There is no one answer to this and in any case it very much depends on where you are standing. If you want a dog for a specific purpose then it may be that you need to choose a dog that has been specifically bred for the task. Hence a shepherd may well choose a rough collie that has a genetic inheritance that makes him a champion herder - try standing still when one is around and you'll know what I mean.
On the other hand it may be that what you want is a dog that just wants to be loved - in which case you could try a mixed breed. Less fixated on his purpose he will be able to focus more on you... Let us look a little closer at some of the finer points:
The case for the mongrel/mixed breed:
- Mixed breeds have the reputation for being more temperate in their behaviour - and rightly so as I just said for these dogs are simply dogs as indeed, nature intended them and not designed for other purposes.
- A mixed breed dog will settle into a greater variety of situations and in general the average family does not faze him.
- The very haphazard nature of their breeding makes for a healthier dog. A good selection of mixed genes, avoids, to a great extent, any defective genes.
- Rarely, if ever, will you see a mixed breed with a physical deformity that clearly compromises its health - mother-nature is not that cruel.
- Mixed breeds don't break the bank.
The case against:
- You cannot predict the mixed breed's temperament.
- Nor can you say what he will look like or how big he will or won't grow. Although it is worth noting, that mixed breeds tend towards the middling in all things...
- Although mixed breeds are in general healthier you cannot say for sure that this will be the case - indeed if he has been bred partly from a pure bred he may then inherit a weak genetic trait from that parent.
With all that said it is now time to look at the pure bred dog.
The case for the pure bred:
- The pure bred dog is predictable - this is true not only in regard to behaviour but physically as well. So you can choose with some discretion and not find yourself with a dog that has clearly outgrown your patio garden or two up and two down terrace.
- Should you require a dog for specific purposes then the pure bred dog will fulfil your wishes
- Even if the dog is merely intended as a pet then you can still decide what behaviours may or may not be acceptable.
The case against the pure bred:
- A less flexible character may be more difficult to train.
- It may be you that has to do the majority of the compromising.
- Can often require a lot more outdoor time as their active minds look for activity to take the place of the instinctive, inbred, behaviours.
- Pure breeds can come with health problems, some quite severe.
- They often break the bank!!
So now you know.... or do you?
May be you still feel no further on in deciding which would suit you best.
Maybe it's time for some serious questions. You may ask yourself:
Note: You should ask these questions not only of yourself but of everybody who is likely to be affected by the addition of a dog to your home.
1) Why do I want a dog at all?
2) What do I expect to get from this dog?
3) What ought it to expect from me?
Next you may move on to the practicalities:
4) How much space do I have for this dog?
5) How much time do I have?
6) How much money can I realistically afford to spend?
7) Who else needs to be considered - are there young children in the
house or somebody with poor mobility for instance.
All these things will make a difference to your choice so try to be as truthful as you can. They will build up a picture of the dog you really want and not the dog you think you want. There is a distinction here that is important. It will mean the difference between a happy and successful relationship and a less than satisfactory one where rather than enjoying the dog you have chosen it will begin to feel like a chore.
Now forearmed you may begin the happy task of finding that dog.
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