Pure breed or mixed breed? Which one to choose ? | New university
Cute features – a small round face or short, tiny legs – are what draw people to their first pet. However, these traits that we find cute are often the result of selective breeding that prioritizes an animal’s appearance over its health. Although health problems in pets are most often associated with the selective breeding, crossing or mating of different breeds within the same species, they can also create inconvenience for pets. Therefore, choosing which type – purebred or mixed breed – to adopt can be a challenge.
The main benefit and purpose of crossing is that it creates new mixed breeds which can be more attractive to watch. However, while people focus on a pet’s visual appearance, they don’t mention how these alterations affect the animal’s communication and physical abilities.
In a to study which focused on the genetic characteristics of cats, changes in their facial characteristics were found to cause misalignment with associated expressions. Many cats are bred to have “brachycephalic” or flat-faced features, which consist of a shortened skull, short muzzle, and excessive skin. Observations showed that, on average, neutral expressions in “brachycephalic” cats correlated with pain-like features found in breeds with medium or longer heads. Along with this, another abnormality in “brachycephalic” cats is narrower airways, which causes “Negative respiratory implications”. In addition, these problems can be seen in “brachycephalic” dogs.
Dwarfism is another disorder with physical symptoms that some people find adorable. Popular animals exhibiting this trait include corgis and munchkin cats, both of which are selectively bred. However, this abnormal growth retardation causes restriction of their movements as well as joint pain.
Yet the pursuit of crossbreeds persists as the mix breeds have finally shown eradicate certain diseases such as severe X-linked combined immunodeficiency, a mutation found in bassets. Because they have a larger gene pool, bassets are less prone to developing recessive disorders, despite the possibility of being carriers.
Understand the concepts of Mendelian heritage explains how cross breeds are actually healthier than pure breeds. The risk of a recessive disease increases when the same line of animals with this defect continues to cross. Therefore, in crossing there is a decrease in the risk of inheriting defective genes and carriers when breeds outside this gene pool are introduced.
A to study who tested 24 genetic disorders in both purebred and mixed breed dogs showed that the genetic disorders were 42% higher in purebred dogs, 4% higher in mixed dogs and 52% had no difference. There were only about three medical abnormalities which were higher in mixed breeds.
Although some mutations are more harmful than others in cats, like dwarfism, most mixed breeds do not differ from pure breeds. The most common problem in cats is obesity.
Overall, these are more personal views on this topic. Crossbreeding is beneficial for some lines of animals while other combinations can cause more harm than good. The most important thing for potential pet parents is that they be aware of the risks associated with the breed or breeds of the animal they are considering adopting and bringing home.
Fiona Liu is an Opinion intern for the winter term 2021. She can be contacted at [email protected]