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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.
Being raised with pets may make you a howling success
“From the pet ownership lessons we learned as children, to the ways our four-legged friends currently help us evolve, connect with others, and stay grounded, our latest research supports the notion we've had all along—there may be a link between pets ...
Pets Stores Banned From Selling Cats, Dogs in Georgia City
U.S. News & World Report
City pet stores can still house and put up for adoption cats and dogs that are older than eight weeks and are owned by a rescue or care facility. People can also buy cats and dogs from "mom and pop" breeders. Critics of the law say it punishes ...
Pets in Peril: Opioid medication shortage hitting local veterinarians
Recent DEA directives have restricted production of opioid painkillers, and that's left veterinary hospitals and clinics scrambling to find alternatives to keep pets in pain comfortable as well as properly sedate and numb them before, during and after ...
Pets can experience serious health problems after exposure to smoke
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) - With all the smoke in the air, people are not the only ones who need to limit their time outside. Your pets can also experience serious health problems after exposure to smoke. Just like humans, a short amount of time is OK for ...
Tips to keep pets safe this holiday season
For pets that need to be kenneled- plan ahead! Find out what vaccination requirements your kennel has and that your pet is up-to-date, has enough of all needed medications. Take enough of your pets own food/treats to help minimize GI problems while at ...
Millennials Plan to Spend Big This Holiday Season—on Their Pets
Millennial households earning $70,000 or more will be the biggest spenders, forking over an average of $183 for pet gifts this holiday, versus the $67 that overall consumers will spend, according to PwC. High-earning millennials, feeling good about the ...
Facial recognition... for pets?
LAND O' LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) - Can't find Fido? There's an app for that! Pasco County Animal Services is turning to facial recognition software to help bring more lost pets home. Starting this week, every pet that comes into the shelter will be scanned ...
Lubbock Animal Shelter asking for donations to help pets of homeless people
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Animal Shelter is accepting donations of food, toys and blankets to help local homeless pet owners. This time of year local charities feed the homeless, and the shelter wants to make sure that that food is used to feed ...
Ask the Vet's Pets: Keep pets away from Thanksgiving feast
Dear Christopher Cat: After we slice the turkey on Thanksgiving, there's always some meat left on the carcass. Last year, our cat Gus begged like a dog for it. May we let him feast on the turkey carcass this year? Christopher responds: It would be best ...
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