Monday, January 5, 2015

Mutt Facts

MARS VET LAB says there are 38 million mutts in the U.S., meaning about 50% of US dogs are of mixed parentage. And they should know as they own the monopoly on the DNA test franchise. 

But that's a whole lot less than the Humane Society's estimate. They say around 70% are mixes. There are 61 million mongrels in the U.S. within the 83.3 million pet dog population. Additionally, 75% of shelter dogs are mutts.  And 20% of U.S. companion dogs are adopted from shelters. They should know, right?

Whatever the correct answer is, the good news is that shelter euthanasia has decreased significantly in the last few years because shelter volunteers, bless them, socialize the canine inmates, so more people are adopting.  

Do mutts have fewer genetic health issues?  Yes and no. It's true that a mutt with, for instance, a distant Golden Retriever ancestor will have a lower incidence of cancer than a purebred Golden. But a mutt that's only one generation removed from her purebred parent may have the same risk. Although pups have 50% of each parent's genes or variants of the gene, you don't know which parent's genes will be expressed.

Overall the incidence of genetic pathologies in mixed breeds is a little lower than their purebred counterparts.  Read more details about disease averages at this site.  

But I won't argue which dogs are the best.  Mutts of course. Here are some of mine:

Lollie, Jess, Izzy, Gus and Chance

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post...I know many people prefer the 'mutt' to a purebred, believing that there are less health issues to deal with, but you do make a good point in that any pathology common in a particular breed could be expressed in any dog derived thereof.....I have to say that although I have purebred dogs, I do love 'mutts', they have such interesting faces, bodies and behaviours, this is so obvious in the photos of your mutt brood, they are all so special!!!!!