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"Every mutt is an absolute legend": 7 things all owners of mixed-breed dogs know to be true.

I’ve always had mixed-breed dogs – or mutts, mongrels, or bitsers, or whatever you want to call them.

I like to call them bitsers, because that’s what mine have been – bits of this, bits of that.

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I’ve never wanted to buy a purebred pup while there are dogs somewhere out there being put to death, just because their parents weren’t the same breed. And having had four mixed breed dogs – Pugwash, Bongo, Missy and Indy – I’d never have anything else. Here’s why:

1. Mixed-breed dogs have so much character.

While you know what you’re getting with a purebred dog (Labradors are ravenous and slightly gormless, Kelpies will destroy everything you hold dear if you don’t take them for 17 walks a day), mixed-breed dogs have a personality all their own. Every mutt I’ve known has been an absolute legend.

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Helen and her mutt. Image: Supplied.

2. You’re walking around with a conversation starter.

You have a riddle wrapped in an enigma on the end of your leash. Everyone wants to know exactly what your dog is, and if you’re not quite sure yourself, they’ll have an opinion. German shepherd crossed with dachshund? Is that even possible?

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3. They always look scruffy.

Mixed breed dogs are not the supermodels of the dog world, like the Afghans or the Whippets. You can put a diamante collar on them, but they’re still a scruffy dog with a diamante collar. And that is a big part of their charm.

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You can put a diamante collar on them, but they’re still a scruffy dog. Image: Supplied.

4. You’re thumbing your nose at the class system by having a mixed breed dog.

Let’s be honest here. The dog breed you choose is one of the most obvious class indicators around. The sort of person who buys a French bulldog would call their son Oscar, just as the sort of person who buys a Staffy would call their son Jaxon.

So when you get a mixed-breed, you’re saying you don’t care. You’re a rebel. (Note: oodle dogs don’t count. Labradoodles, Cavoodles, Schnoodles, etc, are designer crosses, not bitsers.)   

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You’re thumbing your nose at the class system. Image: Supplied.

5. Mixed-breed dogs might have “hybrid vigour”, but yours will still cost you a fortune.

While you’ll probably avoid a lot of the breed-specific genetic problems – breathing issues, hip dysplasia, etc – your dog will still find a way to make you pay (e.g. eating your phone or needing psychological help for separation anxiety). Of course, you will pay, gladly.  

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Your dog will still find a way to make you pay. Image: Supplied.

6. You’ll consider cloning them.

Then you’ll look at the price and decide against it, but you’ll briefly consider it. I remember, 20 years ago, reading about an American couple who spent more than $2 million trying to clone Missy, the mixed-breed dog they’d got from a pound, and I got it, I totally got it. Some mixed breed dogs are so good they deserve to be their own breed.

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You'll consider cloning them. Image: Supplied.

7. Even if you think you’ll never meet another dog that looks like them, you will.

After your dog is gone, you’ll walk down the street one day and see another dog that reminds you of yours so much that it makes your heart hurt.

You might stop and blurt out something stupid to the owner, then gradually realise this one doesn’t really look that much like yours after all. But for that one second, it was like you got to see your dog again, and it was beautiful.  

Do you have a mixed breed dog? What are the unique behaviours of your mutt? Tell us in the comments.

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