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Thread: Are X breeds hardier than Purebreeds ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Bundaberg QLD

    Default Are X breeds hardier than Purebreeds ?

    Whats your thoughts ??

    I'm not talking about teacup or designer freakshows....just your common 'Mutt' if you get my drift.

    Bronx (Mastiff X) is deadset bulletproof compared to Mojo (PB Bullmastiff), in every way...Bull at a gate compared to "can you open the gate for me please dad" stuff.

    Health issues with Bronx...didnt give a rats or blink a eye with castration. Mojo laps up attention even after a heartworm needle !!

    Scooby (RIP), was a Ridgy cross, ate cheap kibble , kicked parvoviruses arse when he was 3 months old and lived a healthy life till 14.

    I hear it often, vets included that refer to Xbreeds been 'tougher' dogs.

    I realise bad breeders breed dodgy PB dogs but i'm thinking more along the lines of a typical well breed dog vs a typical pound puppy mutt.

    The Bali dogs i saw recently would have to be some of the toughest dogs i've of scraps and little love...yet breed like rabbits and battle on.

    So far from my 'limited compared to some here, dog ownership' moneys on the mutts been the the tougher dogs.

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  2. #2


    The surprising truth about cross-bred dogs:

    5-Year Study: Which Dog Breeds Are Healthier?

  3. #3


    A subject very close to my heart... Interesting article, but I see it a little bit differently.

    I've had pets all my life, a combination of registered purebred dogs and cats and mutts and moggies. Unfortunately, despite forking out a lot of money and ensuring I only purchased from breeders that carried out every possible test for known genetic conditions, I've still found that my purebreds have been much less healthy than my mutts. My experience has been that although my purebreds didn't have any serious genetic conditions, they had a host of more minor conditions that just made life more difficult. For example, skin conditions - I've had 2 purebreds who just seemed to react to something or everything, we could never identify what. Food sensitivities as well, and I feed premium (no grain) kibble and raw meat, bones and organs, eggs, fish etc. Dental issues, for example, they don't seem to lose their baby teeth properly? I've had two, a cat and dog that ended up with just chronic bad breath despite $1000's at the vet, the bones and trying to brush their teeth. My mutts by comparison - I wouldn't say that enjoy smelling Sammy's breath but it definitely doesn't smell bad and all I do for him is give him chicken and brisket bones each week. And same for the cat.

    My dog was in a field with several other registered purebreds from a working dog club that I used to belong to. Unfortunately, there was some metal sheets that we didn't see in the long grass properly and 3 of the dogs sliced their paws open (Sammy was one of them and had at first, what appeared to be the most serious injury - it certainly went the deepest). They all went to the same vet, were bandaged and got their collars of shame. Sammy was the only one who didn't get any sort of infection. One of the dogs had to have parts of her paw cut out, was pretty horrible. The vet commented that he wasn't surprised, because Sammy was a mutt and from his experience they had much better immune systems.

    Sammy was also hit by a car. It was a truly horrible experience and I will never forget the moment that I thought I'd seen my dog die. But he didn't. He did injure his back leg and had a lot of swelling around his cruciate ligament. The vet warned me that it was going to detach and took me through how ridiculously common that is in Dobermanns. Anyway, I put Sammy on some anti-inflammatories and restricted him to walking and no jumping for 2 weeks (the single greatest challenge I've faced with him). The swelling abated and he's never looked back. I actually stayed with a couple of Dobermann breeders while looking for a new puppy to undertake dog sports with and they all had stories about cruciate ligament injuries. They all told me they weren't genetic, just from injuries because the dogs run and jump too much. Well Sammy is part kangaroo as anyone who has seen him can vouch, and yet not even being hit by a car at over 70km/hr was enough to do his cruciate in. If your dog can't partake in running and jumping, how is that not a genetic issue?

    Another comment I would make on that article, I think when it comes to mixed breeds, there's a huge difference between having a mixed breed that is the offspring of 2 purebreds, vs the offspring of 2 mixed breeds and so on. This is even more so if the breeds are closely related and already share similar issues. For example, if we look at hip dyplasia, if you were to breed a German Shepherd with a Golden Retriever, I would imagine that the puppies would see the same incidence rate as their purebred cousins - for that particular ailment anyway. I know that most people and articles tend to throw anything without papers into the same category, but I don't.

    We know that in populations with a high inbreeding coefficient - which is all purebred animals, they tend to exhibit compromised immune systems - look at Cheetahs as an example. So whilst I believe that specific genetic conditions can be tested for - and subsequently eliminated from breeds, what is harder to test for is the state of their immune system.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. It is something I worry about a lot. I don't know that I'll buy another purebred animal.

    For most of history, we had 'types' rather than breeds. For example, we had the sighthounds - fast dogs that hunted on sight, the guard dogs, the tracking dogs, herders etc. And we just bred 2 dogs that were good at the job we wanted together. Then unfortunately, people became obsessed with breeding dogs and pedigrees and what not. I believe that had we stayed with types rather than specific breeds, dogs would be in a better state.

  4. #4


    I would actually agree with you 99bottles .

    At least when talking about 2 purebred or 2nd generation dogs . It starts to get messy after that but then again , look at the past. If something started going 'wrong' in the type being bred they sourced an out cross to remedy it. Inferior dogs didn't last long and there was never the 'surplus' we have today.

    It's a tough call to make in todays society but something that can be definately thought of.
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  5. #5


    Probably depends a bit on the breed and how much they've been molded to win in the show ring. SBT's for example if bred well are pretty much bullet proof. But I would say that has a lot to do with breeders keeping the dogs original purpose in mind rather than say the GSD(show types) or the Bulldog where they're breeding soley for looks.

    I would say that crossbreeds "toughness" is probably somewhat dependant on the breeds used also.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Mid North Coast NSW

    Default experiences were the same as others until recently. I've had purebreds with minor allergies, skin issues etc, and mutts with no problems whatsoever. Until Abe the Mastiff x who seems to have th eworst food intolerances I've ever seen. He's been sick for 6-8wks and only just coming right now with the most expensive diet known to man. Maybe as a general rule mutts are tougher, but there are always exceptions to that rule

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    I have always had purebred dogs although not neccessarily ANKC registered but rather working bred and registered as well. Most of them have been tough as nails. The dog we have had most problems with has been a labradoodle maltese mix, beset with all sorts of allergies and problems. I also had a friend euthanaise a cross bred she bought from a pet shop for severe hip dysplasia.

    The cross breds that roam in Bali are tough becuase they have a big selection pressure on them, anything that cant withstand that life dies.

    Perhaps thats why the working bred dogs I have are pretty tough. There is possibly a bigger selection pressure put on them as only the healthy dogs capable of working are bred for and poorer dogs are often shot. Quite a lot of inbreeding can be used to fix certain traits but the good breeders still only select the best and healthiest workers for breeding, dogs that have proven themselves in the paddock.

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