National Mutt Day
Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi once said, “A mutt is couture-it's the only one like it in the world, made especially for you.” I read this and immediately looked over at Dover, thinking how perfect this analogy is. Our Dover is most definitely one-of-a-kind, and like any piece of couture fashion, he fits us perfectly. In this blog post we will share the joys of mixed breed dogs and offer up ways to celebrate National Mutt Day.
Our Very Own Mixed Breed Dog Dover
Our very first blog post was in celebration of our boy Dover. I mean, he is our official Ambassadog and Taste Tester so his story was an obvious choice to tell. Dover is also a whole bunch of different breeds of dogs all rolled up into one amazing pup. When we tested his DNA, the results came back that he is a mix of Labrador Retriever, German Shephard, Rottweiler, Doberman, Staffordshire Terrier, and Chow Chow.
Dover’s appearance is a mix of all of those different breeds. How could you not love those brown and black patchwork paws? We have never seen paws like that on any dog ever! They are truly unique to Dover. Sometimes we see the different personality traits come out from each breed, but usually, he is simply Dover. He’s his own dog, not just a sum of 6 parts.
The Goal of National Mutt Day
National Mutt Day, or National Mixed Breed Dog Day, was created to help bring awareness to the benefits of adopting mixed breed dogs. According to www.nationalmuttday.com, 80% of dogs waiting to be adopted are mixed breed dogs. Many potential adopters are looking for a “purebred” dog even though a dog made up of two, three, four, or even six breeds like our Dover could be the perfect dog for them.
Mixed Breed Dogs are Just Like Other Dogs
The reason for developing “purebred” or purpose bred dogs is to train them to perform specific functions. For example, retrievers are bred to retrieve game, so their webbed paws help them swim, and their double coat helps them stay warm in a duck blind on a cold autumn day. If you were looking for a hunting partner, a greyhound or a chihuahua would not be a smart choice. However, if you are simply looking for a walking buddy and snuggle pup, there is no special breeding required. Those are things that dogs have been doing since they first befriended us around the campfire 30,000 years ago.
When it comes to a dog’s temperament, it really comes down to a dog’s history and life experiences more than the mix of breeds that make up their ancestry. When Dover shows his love of eating or swimming, we assume it is the Labrador retriever in him. But in reality, a lot of dogs love to swim and eat. A lot of humans love to swim and eat; that’s why we all love the Jersey shore!
But all joking aside, we cannot be sure if that’s why Dover loves to do those things. He could love to eat because he was found abandoned as a young puppy and did not have enough food when he was living on the street at such a young age. Or he could just love to eat because he’s a dog and that’s what they do.
Mixed Breed Dogs Are Often Healthier Than Many Purebred Dogs
In the purebred dog world, not all breeders are responsible. Many breeds have developed a predisposition to certain health problems due to bad breeding practices. Think of the Basset Hound or Dachshund with their back problems, or German Shepherds and their propensity toward hip dysplasia. Of course, not all purebred dogs have these issues, but the responsible breeders work tirelessly to bring litters into the world without these problems. Unfortunately, for every responsible breeder, there are plenty of backyard breeders and puppy mill operators churning out dogs with terrible health problems.
Many health experts also believe that mixed breed dogs are healthier than their purebred counterparts. The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA writes on their website, that “Mixed breeds, on the other hand, have something called hybrid vigor. When you mix two or more separate gene pools, the recessive genes that carry the health problems are buried. As a result, you get a healthier animal. Simply put, mixed-breed dogs are, in general, healthier than their purebred cousins and typically require fewer visits to the veterinarian.”
Go Forth and Find Your Own Dover
I look over at our special boy Dover, and read that quote from Isaac Mizrahi once more. Dover is truly a custom piece, so perfect it is as if he was designed for us. Everything about him just fits. Only he’s not the kind of couture that you purchase after a flight to Paris. He’s the kind of couture that you find hidden on a rack in your local thrift store. He’s the kind of couture that was overlooked by many who wanted something else, which put him in the exact right place to become ours. My hope for you on National Mutt Day is to go forth and find your own Dover, your own perfect fit of a mixed breed dog.