Purebred vs. Mixed: The Ultimate Question

September 8, 2016 at 4:47 PM by Nikki Wardle

Mixed vs Pure Bred dogs

It is a battle that has raged endlessly between experts and dog-lovers alike, unbeknownst to the tail-wagging subjects of this existential question: when it comes to choosing a puppy, are you better off buying purebred or mixed-breed? As with every disagreement that has gathered two enthusiastic camps around it, information abounds on this particular subject--but, also like most disagreements, that information can be contradictory and hard to trust. At the end of the day, all you want to know is what kind of furry friend to welcome into your home--and now, the experts in pet care are here to help.

Mixed Breeds

Let us begin with a disclaimer: some of the best dogs in the world are mixed-breed dogs. When it comes to the pure-vs.-mixed controversy, the only concrete arguments are based on technical details like physical traits or possible health concerns; while temperaments can be hypothesized and generalized, it's important to remember that a good dog can come from anywhere. That being said, mixed-breed dogs can be a bit of a risk when it comes to making assumptions about the future. For example, it's never a guarantee which traits a mixed-breed puppy is going to inherit, and which parent it is going to take after regarding health and longevity. Mixed-breeds also have a bit of friction when it comes to competitions; unfortunately, there are a lot of competitions and associations that only allow pure-bred dogs, which limits your choices if you're looking to train your new pet for contests or shows. However, overall, the consensus is clear: although mixed-breed dogs are a bit more of a risk, a good dog is a good dog.


When it comes to purebreds, the risks are much lower, simply because this type of breeding has been perfected over the years--so much so that it's almost an art. Purebred puppies have the advantage of set expectations; for example, although every dog's temperament is a little different, each unique breed shares a set of personality characteristics that are likely to be present in most dogs. As far as physical traits go, purebreds have the advantage: using the results of various health tests, breeders can choose parents so carefully that the genetic line favors certain traits, like speed. As a result, purebred puppies can be said to come from carefully-manicured lines, a claim that's much more than just a bragging right--it can also give new owners a high level of confidence that their puppy will be healthy and happy for a long, full life. Of course, purebreds have their troubles, too; in less advanced lines, genetic problems are possible, and it's somewhat uncertain which temperamental traits a dog will inherit. However, purebred dogs are the choice of many pet care experts and dog-lovers alike, not just because it is easier to hypothesize traits, but because purebreds are often good dogs.

The Verdict

In the end, it all comes down to you and your personal preferences. Remember, finding your pet isn't just about breed--it's about finding a good dog. Of course, that's not always easy.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.