Did You Call My Dog a Mutt? (click on photo to enlarge)

Puppy: My Border collie x Australian Shepherd. A really smart dog.

Puppy: My Border collie x Australian Shepherd. A really smart dog.

Puppy waiting for a ride on the cart. Example of a mutt. Border Collie x Australian Shepherd cross.

Puppy waiting for a ride on the cart. Example of a mutt. Border Collie x Australian Shepherd cross.

Puppy is a Border Collie/ Australian Shepherd cross.

Puppy is a Border Collie/ Australian Shepherd cross.

Numerous individuals take great offense if their dog is referred to as a mutt. Here in the states a dog of unknown ancestry which could mean the mix of numerous breeds, is generally called a mutt- AKA mixed breed, mongrel, feist, Heinz 57 variety and, cur. 

Folks who own a purebred dog with a known pedigree can laugh all they want but the truth of the matter, to me, is the heart of any dog. I am a strong proponent mutts. Throughout my life almost all of the dogs that I have been fortunate to call mine, have been mutts. This assortment of mutts were smart, loyal, watchful and, loving. Each of my dogs brought a different personality and all of them lived to  13-15 years of age with no health problems to deal with. Maybe I was lucky. 🙂 

A mutt simply means that it has no known history of its pedigree or that it is clearly not a purebred dog. It is generally the result of random breeding but often this type of breeding actually produces a healthier animal (as a rule). 

Then there is the dog of mixed breeding which some people still call a mutt (if you are a snob). Numerous individuals intentionally cross breed two breeds in order to create desired traits.  This is often seen in rural areas where farmers and ranchers are looking for a dog that has a little extra special something.  It may be to create a better hunting dog or herding dog. In central Texas the Border collie is often crossed with an Australian Shepherd and these dogs are indeed pretty, very smart and, are often much healthier than their ancestors. 

The smartest dog that I have ever owned happens to be a Border Collie and Australian Shepherd cross. I have taught him a number of tricks. If he were not intelligent, he would still be my favorite dog of all my dogs.  

An example of a mixed breed dog is the Labradoodle which has become quite popular. Obviously the name implies that this dog is poodle and labrador cross. I wrote an earlier post about the fascinating history of this breed.  

 Look for a re-posted “Designer Dogs, The Pros And The Cons   July 27,2011    (All about the labradoodle that is considered a mutt by AKC standards) 

Post and photography Yvonne Daniel

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