There is a lot of controversy when it comes to getting a mix breed or a purebred dog. Which dog is better and which dog is healthier? This is an issue that has been researched and traced back to the dog’s wolf lineage.

A big part of this controversy comes from the sentiment that some people should adopt shelter dogs, whom are more likely to be a mixed breed. The other side to this controversy is that purebreds have the extra burden of a genetic disorder.

There are many factors that go into this study because we often see pure breed dogs live very long and healthy lives, while we see other purebreds deal with serious and life-threatening medical problems.

The Study Breakdown:

A disease is what happens when there is a defective allele (one of the two alternate forms of gene). When you have a long line of purebred animals they can start to inter-breed. Doing this can cause two copies of a defective gene.

This does not mean the animal will receive the defective gene every time, but the chances of the dog getting the defective gene have increased. If you have a hybrid dog, a dog that is bred outside its own lineage and there is less of a chance of that the defective gene will pass on.

This theory was put to the test by the University of California-Davis. Their study focused on multiple disorders and the disorders tendencies in multiple different breeds. The goal was the find out about the prevalence of inherited disorders in the dog population, rather than one specific breed.

The University researched 27,254 dogs over the span of fifteen years. They studied twenty-four disorders that were categorized five different ways.

These categories consisted of: Cancers, Cardiac Disorders, Endocrine Disorders, Orthopedic Disorders, and an “Other” category.  There were two different dog types studied: purebred dogs and mixed breed dogs.

What were the Results?

The study came back as surprising to most people. It showed that the theory of purebred dogs being more susceptible to genetic conditions did not hold up against science.

The Breakdown:

  • 15 breeds had over 20% of dogs with more than one disorder
  • 63 breeds had from 21% to 30%
  • 41 breeds had from 31% to 40%
  • 10 breeds had more than 40%

What did the Study Find?

There are ten disorders that are more prevalent in purebred dogs then they are in mixed breed dogs. These disorders consist of: Aortic Stenosis, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Hypothyroidism, Elbow dysplasia, IVDD, Bloat, Portosystemic Shunt, Cataracts, Total Epilepsy, Allergic Dermatitis.

There was only disorder that was more prevalent in mixed breed dogs. Mixed Breeds are 30% more likely to develop Cruciate Ligament Rupture. They have a significantly higher risk because of the way they are breeding. The mixture of physical conformations reduces the stability in the dog’s ligaments.

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