In detail

Are mixed breeds healthier than pedigree dogs?


Mixed breeds suffer less from diseases than pedigree dogs - this is a widespread view among dog lovers. But is that true at all? Are mixed breed dogs really healthier than their purebred peers? When everyone plays the same: pedigree dog and mongrel on the beach - Image: Shutterstock / Galina Barskaya

The reason why hybrids should be healthier than pedigree dogs is in principle not wrong. Mixed-breed dogs come from a larger gene pool than pure-bred four-legged friends, so that theoretically the risk of inherited diseases and inbred-related malformations should be lower. In practice, however, this is not entirely true.

Mixed breeds are always a surprise

With a mixed breed, no one knows which genetic dispositions he has inherited from his large gene pool. It may be that he gets an inherited disease, even though his parents appear to be in good health. If nothing is known about the dog's parents and ancestors, it cannot be predicted at all whether it is healthier or more susceptible to disease than a purebred of its kind. That is left to chance.

The same applies to the character traits and the appearance of a hybrid. The more different dog breeds romp in his pedigree, the more unpredictable it is which type of dog will end up in the end. Mixed breeds are like a surprise bag full of surprises. This makes them absolutely unique, but that's not why they're necessarily healthier.

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Purebred dogs from reputable breeding not sicker than crossbreeds

If pedigree dogs come from a reputable breed, the breeder tries to avoid known hereditary diseases. Diseased dogs are excluded from breeding. In addition, conscientious dog breeders regularly carry out extensive health tests with their four-legged friends at the veterinarian to check whether they may have an undesirable disposition. However, this does not always break out, so it cannot be avoided with 100% certainty that the parent animals pass on inherited diseases to their offspring.

Therefore, pedigree dogs are neither healthier nor more susceptible to disease than hybrids. The main difference between the dogs is that the risk of known breed-typical inherited diseases can be minimized within the framework of a species-appropriate breed. In hybrids, it is impossible to predict how high the risk of certain diseases is.

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Beware of agony and black breeding when buying dogs

It is up to you whether you choose mixed breeds or pedigree dogs. It is more important that you take care not to buy your dog from agony breeding, from black breeders or from the dog mafia. You should not support these machinations. Agony breeding refers to dog breeds that were bred due to questionable beauty ideals in such a way that they have to live with physical limitations.

The depressed nose of the pug or the English Bulldog prevents the dogs from breathing, for example. Teacup dogs are specifically bred to be tiny, so that malformations can occur. However, there are alternatives for many agony breeds. Breeders try to preserve the dog breed, but in a healthier way. Examples: The retro pug or the Olde English Bulldog.

Black breeding can affect all dog breeds. This means dog breeders who are not registered in any association, presumably because they do not adhere to the guidelines for species-appropriate breeding and disease prevention. Inbreeding or poor housing conditions can lead to illnesses and behavioral problems. In the dog mafia, unscrupulous multipliers "produce" puppies like on an assembly line, regardless of losses. The poor animals are later sold on the street or out of the trunk to motorway service areas. Some are also sold through dubious classified ads on the Internet.