Whether you call them mutts, mixed breeds, Heinz 57s or some other moniker, who doesn’t love a canine cocktail? It’s no wonder that we have a special day to celebrate them: National Mutt Day, which falls on December 2 this year.
Whether you are looking for a dog who will love everyone, alert you to visitors—or intruders—who will enjoy running with you or sharing some sofa time in the evening, there is a mixed breed who is just right for you and your family.
Even better, there’s a lot to be thankful for when it comes to our mutt-tastic friends. Let’s look at 10 ways they are special.
- Mutts are unique. Like snowflakes and fingerprints, each one is different. Sometimes they’re so unusual that people stop in their tracks to give them a second glance, rewarding us with the same thing that dogs love: attention!
- Mutts are malleable. Whatever you’re looking for in a dog, you can find a mutt of a particular size, color, or coat type. Floppy ears, pleading eyes, long nose or flat face: mutts have it all, sometimes in a single package.
- Mutts are everywhere. You might find one in the litter next door, at your local shelter, or through a rescue group. When you want a mutt, it’s not hard to find one.
- Mutts can be anything you want them to be. Invent your own creative moniker: a smooth So-Cal surf dog, a curly-tailed chi-wienie, or a pointy-faced Pomillon. The possibilities are endless.
- Mutts don’t cost big bucks. Adoption fees can be as little as $50 and even when they are higher, they often include spay/neuter surgery, microchip identification, up-to-date vaccinations, and the license fee.
- Mutts have, well, “mutt-sonality.” They’re lovable, goofy, charming, smart: everything you could ever want in a dog—and then some.
- Mutts are athletes. They can compete in any dog sport: agility, dock diving, flyball, freestyle, lure coursing, nose work, obedience, and rally. You name it, they can do it—except win Best in Show at Westminster. But they’re always first place in your heart.
- Mutts are living history. Many of them resemble what we know the earliest domesticated dogs looked like. That’s just cool.
- Mutts are healthy. They can have long lifespans, giving them plenty of time to be your best friend.
- Mutts make up approximately 75 percent of the shelter population. When you give one a home, you’re welcoming a whole lot of love on four paws into your family. And that’s the best! Can’t adopt? Try fostering, volunteering, or donating money, food or toys.
This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.