Friday, December 6, 2013

Veterinary Highlights: Purebred Dogs Not Always At Higher Risk For Genetic Disorders

I has long been a belief that mixed breeds were healthier than purebred dogs. It would make sense too. But is it true?

Personally, I think it would depend on the individual and their parents and their genetic make-up. But what about overall?

A new study, conducted by the US Davis showed that the prevalence of genetic disorders among purebred and mixed-breed dogs depends on the specific condition.

Hip dysplasia and dilated cardiomyopathy are more frequent among purebred dogs. Tendency to cruciate tears, though, is more common in mixed breeds.

The study evaluated records of ninety thousand purebred and mixed-breed dogs what had been examined at UC Davis in past fifteen years. Over twenty seven thousand had one or more of the 24 genetic disorders selected for the study.

13 out of the 24 genetic disorders had about the same prevalence in purebred dogs as in mixed-breeds.

New breeds, and mixes from similar lineage were more susceptible to certain disorders.

Source article:
Purebred dogs not always at higher risk for genetic disorders, study finds


  1. This is one of those things that when you ask yourself about it, the myth that mixed breed are healthier doesn't make sense. If my mixed breed dog comes from parents with health issues, he has a higher risk of health issues, right? But then maybe that's wrong and it's just that his line has a higher risk.

    It's definitely an interesting discussion.

    1. Well, the idea is that the bad genes get over-ridden in favor of the good ones. I think that would work with nature, but with human intervention such as it is, probably not so much.

      Either way, I LOVE my Rotties.

    2. I was a staunch supporter of the "purebred" dog world for many years when I was just a participant in the many events designed for purebred dogs. When I began breeding, however, and strived to produce healthy dogs...cracks began to form in my long-held beliefs.

      A lot of breeders scream that they "do things right" but I certainly found out that what they scream about, defending purebred breeding practices, isn't what they actually DO. They will decry breeding unhealthy dogs, until THEY have a dog who has achieved greatness, but can't pass tests...and use them anyway, because ego gets involved.

      At least in my breed...there are but a scant handful of truly ethical breeders...the rest are a slave to the ego-driven show accolades world. People truly have just as good a chance getting a dog from the shelter as they do from a breeder.

    3. I agree. Breeding got way out of hand and the well-being of the dogs is not a priority. You can see what's happening when you compare how the breeds used to look like in the past and what's happened to them.

      There ARE some breeders who do care about the breed. Coincidentally, I think that whoever bred our newly adopted girl was one of them.

      She's quite small for her breed, she's got an awesome nature, her hips are looking good ... I think that whoever bred her did so with the dogs in mind.

  2. Interesting post! Always a hot topic - it would be interesting to see details on preventative lifestyles playing a part in both groups (diet, exercise, etc).
    Also, I find the last sentence very interesting that new breeds and mixes from similar lineage were higher rated - should definitely make people think more about those "designer dogs" you see in store windows.