ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are Mongrels Healthier Than Purebreds?

Updated on November 4, 2007
There's a good reason for the expression "Fit as a mule"
There's a good reason for the expression "Fit as a mule"

One day when I worked in a pet store, a man brought in a litter of baby guinea pigs for us. They were one of the millions of accidental breedings that occur in pets (and people) each year. These guinea pigs were gorgeous. The pet store owner asked me what breed they were in order to know what price to put on them. I said a little too loudly, "they're mutts." The man who brought the babies in frowned. He took my word the wrong way. I had meant the word "mutt" as a compliment.

Do Purebreds Go To The Vet More Than Mongrels?

Any vet will tell you that they get just as many mongrels (or mixed breeds) to treat as they do purebloods. But with purebloods, you know what health problems your pet is more susceptible to. You have a pretty good picture of what vet bills you are going to be paying for than with mongrels. Also, you can't go to most prestigious shows with mongrels.

Purebreds seem to inevitably have to go to the vet for health or behavioral problems than do mongrels. Mongrels still need check ups, still get into accidents, still catch contagious diseases or parasites, just like purebreds. And there will be variations of the strength of their immune system and overall health within each member of a pure breed. Because they are the products of a limited gene pool, any negative health or behavioral trait is going to be magnified in a purebred.

Hybrid Vigor

Purebreds lack a quality called "hybrid vigor", which has been studied in plants and animals. There are a lot of people who claim that hybrid vigor is a myth. A scientific study comparing the health of purebred dogs verses mongrels yielded non being the superior in health.

However, the same test showed:

  • That mongrels lived longer
  • That mongrels needed less surgeries
  • That purebred dogs were more prone to getting the following diseases than mongrels : an elongated soft palate, intervertebral disk disorders (discopathy), hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament rupture, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, panostitis, patellar luxation, distichiasis and entropion
  • That since most mongrels are neutered and purebreds are not, purebreds are prone to getting cancer and other problems with their reproductive organs

Case Study: The Thoroughbred

The detrimental health effects over just a few centuries are clearly seen in the fastest breed of horse in the world - the Thoroughbred. They get the name not because they are purebreds, but because they are "thoroughly bred for speed". All Thoroughbreds today can trace their ancestry back to just three stallions who lived in the 1700-1800's. Between 60%-70% of all Thoroughbreds alive today trace back to just one horse born in 1961, Northern Dancer.

The result has been a disaster for the horses. They are bred to win races, not to survive. Their bones are thin, their nerves are shot and they can barely support their own weight, let alone that of a rider. The European Horse of the Year, Dubai Millennium, died from being allergic to grass. When a horse cannot even eat the most basic of horsey foods, it's time for all of the horses to get out of the gene pool.

Let the tragedy of the Thoroughbred be a lesson for all pet owners and pet breeders of whatever species.

Look In The Mirror

You are most likely a mongrel. So why do people generally prefer pure bred pets over mongrels? Fashion, probably. Money, definitely. There is more of a demand for purebreds, so there are more having babies. If suddenly everyone stopped buying purebreds and just bought mongrels, there wouldn't be a lot of purebred pets left.

Although mongrels are overall healthier than purebreds, they by no means make any better of a pet. Purebreds are just as loving and friendly and still deserve all the care and affection their guardians can give.

Gorgeous Mongrel Dancing. Film by idahopugilist

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)