Picking Out a Puppy? Here's Why You Should Get a Mutt

Picking out a puppy? Here's why you should consider a muttPicking out a puppy? Here's why you should consider a muttI am a firm believer in mutts. Mutts are dog of indiscriminate breed, with long hair and short hair, floppy ears or goofy standing up ears, long funny tails or cropped ones - whatever crazy, mixed up breed it is, I love it.

When I was a tiny baby, my mom adopted a german shepard mix from a local shelter named Hugo. Oh, I loved that dog. He was with me all the way through eighth grade when, sadly, we had to say goodbye. When I moved out on my own at 17, one of the first things I did was adopt an adorable little Shepard mix puppy named Misty. Misty was my rock all through my 20s and she made it until I was married in my 30s before developing a tumor and having to go too.

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Then I found my Bubba, the best dog ever. A massive pit bull mix that went from scrawny starvation all the way to being a 100-pound wall of muscle, he was just the greatest dog. Alas, he only lived until he was about 12. Saying goodbye was hard.

Now we have the funny dog you see on the left there. Our Cannie Belle of the silly ears. Cuddly, adorable, and tolerates everything my daughter dishes out.

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But the thing is, mutts aren't just great dogs - they are healthy dogs. Mutts generally don't suffer from many common health problems that purebreds can (there are many conditions specifically associated with some breeds, such as hip dysplasia in German Shephards). They also generally (not all, of course) have better temperaments, live a bit longer, and offer the chance to to save an animal that might otherwise be put down.

Four million cats and dogs are put down each year in shelters in the United States. Adopting a mutt from a shelter is a great way to save a dog from that fate. Instead of going to a breeder, think about a shelter mutt instead. I know I've loved having mutts. Best dogs ever.

- By Cecily Kellogg
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