Are There Training Differences Between Pure Breed Dogs and "Mutts"?

Michael Domeck

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The pure bred dog, no manner the breed, is truly a beautiful animal to look upon. These are animals that have been refined, over the centuries, to reach their pure and unadulterated state as found today. The pure bred dogs have also been bred for temperament and bloodlines from the earliest of times. Yet there is another kind of dog that goes back in history even further than any pure bred dog! What is this unique breed?

It's the Mixed Breed, or Mutt, as they are so often called. These dogs are of a very ancient mix of pedigrees that are not always of the best of mixes but they are most assuredly very unique animals. The temperament of these dogs is usually better and they tend not to have the congenital defects of their pure bred counterparts. It is possible to even produce similar dogs thru concentrated breeding efforts but, as a general rule, the mixed breeds are unique animals that can't be easily replicated.

But what of their training capacity? Is there any reason to train these animals in any different manner than their pure bred brethren?

For the most part the simple answer is no. These animals are fully capable of learning any behavior that the pure breed is capable of and, because of a generally better temperament, they will often times learn more - faster. Due to their better temperaments and overall higher intelligence the mixed breed dogs will score quite high in obedience pre-tests and are very trainable. While pure breed animals have been refined over the centuries it has occasionally led to an in-breeding of the specific breed. This in-breeding has led the way to more congenital defects and maladjusted temperaments than the typical “mutt". This is primarily due to the simple law of nature that states “the strong will survive" - hence mixed breed dogs with congenital defects don't usually survive in nature.

Thus the mongrel, or mutt, has escaped the congential problems of many of the typical pure bred dogs. The mongrel might not always have the same handsome lines of say a Dobermen Pinscher or the gorgeous coat of the champion Pomeranian but more likely than not it has certainly inherited the better characteristics from both of these lines and sometimes even more. A mixed breed dog can have the house pet qualities of a Poodle alongside the protective qualities of a Doberman and the maternal eye of a Collie. While possessing all of these qualities the mixed breed normally may leave behind the overly aggressive and high strung tendencies of its otherwise pure bred ancesteral cousins.

This figured into the equation along with the price factor of the animals and it is quite easy to see why so many households happily have a mixed breed pet. These animals have the ability to display intelligence, show care, obey commands and circumvent obstacles. They have been doing so for thousands of years and show no signs of stopping. Go to any circus and look closely at the dogs that perform their. In the vast majority of the time the dogs you see are “mutts"! Why don't you see the pure breds traiined as performers? It's becasue of the problems we have alrady mentioned above!

The only real difference between the training of a mixed breed animal and a pure breed dog is the ability to cross platforms with less transition trouble. If your dog is a mix between, say, an Irish Setter and a Red Bone Coon Hound, then you have a dog that, quite possibly, could be trained in the hunting of both birds and game mammals without much confusion. Perhaps the mix is between a Husky and a German Shepherd?

This would give you a large dog with both good defense skills and the muscle for real workouts like long days of hiking and running. Thus by a simple exchange you can gain a lot with very little loss. The animal may no longer be pure bred and the aesthetic quality may, or may not, degenerate a bit but you gain a lot in the way of a responsive and easily trained canine. When you weigh in these facts it is hard to understand why the world has such a population explosion of homeless mixed breed pets. After all, the mixed breed seems to be the better choice from the trainer's view point.

That being said there are certain instances where a mixed breed of dog is just not acceptable at all. If you are training animals for the purpose of professional dog showing competitions then by all means choose a pure bred animal. Train them for the specific purposes for which that breed was created. Also for certain usages, such as military animals, pure breeds seem to be the animal of choice solely for the purpose of a uniform appearance albeit a number of military animals just do not meet this qualification. Aside from these, or similar circumstances, this author sees no reason to limit your search for a pet to strictly pure breed dogs. Rather, do something good for yourself and for the homeless pet population - adopt a mixed breed animal. Personally, I can say that after having several of both “types" of dogs I am now much more inclined to own “mutts" from here on out!

All about the poodle breeds and dog care in general. No sales hype just facts and information you can use to help with dog training, proper dog nutrition, dog clothing and dog jewelry. Michael A. Domeck is a trainer and a mentor working with students from all walks of life. Visit: to learn more.


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