Considering bringing a mutt, or mixed breed dog, into your
family? Already a proud pet parent of a beloved mutt? Learn how
mutts compare to purebred dogs,
and why they make great pets!
1. Mutts May Be Healthier Pets
To achieve desired traits, purebred dogs are often the result
of inbreeding, leading certain breeds to have a higher risk of
developing serious health problems, like cancer. Due to genetic mixing, mutts are
less likely to have such genetic defects since a mixed breed
dogs are less likely to inherit a problem caused by a recessive
gene, meaning that the issue will never become a health problem
(or be presented, as veterinarians
2. Mutts May Live Longer
Since mutts are generally thought to be healthier than
purebreds, this lower probability of having genetic defects is
likely going to affect their lifespan, making the average lifespan of mutts theoretically
greater than purebred pets.
3. Mutts May Have More Moderate Personalities
While not all dogs of a particular breed behave a particular
way, generalizations about a breed can hold true for many.
Since mutts can claim multiple ancestral ties, they are less
likely to fall into any extremes—be it extremely aggressive or
4. Mutts’ Uniqueness Is Something to Celebrate!
The popularity of Benji, Old Yeller, Tramp (of Lady and the
Tramp), Laika (the first dog to orbit Earth), the comic strip
“Mutts,” and, in more recent times, the Marvelous Mutts, give
mutts, and their families, reason to be proud. Even some
dog shows and competitions are
officially recognizing mutts, allowing mixed breed dogs to
participate in the challenges, pomp, and circumstance.
5. When You Adopt a Mutt, You Help Reduce Pet Overpopulation
Mutts are still at a disadvantage when it comes to having a
permanent home—three-fourths of
the millions of pets in shelters
in the United States are mutts. But you, and pet parents like
you, can help.
Are you concerned about not knowing enough information about a
mixed breed dog’s health or genetic background? DNA tests for
dogs are available and can reveal some of the breeds in your
dog’s makeup, which can provide clues about health and behavior.
Is Your Dog Affected by Breed Specific Laws?
Breed specific laws place restrictions on certain dog breeds in
certain areas. More than 4 million dog bites occur in America
each year, and in 2012, 38 people were killed by dogs in the
United States. Some communities have decided to take action by
enacting breed specific legislation -- or BSL.
BREED SPECIFIC LAWS CONTROVERSY
A great deal of controversy exists on how to prevent
dog-related injuries. Groups like the Humane Society and
the American Kennel
Club reject BSL as a solution, and support strategies
that emphasize education and responsible dog ownership as means
to reducing attacks. These organizations are opposed to
breed-specific legislation, arguing that these laws do little
to prevent dog attacks, are expensive to implement, and
unfairly target dogs when it is their owners who should bear
the true responsibility. Nevertheless, many communities in the
United States have enacted BSL in an attempt to reduce
TYPES OF BREED SPECIFIC LAWS
Such legislation can range from outright bans on ownership to
restrictions on animals in public locations, or higher fees
required for ownership. Most breed specific legislation
involves a municipal court deeming that a certain breed is
“uniquely dangerous,” and that for the “protection of the
public’s health and welfare,” the dog must be banned or
restricted in some way.
There are three main categories of Breed Specific Legislation
on the books in the United States as of July 2012.
1. Breed Bans
This type of legislation makes it illegal for people to own
particular breeds of dogs within the area of jurisdiction.
Fines or animal seizures are permitted by law. In some cases,
those who had their dogs before the BSL was enacted are
permitted to keep their dogs.
2. Breed Labeling
When a breed of dog is labeled as “potentially dangerous,”
“dangerous,” or “vicious,” owners of these dogs are subject to
additional restrictions beyond those with unlegislated dogs.
These dog parents may have to pay higher registration fees,
muzzle their dogs when off property, restrict them on
property, microchip their
dogs for identification purposes, or carry liability
insurance starting at around $100,000.
3. Mandatory Spay or Neuter
In an attempt to reduce populations of specific breeds, some
communities have enacted laws that require owners
to spay or
neuter specific animals. This can reduce specific
breed numbers in public, as well as the number of unwanted dogs
that wind up in shelters. Pit
Bulls can sometimes make up to 50% of shelter dog populations.
BREED SPECIFIC LAWS BY STATE: AN OVERVIEW
In the great majority of cases, BSLs by city or county refer
specifically to Pit
Bulls -- either by deeming them dangerous, or by restricting
them in some way.
- 50 Missouri counties deem Pit Bulls to be vicious or
dangerous, or place an outright ban on them.
- 39 Kentucky towns made similar rulings, with most banning
Pit Bulls entirely.
- In Massachusetts, 27 counties have deemed Pit Bulls to be
dangerous or vicious, and have restricted them in some way.
In other cases, some counties are extra zealous in their breed
42 states, including Washington D.C. and certain Native
American territories, have some sort of breed specific
legislation on the books.
These are not necessarily outright bans, but do include
limitations of some sort. In almost all cases, limitations and
bans are declared at the municipal level -- in counties and
villages -- as opposed to being accepted statewide.
To check for BSL in your area, visit www.understand-a-bull.com.
More on Dog Breeds
All About Small Dogs
Which Dog Breed Is Best For
Popular Designer Dog