster pet has a chance for adoption and a forever home. Tammy ...
FUREVER HOMES: Fostering is wonderful way to help pets in need from your own home
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Pets: Daisy's Day gala raises funds to pay for vet care
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With this gift, PAHS created the Daisy Fund, which provides assistance for animals whose owners cannot afford their pets' urgent veterinary care. With this fund, sick or injured animals will not have to be surrendered to animal shelters or euthanized ...
How a Yorkie named Andrew helps city seniors care for their pets
From helping you get exercise to lowering blood pressure and lessening anxiety, the benefits of pet ownership are immeasurable. But owning a pet can be costly and daunting, especially for senior citizens living on a fixed income or suffering from ...
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Rescue me: A mellow Maine Coon, a pit bull mix with a sense of humor, and an active German Shepherd are looking ...
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Chata, a female American pit bull mix about 5-years old, is the East Bay SPCA's pet of the week. Chata has a sunny personality and a great sense of humor. If you are hoping for a mutually satisfying, low-maintenance pet-guardian relationship, she's ...
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