Mutts or Mixed Breeds

Our dog, Girl, with one of my daugthers
Our dog, Girl, with one of my daugthers | Source

If you've been reading my hubs you know I'm sort of obsessed with dogs. I love them all. They all have their own unique qualities and they're all endearing. No writing about dogs would be complete without talking about mighty mutts! I say mighty mutts because they are a combination of any number breeds and bring a variety of qualities and personality traits to the mix. There are a ton of mutts for rescue as well. Accidental pregnancies increase the mutt population but people decide this isn't the perfect dog, it's a mutt, so they don't want it.

What exactly is a mutt classification? A mongrel dog, one with parents of different breeds. In Hawaii they're called poi dogs and in the Philippines they're called askals and in Puerto Rico they're called Sato dogs. They're all different sizes and colors. No matter what they look like or what they're called they're still mixed.


Our dogs, Sandy and Flash
Our dogs, Sandy and Flash | Source

It has been my experience and some research shows that mixed breed/mutts are often healthier than purebred dogs. Obviously mixed breeds are genetically diverse and aren't 'inbred' or bred just for a specific gene or appearance. That's not to say that mixed breed dogs can't have issues with their health, there are still genes to contend with. A study in Denmark showed that mixed breeds had longer lives than purebreds. Some even say they are more intelligent, happier and less aggressive.

The initial expense of a mixed breed is minimal. They can be found at shelters and often as mentioned earlier people who's dogs give birth to mixed breed puppies don't want them so they just give them away. Sometimes the parentage is known sometimes not. Of course the breed of the mother is usually known, it's the rascally father that may not be.

Yes there is a mixed breed club, Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America! If you are interested in showing your mixed breed or entering him in agility this would be the place to go. If you're a true mutt lover there's a site for that at Angelfire. On this site they claim all dogs started out as mixed breeds. Purebreds were the result of people wanting specific looks or traits and bred dogs accordingly.


When Rocky was a puppy
When Rocky was a puppy | Source

My first dog was a mutt. I was two years old and my Uncle showed up with a little ball of fur. We named her Chipper and she lived to be fifteen. She was a great dog. When I got married we didn't have a dog at first and it just didn't seem right. My sister-in-law offered me a mutt (part poodle, part terrier and part who knows what) and I took her without hesitation. Her name was Girl. My son was born soon after we got Girl and she was his guardian from day one. She would walk by his carriage when we went for strolls and sit outside his room when he was sleeping. As we had more kids she became mother to them all. When my kids were young there were no leash laws. It was always easy for me to find my kids when they were out playing, all I had to do was look for Girl.

She had no special training, yet she was obedient and never bothered with anything that wasn't hers. She wasn't a big dog but not really small either. The kids would use her for a pillow when they watched TV and she loved it. When Girl was twelve years old we found her lying on the front step struggling to breath. The vet said she had probably been hit by a car and found her way home. We had no choice but to put her down. It was terrible. I was hysterical when I left the vet's office.

My husband was a truck driver at the time and was very upset. He wanted to make sure she hadn't been poisoned so he stopped at the vet's office during his run. The vet told him he had a stray that looked a lot like Girl but I was so upset he didn't have the heart to tell me about the stray. My husband told him to call me. He was a tricky, old, hometown vet. He called me and said he had this little stray that he would have to put to sleep even though he was only four months old. Would I like to take a look? I said I wasn't interested but he convinced me to just come and look.

When my kids came home from school their beloved Girl was gone but there was a new puppy in town. He looked like Girl's clone though a little smaller. He was very quick and my kids had been watching the new Flash Gordon movie. We named him Flash.

Sandy and Rocky
Sandy and Rocky | Source

We later inherited Sandy from my oldest son. Sandy was a collie/lab mix and a great girl. She got along with everyone, including Flash. My youngest son was around eight at the time and always thought of Sandy as his dog.

Shortly after our beloved Flash left this earth we inherited a dog and cat from one of my daughters; a min pin named Rocky and a persian cat named Pebbles. Rocky was the first purebred dog I had ever owned. We're still not sure how "pure" he was since he was purchased at a Pet Store most likely coming from a puppy mill. Sandy and Rocky got along swimmingly. It was funny to see our big Sandy and little Rocky playing tug-of-war in the backyard. They played together and slept together. In between Rocky played with Pebbles but Sandy really didn't care about Pebbles one way or the other.

Sandy started having convulsions at about twelve years of age. We were able to keep them under control for a year with Phenobarbitol but at the end of that year we had to put her down. I held her head in my arms as they gave her that fateful shot and she gave me one last look before closing her eyes.

In between these dogs we had a beagle mix that was hit by a garbage truck before she reached a year, a border collie mix that came home from the SPCA with Parvo virus, and an insane lab/shepherd mix that couldn't be controlled and had to be put down(all of her litter mates met the same fate).

A ten year old Rocky
A ten year old Rocky | Source
Our Buzz, picture sent by breeder before Buzz arrived home
Our Buzz, picture sent by breeder before Buzz arrived home | Source

We were left with Rocky and Pebbles. Our children had grown and left the house so we decided one dog and cat was enough (not to mention our cockatiel and fish in the pond). Rocky developed a brain tumor at twelve years old and we had to have him put to sleep.

I lasted almost three weeks without a dog before convincing my husband we really needed another dog. Enter...Buzz...I have other hubs about Buzz, our now two year old Min Pin.

Through all of this I found our mixed breeds actually made less trips to the vet, had less illness and were just as intelligent and lovable as the purebred dogs. A dog is a dog and it is our job to love them. Someone once said "In a perfect world every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

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Dog Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A blurry shot of Flash with crazy BootsFlash with our bird riding on his back.Flash with his annual buzz cutMaxie, our beagle mixSandySandy and Rocky, Rocky's playing Sandy's ignoring him.Buzz
A blurry shot of Flash with crazy Boots
A blurry shot of Flash with crazy Boots
Flash with our bird riding on his back.
Flash with our bird riding on his back.
Flash with his annual buzz cut
Flash with his annual buzz cut
Maxie, our beagle mix
Maxie, our beagle mix
Sandy
Sandy
Sandy and Rocky, Rocky's playing Sandy's ignoring him.
Sandy and Rocky, Rocky's playing Sandy's ignoring him.
Buzz
Buzz

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Comments 17 comments

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

You are a true dog lover, and it was a pleasure to read your hub. I enjoyed the photos, as well. Every dog SHOULD have a home, regardless of parentage.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Till...did you sign on to the 30/30 challenge, GF?? You've been whippin out great hubs left and right! Can barely keep up with you!

But that's Ok since your hubs are always a treat to read. Hmmmmm.....I have no idea why your fans might think you like dogs?

Mutts are some of the cutest, smartest dogs I've had. We always had a mutt while I was growing up because my Dad was one of those "rescuers" who would bring home an abandoned puppy, hidden under his jacket. Of course, we always kept them.

All dogs deserve a loving home! Up+++


paralegalpro 4 years ago

When I was a boy my family took in a ragged dog who started hanging around our house after my mother fed him some table scraps after dinner one evening. Needless to say, he was soon the family companion. He made a low-pitched humming sound so we named him Buzz. He was, by far, the most affectionate and well-behaved dog we ever had and to this day I keep a picture of him in my photo album. So, like you, I love mutts and thoroughly enjoyed reading your hub. Thanks for sharing.


diogenes 4 years ago

They are called "mongrels" in Britain, a derogatory term for "low-life" humans as well. Mutts are much less popular today, but there are still lots around. I have a Schnauzer with doubtful linage and a sweeter creature cannot be found.

As Herriot said, "They live far too short lives and bring sadness as well as joy." Nothing is worse than having to put down a beloved pet.

I love all Nature's creatures from cats and dogs to scorpions and crocodiles and they need our love and protection.

Bob


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Jaye, I agree. Dogs don't ask to be brought into this world and I think it's our job to take care of them.

Yes Effie, I am on day 18 of my 30 day Challenge. My life is not my own but I am 'cranking' them out. I just hope I don't run out of ideas. I think mutts are great too, as you can tell up until the last 13 years or so that's all we ever had.

Paralegalpro that's the best way to get a dog and they always turn out to be the best dogs. Thanks for reading.

Bob - I love most of God's creatures. I have to part with you when it comes to scorpions and other assorted bugs but I'll go with the rest ;)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

I was right? Good luck! Day 18...your more than half-way there! You can do this with no problem. I'm cheering for you!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Effie, I need all the help I can get ;)


Nature by Dawn profile image

Nature by Dawn 4 years ago

Mutts are awesome! Like fpherj48's dad, my mom rescued dogs and we always had a number of mutts and sometimes purebreds. All were great in their own way and each had their own personality. I have had many mutts too over the years (7). The only two purebreds I've had were given to me or adopted. My Labrador Maya that I have now was the adopted one. My dog who recently passed and is in my profile photo is Persephone (Sephi) and she was a Chow/Shep/Lab mix. My new dog Pierson is Border Collie and/or Australian Shepherd mix.

Good luck on your 30 day challenge! You're doing great so so far!!! :0)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Nature. You sound like me, one dog after another. Can't live without them. A Chow/Shep/Law must be a beaut! Border collies are beautiful too.

Thanks for the encouragement, I'm getting there.


Nature by Dawn profile image

Nature by Dawn 4 years ago

Tillsontitan, Sephi the Chow/Shep/Lab is the black dog in my profile photo. She was a cutie but tended to be ignored by other people because of her color. Black dogs are sometimes perceived as ordinary or intimidating. My Border Collie/Aussie mix is a very interesting color mix of black and white, sort of merle-like. Check out his photo - http://americandogblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/01...

Flash is an interesting-looking mix. How did he feel after that haircut? He kinda looks embarrassed in that photo. :0) Maxie the Beagle mix looks like a cutie too.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

A beautiful hub. We have many stray mutts on the streets over this way. They are normally scared to approach people, but if you can persuade them, they are lovely and remember you every time you return to 'their patch'.

Thanks for SHARING.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

So very nice to read this hub about your beloved dogs. Most of ours have also been rescued ones and mutts by definition. Spaying and neutering would really help the over population of dogs...and cats, for that matter...to where more animals would find loving homes. Thanks for sharing these photos and stories of your lovely pets. We are also animal lovers!


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

Great to find out I'm not the only one obsessed with dogs. Lol! This was a beautiful hub and I enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures of your wonderful pets. I agree with Peggy that pet owners should be more responsible by spaying and neutering their pets. We have a huge problem in Greece, with stray dogs and cats roaming the streets. We work hard to inform people the importance of spaying and neutering. However, considering the economical issue, it's nothing that will be resolved soon. Thanks for SHARING!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

First of all, good luck with the 30 day challenge! Don't know how you do it. One of my favorite dogs was a resued Maltese I named Mister. I wrote a Hub about him. I love dogs, too. I enjoyed reading this one, and will look forward to your next.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Nature - Sephi is a lovely dog but I have to say your mix is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the pic. Flash would always skulk around for a day or two after a haircut then get back to his normal self.

Brett, it is such a shame to have a lot of strays. It is a sad commentary on humanity that we let this happen. They show their affection by remembering you from just one encounter, wow.

Peggy you are so right. More and more free or low cost clinics are being set up to spay and neuter but I think it's just an ongoing battle. I've never owned a dog that wasn't spayed or neutered. Glad you're an animal lover too.

Sannel it is a shame that this is a world-wide issue. Thanks for sharing my hub!

Mary, thanks for the good luck. I'm doing the challenge but have little time for anything else, including reading other hubs. I will have a lot of catching up to do.


billips profile image

billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

Loved the pictures and also enjoyed your article - I have two mutts myself - there will always be people out there who want the purebreds, and I admit that, in the past, I've had my share - now it's mutts all the way - there are just so many in need - just wish I could afford more - regards - B.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

billips you are so right. Mutts have so much to offer and people often overlook them. They are so loving and so much fun!

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    tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig (tillsontitan)937 Followers
    414 Articles

    Dogs are man's best friend. Mary has been around dogs all her life and loves every breed she's met. You can never go wrong with a dog.



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