In praise of the good old fashioned mutt.
Much has been made recently of various dog breeds, large, small and ridiculously tiny. There is also a growing interest in specific cross breeds such as the labradoodle. Has the poor mongrel been forgotten in all this made-to-measure designer dogdom?
There are many great looking pooches out there of mixed parentage and each one is going to be unique, some of the most engaging looking pups are the result of a chance meeting and rescue centres are overflowing with great dogs passed over in favour of the pure breed in the next cage.
Dogs that can trace their ancestry back are often related, some diseases and defects have become inherent to particular breeds, and mongrels often have a better resistance to doggy diseases.
Mongrel or not, the same principles apply when it comes to finding your ideal dog. See the parents (if known), or if you are going to re-home a rescue dog, talk to the staff at the centre. Be wary of small ads that are offering dogs “free to a good home”, make sure that the dog is not a problem animal that the present owners are trying to offload.
A word of caution if you are taking on a pup of unknown provenance, pups grow and there is no telling how big your new friend will be when fully grown, as you will have no point of reference. Beware of throwbacks, mongrel parents of small stature have been known to produce much larger offspring. If a large dog is going to be a problem play safe and get a pure or cross breed.