Some of my earliest memories involve dogs. In fact, I helped to pick my family’s first pet back when I was just a baby!
Shortly after my first birthday, my parents drove us down to a farm in Seremban to visit one of my grandmother’s friends. The farmer had a dog who’d recently given birth, and so my family was allowed to take one of the puppies home.
According to my parents, they named her “Beauty” because my little one-year-old self kept saying “Beauty! Beauty!” whenever I played with her. It wasn’t until later that they realised that it was because she had brown fur just like the prince in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast — my favourite movie at the time.
Of course, not everyone can collect their new pets from a friendly farmer. Instead, the majority of prospective pet owners are faced with two main options: buying a purebred from a breeder or adopting a mixed breed dog from a shelter.
Purebreds VS Mixed Breeds
When it comes to pet dogs, there are two main schools of thought. Some believe that it is more important to get a purebred dog with a proven lineage from a reputable breeder, while others believe that you should disregard all the fancy breeding and simply adopt a lovable mutt from a local shelter.
The key difference between a purebred and mixed breed dog is that purebreds have parents and ancestors who are all the same breed, meaning that they will usually confirm to their breed’s standard. In other words, if you get a Chihuahua purebred puppy, you will almost certainly have a good idea of how it’ll look and behave once it’s all grown up.
Mixed breed dogs, on the other hand, are a combination of different breeds. This means that while it is still possible to guess their appearance or personalities, it can be a little harder compared to a purebred. For example, if you have a Chihuahua/Golden Retriever mixed puppy, it might be hard to tell how big it’ll grow once it gets older.
Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, it is important to consider your own lifestyle and circumstances before choosing a dog. For example, someone living in a small apartment will probably not want a very energetic dog compared to someone who’s got a big garden to run and play in.
If you’re having trouble deciding what kind of dog to get, here are some of the advantages that you can get with purebred and mixed breed pets.
3 Reasons to Get a Purebred Dog
When it comes to both physical traits, purebreds tend to be much easier to predict compared to mixed breed dogs. When you pick up your purebred puppy, you’ll know exactly what to expect — a Chihuahua won’t grow too big for your apartment and a Shih Tzu won’t be shedding fur all over your furniture.
2) Ease of Training
Many dog breeds have been bred for a specific purpose, and as such their behaviour is also fairly predictable. This means that you can search for a breed that’s perfectly suited for your personality and lifestyle. For example, breeds such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are more affectionate and sociable, making them perfect for families with children or other dogs.
3) Meet the Family
A good breeder will also want their dogs to be happy. When you buy a purebred from a reputable breeder, you can trust that your puppy has received great care and socialisation since the day they were born. In addition, the breeder will have records of their parents and can give you information about any potential health issues that your puppy could develop once they get older.
3 Reasons to Get a Mixed Breed
When you go to a seller such as My Pets Library, purebred puppies from popular breeds such as Shiba Inu, Corgis and Pomeranians can sell for literally thousands of Ringgit. In contrast, the minimum donation required to adopt a dog from Paws Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) is only about RM80.
Despite what some may believe, purebred pets may not always be the healthier option. In fact, most mixed breeds tend to be healthier as they are much less likely to inherit the genetic issues that plague many purebred breeds.
3) Unique Look
While purebred dogs have been bred over many generations, some pet owners prefer a dog that doesn’t look the same as everyone else’s. When it comes to mixed breeds, it’s possible for every puppy in the same litter to look different from each other.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
Regardless of whether you’re planning to get a purebred or a mixed breed dog, you should visit a local animal shelter rather than buying from a pet store.
Every year, shelters such as PAWS receive hundreds of perfectly healthy animals — both purebred and mixed breed — that were either picked up from the street or abandoned by their irresponsible former owners.
By adopting from a shelter, you’re not only providing your new pet with their forever home but also freeing up precious space and resources that another animal can take.
Personally, I don’t think it really matters whether your furkid is a purebred or a mixed breed. In the end, the most important thing is to find a dog that’s perfect for you and your family.
But, whether you’ve grown up surrounded by dogs or you’re a first-time owner, think carefully before signing those adoption papers. Getting a pet isn’t like buying a new toy or appliance — it’s about getting a new friend for life. As a responsible pet owner, you will need to take care of your furry friend’s health, both physically and mentally. It’s a tough job, but one that’s well worth it.