December 16, 2017

David Frei on Purebred and Mixed-Breed Dogs

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As an animal communicator and writer about the human-animal bond, I frequently meet people who are adamant about the breeding of the dogs they live with, or think about living with. To them all I say go for your heart match. Choose a dog that calls to your soul—after you take a good hard look at your lifestyle.

Meaning, if you’re a couch potato, don’t get a Dalmatian, or any one of a number of dog breeds that require extensive exercise. You won’t be happy, and neither will your dog. I always suggest going to the American Kennel Club site and researching the different breeds. Talk to a good breeder—you should know by reputation, by the questions they ask, and answer, whether they are. They will help you determine if their breed is right for you.

If you choose to go to a shelter, I’ll make two suggestions: don’t adopt from a shelter that has a mandatory spay/neuter policy in place, and don’t adopt if they haven’t examined each dog, temperament-tested it, given an educated guess at the breeding if it’s a mix, and posted all that information for prospective adopters.

Why? We know more about early spay/neuter than we did forty years ago, and we know it leads to unhealthy and potentially aggressive dogs. So don’t do it. If enough people say “no” to this policy, then the shelters will change their position, and leave that decision for the families. Where it belongs. They’ll only change it if they lose money, which means not adopting from them until a healthy pet policy is in place: no spaying and neutering.

As for a close examination of the dogs available for adopting, that is just common sense. I think the biggest problem we have in the so-called “dog overpopulation” problem isn’t that too many dogs are born but that people give up on the dogs they adopt, whether from the shelter or a breeder, because they can’t handle them.

If you think I’m being cranky (I don’t care, really), then watch this video I filmed at the 2017 Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show where The Dog Guy, David Frei, answers a question about choosing between a purebred or mixed-breed dog. Frei was the long-time voice of the Westminster Dog Show and now hosts dog shows on NBC, including the upcoming Beverly Hills Dog Show on Easter Sunday night (April 16).

Frei is the ultimate diplomat and common-sense dog person (and agreed to the posting of this video). He says the best dog in the world is the one sitting on the couch with you. Of course he’s right. But in just a few minutes he talks about the differences between purebreds and mixed-breeds. Valuable minutes if you love dogs, want to live with one, and know other people who feel the same way. So go watch it already.

©2017 Robyn M Fritz