Purebred vs. Mixed Breed: Which is Right for You?



Adopting a pet dog is a big deal. When considering what kind of dog to adopt, many think of the breed and the source. Many people question if they should adopt a mixed breed or purebred dog. Before you know which four-legged friend is suitable for your lifestyle, there are a few things to consider, such as expectations, pros and cons of mixed breeds, pros and cons of purebreds, and how to find a reputable breeder. 


When considering dog adoption, the first thing to think about is what you’re looking for in a pet. For example, what size or temperament of dog are you looking to adopt?

If you decide on a specific breed, you’ll want a reputable breeder who specializes in your chosen breed. For instance, if you want a white Labrador Retriever, White Lab breeders are the best people to link you with your tail-wagging family member and answer any questions you might have. 

Visiting a reputable, specialized breeder will also help you manage any expectations you might have about your chosen breed so that you can nip any nasty surprises in the bud. 

Mixed breed 

A mixed-breed dog is the product of two or more breeds of dogs. There is no way to determine lineage or pedigree.

Mixed breed pros

Mixed breed dogs can usually be adopted from a shelter for a small fee, making them a more budget-friendly option than a purebred pooch. Another benefit of mixed breeds is that they can often be healthier than single breeds. One example of this enhanced health is hybrid vigor, wherein mixed breeds often live longer and have higher constitutions than their purebred counterparts. 

Mixed breed Cons

There are downsides to adopting a mixed-breed dog. Because you don’t know the dog’s lineage, there’s no way of knowing what health issues your new pet may have in the future, and that can leave you heartbroken or with a hefty vet bill. 

What’s more, because you often adopt mixed breeds from shelters, you’ll be dealing with limited knowledge of their life before adoption. Your new pet could have anxiety or aggression issues from a previous owner that you don’t know about until they’re already home. 


A purebred dog is a dog whose lineage is made up of other dogs of the same breed. The dogs of the same species will all have similar traits. With a reliable heritage, predictability is much easier. 

With a purebred dog, you can know ahead of time what kinds of health problems the breed often has and can therefore prepare for it. 

Purebred pros

With a purebred dog, you can know what kinds of health problems the breed often has and prepare for it. Potential owners will want to assess personality and size when considering which breed. If you like tiny dogs like the Lhasa Apso, you can rest easy knowing that the breeder’s adult size estimates should hold true for your pooch. 

If choosing a purebred dog, visiting a well-reviewed, ethical breeder is a good idea. A high-quality breeder will ensure the family is a good fit for the dog before the adoption.

Purebred cons

Concerns when adopting a purebred dog are cost and inbreeding. Inbreeding often happens with disreputable breeders, but it is a concern where pedigree is the priority. 

Puppy mills, or low-quality, unethical breeders, are known to not take great care of their breeding animals. Luckily, you can avoid puppy mills by researching before buying a dog. 

Tips for finding a reputable breeder

There are several things to look for when searching for a reputable breeder. A few things to watch for are:

  • Parent dogs are at least two years old
  • Only one or two breeds at a time
  • Not available until eight weeks old
  • Health screenings

These indicators will help you decide for yourself if a breeder is qualified or not. 

Parting shot

A mixed-breed dog may have fewer health problems, but you can’t predict temperament or size. With a purebred dog, predictability is much higher. You can easily plan for any health issues, but you have to watch out for disreputable breeders. There are plenty of resources with more information on pet adoption, so be sure to read up before adopting.

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