Celebrating National Mutt Day
National Mutt Day
National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day, was first recognised in 2005 by the animal welfare expert Colleen Paige.
In fact we celebrate National Mutt Day twice a year, on July 31 and December 2.
The main purpose of National Mutt Day is to raise the profile of mixed breed dogs and to encourage more people to rescue a mutt from a dog shelter, rather than buying a pure breed.
It is a sad fact that the vast majority, i.e. around 80%, of dogs who end up in shelters are mixed breed mutts, with no specific heritage….
… this means we are talking about many many 1000’s of dogs each year.
Of course, that leaves the other 20% of dogs in shelters, which could be identified as pure breeds.
The price of buying a pure breed, and these days “designer” cross breed dogs such as cavachon, cavapoo, cockapoo,or labradoodle, (and that’s just to mention a few from the list of many)… has gone through the roof, and beyond the reach of many potential dog owners.
So, it’s probably no great surprise that the purebred dogs are the first to be adopted from the shelter, as this gives the opportunity of owning a purebred, or a designer dog, at a significantly cheaper price.
Also, there are many groups dedicated to rescuing specific breeds of dogs…
… and so the mutts tend to be left behind.
In many cases the shelters are chock full of dogs all looking for a forever home, and lots of shelters just haven’t the room or the funds to take every dog in, as much as they would wish to.
There’s the cost of maintaining the premises, paying for staff, and finding and supporting volunteers, not to mention dog food and vet bills. Running a shelter isn’t cheap!
It’s great news that the shelters can rescue the dogs and provide them with a vitally important temporary shelter from the street or abuse, but, in the main, their primary purpose is to find these dogs a permanent and loving home.
Sadly, many face an uncertain future, including being put to sleep.
Is taking on a mutt a bad risk?
There are both advantages and disadvantages of taking on a purebred dog or a mutt.
With a purebred we will have a good idea about the dogs final size, its temperament, how much exercise and grooming it may need and, if you carry out proper research, some of its known breed defects. So, you know what you’re getting, to a certain degree.
In dog terms a “mutt” refers to the accidental, non-planned pairing of dogs from two or more different breeds, compared with “designer dogs” where dogs from two pure breeds … (Also known as Pedigree dogs) have purposely been read to create what is effectively a new breed of dog, a few of which I’ve mentioned above.
It could be argued that you’re not too sure what you’re getting when you take on a mutt, as you can’t be sure of its heritage, especially if it’s only a puppy.
You might be thinking…
"How big will it grow?"
"Is it going to be okay around children?"
"Will it have any inherent health defects?"
Unfortunately, not all crossbreeding will produce a well-rounded dog outcome, and it can result in an unhappy mix ... but that can be just the same with a pure-bred dog, or with a 'planned' pairing of two breeds.
However, whilst these questions may seem like negatives that may stop you taking on a mutt, there are some big positives to taking on a rescued mutt.
For starters they will be so much cheaper than buying a purebred – many rescue centres only charge a nominal fee to rehome one of their dogs.
But, if you are concerned about crossbred dogs PetMD reports, “a mixed-breed puppy often has the advantage of having a much lower chance of being born with inherited congenital diseases, since the mating process naturally leaves out the defective genes.”
A mixed breed 'mutt' dog is far from inferior
Therefore, a mixed breed dog, far from being an inferior mutt, is more likely to be self-resistant to many diseases and illnesses, to live longer, be very affectionate, and if you do rescue a dog from a shelter you are saving it from an unsure future.
Many mutts prove to be ideal household pets as well as being very intelligent, and perhaps a little less temperamental too!
So, if you are looking to bring a canine friend into your home do please consider harnessing National Mutt Day by taking in a cross breed rescue dog.
Go get a mutt!
The shelters will thank you and so will the dog.
Finding Dog Rescue Shelters:
There are many dog rescue shelters around the world, and there is bound to be one close to where you live. An internet search will find them for you.
Or take a look here: