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Old 03-13-2013, 03:28 PM
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Romy Romy is offline
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A lot of health problems common to non health tested stock are inherited the same way across breed lines.

Hip dysplasia is not uncommon in labs, GSDs, and a plethora of other breeds. It's much MORE common in lines that aren't health tested and selected against that defect.

So when you start mixing non health tested individuals of breeds that share the same disorder, you're still going to get affected puppies.

Out of all the dogs I know, the majority are purebreds. Out of all the dogs I know that have died of cancer, 3 were purebreds and 11 were mixes. In my own personal experience that is a hugely disproportionate number. I have no idea of that's representative of anything bigger, but I don't believe mixes are inherently healthier by virtue of being a mix.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
Can you explain how you think a mixed breed rules out a plethora of issues?
I didn't mean rule out - but for at least some disorders, they're going to be very reduced. One example might be Basset Hounds and Thromopathia. A basset hound mixed with any other breed would not (barring any unusual or unheard of anomaly) have thromopathia, even if the basset parent was a carrier.

There are lots of other diseases like that. Many of them might be found in multiple breeds, so that's something to consider (a dobe X GSD wouldn't be less likely to have Von Willebrand than a purebred dobe or GSD...but a dobe X husky would be less likely to have it).
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:36 PM
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Even with an unusual condition which is limited to one breed, it only takes one crossbred to spread it into the mixed breed population.

Take L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria (L2-HGA), which is a very unpleasant neurological disorder in Staffords. It's an autosomal recessive, so it's method of inheritance is simple, you just need to have 2 carriers match up. We have a test for it, so we can identify the carriers.

On a Stafford forum, one poster told us that a dog of his breeding which tested as a carrier had been used in a cross-breeding. I don't know why, but what that means is that the pups of that breeding will not have L2-HGA, but there's a 50/50 chance that they carry it. If they carry it, there's a 50/50 chance their progeny would also carry it. And so on, until one of those carriers breeds with another carrier. Could be that they're related several generations back, or it could be a separate incidence of the condition entering the mixed breed genepool. Either way, it's entirely possible that a mixed breed dog could have that condition.

Now of course, any other purebred will not have that condition. The worst bred GSD in the world, with no health testing done, ever, is not going to have L2-HGA (except in the extremely unlikely case of a spontaneous mutation). The condition isn't in that genepool. But in a non-isolated genepool, you can't rule anything out. All conditions are possible.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:51 PM
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Funny, I was just discussing this with my mom yesterday.

I think the main reason that people believe mix breed dogs are healthier than purebreds is because you don't hear about health problems in mix breed dogs. Shelters don't go out and OFA every dog they get in- and if someone's rescue dog passes away young, it isn't reported- who would you report it to?

I think the problem is that saying "purebred dogs" and "mix bred dogs" is so completely vague- there is so much more to it than that. Redneck Joe breeding his two coonhounds together because he wants to make some cash is not going to health test his dogs, and so you can have absolutely no guarantees as to their health. If those dogs have health problems, it is not because they are purebred, it is because they were BADLY bred. Same with mix breeds.

It simply is not cut and dry as you want it to be.

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Old 03-13-2013, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by OwnedByBCs View Post
I think the main reason that people believe mix breed dogs are healthier than purebreds is because you don't hear about health problems in mix breed dogs.
Well and you don't hear about consistent health problems in mixed breed dogs. 100 mixed breed dogs are probably (in my experience anyway) going to have a different distribution of health problems than 100 golden retrievers, or 100 westies, or 100 bichons, or 100 whatevers.

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Old 03-13-2013, 05:58 PM
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Von Willebrands is not common on GSD. Just want to clear that up.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:59 PM
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First thoughts. 1. What kind of mixed breed? F1 cross? Unknown multi mix? Island type population where the dogs are mixes but probably all related? Which breeds?it makes a difference. Many of the issues you see most often are found across breeds. Ex being my gsdx golden wih hip dysplasia. Another issue is that often purebred owners may know about an issue that is common in he breed therefore they may keep an eye out for it. Ex being Mia's knees. She is totally a asymptomatic at this point. If you weren't looking for luxatong patellar you would never have known. I know many dogs that are dysplasia, etc that live quite fine in a normal life. How many mixes have an issue no one knows about? Now I certainly think mixes can be healthier but it depends on the mix or the purebred you are comparing to. it's not cut and dried.

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Old 03-13-2013, 06:03 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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If hybrid vigor is what you're trying to get at, it doesn't work like that. That's hybrid vigor when species are crossed. All breeds of dog are the same species. It's not like breeding a horse and a donkey and getting a mule that can outperform both its parents.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
I have no faith that mixed breeds retain any better health than casually pet bred UNtested purebreds, let alone carefully bred, proven and or tested purebreds.


In my life, it's been my mixed breeds with myriad health issues.
The Hokey Pokey. That's what it's all about.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:14 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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You do start to escape some of the purposely bred extremes though.

Mixes of GSD tend not to have the extreme and sometimes weak rear end common to the show and pet lines. A mix with a Lab will be very unlikely to have that problem even though common disorders aren't ruled out.

In many cases its not a problem of a line carrying a problem, but the breed having one or two major goals. Bassets are short and wrinkled. Both have some incidence of causing problems. You can find short dogs that are probably Basset mixes that lack the wrinkles.
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