The Difference Between Mutts, Purebred Dogs, and Designer Dogs

Many people do not know what is the difference between a purebred dog, a mutt, and a designer dog. Further more we explain why it is unethical to intentionally breed anything but purebred dogs. What is a designer dog? What is a mutt? What is a purebred dog? What is hybrid vigor? What is the difference between a mutt and a designer dog?

Mutts are often looked down upon as being inferior. Some people would never own anything other than a purebred. It should be noted that “Purebred” does not mean “quality”. There are probably more low quality purebred dogs than there are good quality ones. Some people breed their dogs because are were purebreds, and for no other reason than making a profit selling the pups, or because they didn't know any different.

What is a Purebred Dog?

A purebred is an animal with registration papers stating who its parents are, and recognizing that they are of the same breed. Nothing more. It is not a recognition of quality.   Proof of qualty is only after the dog goes to shows and earns championship titles.

What is Mutt?

A mutt is anything, and everything else. A mutt can have two registered parents, but if it is not registered itself it cannot be referred to as a purebred. In fact in many areas it is illegal to represent a dog as purebred unless it has registration papers available at no additional charge.

What is a Designer Dog?

A designer dog is a mutt with a high price tag and fancy name. Designer dogs are not registered, and typically the parents are low quality examples of a breed. Generally anyone with a top quality dog would be using it to breed purebreds. Some examples of designer dogs are Puggles, Pomchi, Golden Doodles (although Goldendoodles have recently been accepted as a breed in Australia), and so forth. Designer dogs are generally sold with inflated price tags that do not represent their quality.

cute spotted mutt

What is Hybrid Vigor?

While true hybrids are animals who are not of the same species, such as a cross between a donkey and a horse, the term has been applied to the crossing of different breeds of dogs,cats, and horses. In other words it covers mixed breed dogs, domestic cats, and grade horses.

When dogs of one breed are bred together it can form a shrinking gene pool. The shrinking gene pool is one of the reasons purebred dogs often have genetic health problems and concerns. One way of dealing with this is by breeding two very unrelated animals together to give the offspring a different mix of genes. This is best accomplished by breeding animals of two different breeds.

The result is that dogs of mixed gene pools often have fewer genetic health problems and typically have a longer lifespan.  This is called hybrid vigor.

How is Quality Determined in a Dog?

The most common way of determining if a dog is a top quality animal is by taking it to dog shows and competing against other dogs. The dog is examined on the basis of conformation according to breed standards, as such these classes are for registered purebreds only. Other types of shows, including obedience and agility are open to mutts. Field trials for hunting dogs may be exclusive to registered dogs only or open to mixed breeds.

Veterinarians can also offer assessments of a dog, they can check their mouth, ears, eyes, and hips, for problems. If a vet suggests a dog is a poor quality animal, there is no point in having it go to a conformational type show or considering it worthy of being bred.

Temperament should also be considered, a dog who is in any way aggressive to people or other animals should not be considered to be a quality dog. This not only has a genetic component, but female dogs often teach their puppies their temperaments.

The Breeding Contraction...

A lot of people become confused as to why if hybrid vigor is good, should a person not intentionally breed mutts or designer dogs. The problem is two-fold. Generally speaking those who are allowing their dogs to breed and create mutts, or designer dogs, are those with lower quality dogs to begin with. As mentioned earlier, a breeder with top dogs would presumably be showing and breeding purebreds only. The other problems is that with millions of mutts euthanized in shelters yearly in the USA alone, there is no reason to intentionally create more. 

As another kicker, many designer dogs are sold with inflated price tags that do not represent the quality of the dog in as much as they represent the greed of the breeder.

cute mutt in the snow

Getting a Dog?

  • If you are considering buying a dog, you will wish to consider if you want a purebred or a mutt.
  • A purebred is suited to somebody who may wish to show or be competitive. The advantage of a purebred is you generally know what traits, and health problems, that dog is likely to have. Of course it must be remembered that not all purebreds are quality, or come from quality parents. A reputable breeder will have show records of both parents, and veterinarian certificates, proving their worth as breeding animals.  Always ask to see the parent dogs, their genetic health certificates, and their show records. Pet stores do NOT sell quality purebreds.
  • Designer dogs should be avoided, their inflated price tags are not worth it.
  • Mutts can be found at animal shelters or often in newspaper ads. Never pay for a dog or pup that has not been seen by a veterinarian and come with some sort of health guarantees. Never accept a free pet unless you intend to get the medical, vaccinations, worming, etc, done immediately.   Mutts can make excellent pets, but are unsuitable for breeding. 
  • Adopting from animal shelters has a huge advantage in that they have lots of selection, and you are truly saving a life. Although typically shelters are associated with mutts, they do get purebreds from time to time. Shelters are non-profit. The price you pay is the minimum. All in all if you are only looking for a companion animal, looking at a shelter offers lots of options.
  • A mutt is not an inferior dog, even a dog with two quality, purebred, registered, parents, but who was not registered itself, is technically a mutt. 


Good breeders of purebred dogs invest so much time and money into showing their dogs and proving their worth as breeding animals that they do NOT make a profit. People who breed simply for the sake of producing pups to sell are inflating their prices because they realize that the public is unaware of how to determine a good breeder from a bad one.

Mutts do not always have “hybrid vigor” if you do not know who the parents are, the parents might be brother and sister.

Related Doggy Links

11 Questions to Ask yourself Before Getting a Dog or Pup

How to Select the Right Dog for Me

How to Socialize a New Dog or Puppy

How to Help Your Dog Live a Healthy and Long Life


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Making your own dog food is quite easy to do and can be done for cheaper than buying a high quality commercial dog food. Homemade food can also be made in large amounts and frozen so you do not need to spend time daily making it. There are many dog food recipes online but it is just as easy to make your own. Be sure the foods you use are safe and that the food consists of 30% starch, 30% vegetable and 40% meat.

For the starch, brown rice, oats or pasta work well.

Vegetables and fruits you can choose from are carrots, squash, pumpkin, cucumber, cauliflower, yams, sweet potatoes, lettuce, beets, peas, parsnips, zucchini, watermelon, other melons, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples (no seeds, they are poisonous), cooked beans.

Lean beef, lamb, skinless chicken, venison, buffalo, elk, moose, musk Ox, turkey, rabbit, duck, boneless fish, cooked eggs, small amounts of beef and chicken liver are all excellent meat choices.

Vegetables/fruits that are not safe to use are spinach, beet greens, chard, onions, garlic, leek, tomato, potato, bell peppers, corn on the cob/corn, grapes, raisins, rhubarb, mushrooms, avocadoes, broccoli and raw beans.

Chicken skin and fat trimming are not healthy and raw fish should be avoided. Tuna sadly contains too much mercury to be safe. Large amounts of Liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity so should never be given.

Nutmeg, sugar, chocolate, nuts, milk, yeast dough, seeds and fruit pits, wheat, baby food, coffee/tea, hops, potato, salt, dairy products, apple seeds, apricot/cherry/peach pits and mustard seeds should never be given.

Calcium is also a vital aspect of your dog’s diet and can by simply added by topping their food each night with some unflavoured no fat yogurt. Yogurt can help dogs keep a balanced digestive tract and can help stop gassiness.

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Fresh or frozen veggies are best; do not use canned veggies as they have additives.

Dogs have shorter digestive tracts than humans have and cannot digest most vegetables whole or in large chunks. Be sure to mash vegetables up well.

Remember to feed no white coloured/bleached foods. When possible try to avoid wheat too, as it tends to make dogs gassy.

All Fish and Pork should be well cooked.

A canine multivitamin can be added to insure he gets everything he needs.

When preparing homemade dog food, it is best to vary the recipes so that your dog gets an array of nutrients.

Talk to your vet before changing to a homemade diet.

All meat should be lean and not covered in fat.

Feeding a homemade diet does take more work than simply buying a bag of kibble. However, knowing you are doing the best you can to keep your dog healthy is well worth the effort.

Why Do Cats Pee on Beds, Towels, and Dirty Laundry?

Why do cats urinate on beds, clothing, towels, and so forth? Learn what to do if a cat is peeing on items other than in its litter box. Why is my cat peeing on my bed? Why does my cat always urinate in the laundry? What is wrong with my cat she is always peeing on towels? Why dogs my male cat pee on my dirty clothing?

Some cat owners will have a strange thing happen at some time or another... their cat will pee on their bed. We all know cats are suppose to urinate in their litter box, but what are the reasons that some don't?

Some of the places that cats will select to urinate, other than their litter box, are on a bed, sofa, towels, laundry, or even carpeting. You will note they seldom pee on the floor. Just to clear things up – we are not referring to “Spraying” or marking behavior which is most often seen in male cats and is characterized by them standing with their rear end facing a (usually) vertical surface. They “shoot” their urine, and typically twitch their tail at this time.  This article is about cats who empty their bladder on the bed, towels, and such, rather than "marking territory" with small amounts of urine.

There are basically three reasons why cats pee on the bed, towels, or what have you. One is that they have a reason for not using their litter box (there are many reasons for this), an other is because you have made these sources available to them, and finally it is because these things smell like you. Let us look into these factors further.

Reasons for a Cat Not Using the Litter Box

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There are so many reasons, in fact, that if a cat is having this problem, one should try to determine the source, a link is available here to help finding out the cause of a cats refusal to use the litter box.

Available Sources

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Smells Like You

Your bed, your towels, your dirty laundry on the floor, these things all smell like you. Of course people will try saying that your cat is marking your stuff as its own, but really we do not know what the cat is thinking when it urinates on your bed or clothing. Many theories exist, including that they use this as a way of stating their anger with you, but this is really just guess work. The fact is your cat does not pee on you (hopefully), just your soft stuff, so perhaps your cat thinks of this in a familiar sort of way.

What Can be Done to Prevent, or End, the Problem of a Cat Peeing on your Stuff

Assuming again that the cat is spayed or neutered, and is not spraying... and assuming the cat is not suffering from any kind of urinary tract infect, diabetes, and so forth, there are some things we can do. First amend the problem as mentioned in the link also mentioned above relating to why it cats fail to use the litter box in the first place.

Keep bedroom doors shut and/or keep clothing picked up or in a hamper (with a lid). Try spending a few minutes every day with the cat, patting it, or giving it treats. Keep the home as stress free as possible (do not allow kids to chase your cats). If you must, shut the cat up in the room where the litter box is located at night (with food and water of course), or when you are away, thus reinforcing it to use the litter box, but only if you have filled it with the correct litter, and it is placed in an appropriate spot to begin with (not next to a laundry machine or furnace).

Be aware that cats do not understand discipline for this problem. Rubbing the cats nose in “it” will not help, and may only add to the stress and confusion the cat is experiencing – thus making the problem worse.

Please read the link on why cats fail to use their litter box as this is the start to the problem of them using your bed, towels, and so forth, as a litter option.

What to Do? My Cat Has a Runny Nose

When the cat sneezes for several hours and then the sneezing suddenly stops, then it may be because of an irritation in the nose. When the cat grabs its nose and sneezes hard, then something may have been stuck in its nose. If the cat sneezes and has sniffles for a whole day, then it may have a respiratory infection.


The nose is a vital part of the cat’s ability to perceive his surroundings. His sense of smell is often remarkable as he can smell all sorts of scents. His sense of smell however, may get affected due to several illnesses caused by viruses, pollens and bacteria. Some of these may manifest with symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing and fever. It is important for cat owners to isolate their sick cat from other pets in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Owners are also encouraged to bring their cat to the vet for evaluation.

But can a cat get a runny nose cold from being too cold? How do cats cope with this cold? These are just some of the more common questions that cat owners pose regarding the health of their pet cat when the cat is exposed to cold weather or especially during winter.

During Cold Weather

When the cat is exposed to cold temperatures during cold weather, the nose of the feline becomes dry. This usually results in the drying of the nose’s sensitive membrane which blocks irritants that cause colds. When the sensitive membrane is unable to block off pollens, bacteria and viruses from passing into the respiratory system of the cat, the feline becomes more susceptible to infection that usually results in a runny nose.


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When the cat sneezes for several hours and then the sneezing suddenly stops, then it may be because of an irritation in the nose. When the cat grabs its nose and sneezes hard, then something may have been stuck in its nose. If the cat sneezes and has sniffles for a whole day, then it may have a respiratory infection.


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Veterinarians also will prescribe antibiotics to help the feline avoid certain bacterial infections, allowing its body to fight to resist the viral infection that caused the cold. Veterinarians will also look into the symptoms and its eating behavior.


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