What is the Difference Between a Purebred and a Mutt

purebred vs mixed breed dogs

Well in my books, there’s no difference. A dog is a man’s or woman’s best friend, no matter what his DNA says.

Over the years, we’ve had both, mutts and purebreds and they all have their quirks and their own personalities. Whether it’s my Chocolate Lab, who didn’t want to walk when he was a puppy, or the Husky mix, who barks as soon as he gets in the car, they are loveable companions.

The difference between a purebred and a mutt is a registration paper and the genetic make-up. A purebred has registration papers and both parents were also registered and are of the same breed. A mutt will have two or more breeds in their DNA. One dog we had in the past had 7 different breeds and he was the sweetest, most lovable dog.

What is considered a mutt or mixed breed

A dog who is called a mutt, a mixed breed or in my days, a Heinz-57, is most often the result of an accident, such as a purebred escaped and mated with the neighbor’s dog, or a stray dog. Or it’s a dog who lived on the street and mated with different dogs, also mixed breeds.

A mutt has no papers and unless you have a DNA test done, it might be hard to figure out which breeds he’s made of. A mixed breed dog might look like a specific breed, probably the most dominant breed in his genes, but you still can’t be sure.

What qualifies a dog as purebred

According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), a puppy will qualify to be registered as purebred only if both parents are purebred and registered.

A DNA test does not determine if a dog is purebred. It will give you a percentage of his genetic make-up.

You also cannot tell visually if a dog is purebred.

If a breeder has registered a litter with the AKC, the puppies are automatically eligible for full registration. Then when someone buys one of the puppies, that owner has to fill out the registration form and send it, along with the fees, to AKC.

Are mixed breed dogs better than purebred

Honestly, you can’t make a statement that one is better than the other one. A lot depends on the dog, the breeds he’s made of, your lifestyle, the dog’s background.

When our daughter was two, we bought a Golden Retriever puppy from a reputable breeder. We made the decision to go this route instead of adopting a mixed breed from a rescue organization. Why? Since our daughter was very young, we figured we would have a better idea of the temperament and personality of the dog.

Maybe we should have also considered that a puppy was not the best idea 🙂 It was like having two toddlers. But our Golden was a beautiful and gentle soul, once she outgrew her puppy stages!

A mixed breed dog can inherit the best or sometimes the worst from their parents. So if you can find out the most info as you can about a mixed breed dog, you’ll have an advantage. But definitely don’t dismiss adopting a dog because he’s not purebred.

my dogs on deck|Canines Corner
A Beagle, a Husky Mix (a Mutt), a Chocolate Lab

Is a mutt healthier than a purebred

There was research done by The Institute of Canine Biology and it concluded that purebred dogs may be more prone to health disorders. On the other hand, I found some information saying it’s not been proven.

Of course, a mutt is not necessarily immune to genetic conditions. Our dog, Niko, who we adopted when he was 10 months old, started having epileptic seizures when he was 2 1/2 and sadly passed away at 3.

Our Chocolate Lab is almost 13 now and we’ve had a mixed lab dog who lived to be 15 years old. Other dogs we had in the past, also mixed breed dogs, lived to be 11 years old.

Just like people, there’s no guarantee and you can’t predict how healthy or not a purebred or a mixed breed will be. You just don’t know. We just have to love them as long as they are in our lives.

Purebred vs mixed breed life expectancy

Life expectancy of a dog isn’t only based on its ‘status’, but also its size, nutrition and care. Whether it’s a purebred or a mixed breed, small dogs tend to live longer than large dogs.

A Jack Russell weighing on average 15 lbs can live up to 16 years. As opposed to a Great Dane whose life expectancy is around 6-8 years.

As with anything else in life, we have no control (other than taking good care of them) over our dogs life expectancy. Friends from the dog park have a large Newfoundland dog, and contrary to the average lifespan of 8-10 years, she’s almost 13!

Is a mixed breed dog a mutt

Mixed breed, mutt, or even mongrel, all three names mean the same thing: a dog with more than two breeds in his DNA is considered a mixed breed or a mutt.

What’s a designer dog

A designer dog does sound better than a mutt or hybrid, but that’s exactly what they are.

Breeders decided to intentionally mate two different purebred dogs and started this popular trend. The best place to buy a designer dog is through reputable breeders.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Labradoodle or Goldendoodle. These puppies are definitely adorable looking. You get a mix of traits from the two breeds, which can give you an idea of the temperament, health, etc.

The AKC does not recognize designer dogs as a breed.

But the IDCR (International Designer Canine Registry ®) offers certified registration services for all Designer Breeds. Breeders and owners can now document their designer dogs.

Most popular designer dogs

There are now hundreds of Designer Dogs, some with very creative names. Here is a list of the most popular ones.

NameBreed 1Breed 2
CockapooCocker SpanielPoodle
LabradoodleLabradorPoodle
GoldendoodleGolden RetrieverPoodle
PugglePugBeagle
SchnoodleSchnauzerPoodle
YorkipooYorkshire TerrierPoodle
PomchiPomeranian Chihuahua
PomapooPomeranianPoodle
ChorkieChihuahuaYorkshire Terrier
PugapooPugPoodle
PomskiPomeranianHusky
BoradorBorder CollieLabrador Retriever
CavachonCavalier King CharlesBichon Frise
MaltipooMaltesePoodle
GoldadorGolden RetrieverLabrador
LhasapooLhasa ApsoPoodle
Mal-ShiMalteseShih Tzu
ShihpooShih TzuPoodle

If you want to see some cute pictures of Designer Dogs, I’ve got some on my Pinterest board.

Is a hybrid dog a mutt

A hybrid dog is another name for designer dogs, who are mutts since they have been created from two breeds.

The hybrid (designer dog) has two purebred parents, as opposed to mutts you would mostly find in shelters, who would have two or more breeds in their DNA, not necessarily purebreds.

Yes I know, very confusing!

Purebred dog breeds

How many purebred breeds are there

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the official registry of purebred dogs across America. Although there are over 350 breeds in the world, the AKC only acknowledges 195 true breeds.

The 10 most popular purebred dog breed

Every year the AKC releases the most popular purebred breeds based on their registration statistics.

  1. Labrador Retrievers
  2. German Shepherd Dogs
  3. Golden Retrievers
  4. French Bulldogs
  5. Bulldogs
  6. Poodles
  7. Beagles
  8. Rottweilers
  9. Pointers (German Shorthaired)
  10. Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Did you know?

The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog in the U.S. for the last 29 years.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi makes it in the top 10 for the first time ever.

The French Bulldog is the most popular dog in New York City and Chicago.

Are mutts the best dogs

A mutt could be the best dog for you, but you have to decide based on your lifestyle, family, surroundings. If a mutt is the right fit, then please do adopt from a rescue or shelter. So many beautiful, sweet and hopeful dogs are waiting for their forever family.

In conclusion

CHOOSE THE DOG THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU!