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Fudgeley
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05-10-2012, 02:03 PM

Pedigree versus crossbreed.which is the healthier?

I am debating with someone at the moment as to whether pedigree dogs are generally healthier than crossbreeds/mongrels.It is the age old debate of hybrid vigour versus over breeding.
What are your thoughts and is there any actual evidence out there to support either argument?
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Ben Mcfuzzylugs
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05-10-2012, 02:58 PM
It is an interesting question
I think people often just say what they believe with no proof of it being fact
People think a good pedigree is healthier because the breeder health checks - although it sounds like a no brainer I have seen no evidence for this and the health tests only check for what they check for - which is only a very small range of illnesses that we can actually test for
Then there are hips and elbow checks - but there seems to be lots of conflicting things out there too as to whether genetics have all that much of an effect compared to upbringing and neutrition

Then of course there is the crossbreed 'hybrid vigour' debate with crossbreeds - which is totaly the wrong term anyways because they are not hybrids - pedigrees and crossbreeds are all the same species
It really depends, you could be improving things by increasing genetic diversity, but if both breeds have similar genetic illnesses and both dogs you cross with are not all that healthy then you are not going to get the healthiest pups

All the longevity data I have ever seen shows crossbreeds as living longer than compariable sized breeds, it could of course have been argued that up until recently the pedigree results would be including puppy farmers and crosses not - but now puppy farmers are making crosses too
also people have in the past argued that its possible that crossbreeds are not taken to the vet till they are far sicker than pedigrees so they live longer but less healthy lives

Personally at the moment I think on average crossbreeds live slightly longer than pedigrees - but that is averaging out all pedigrees
I cannot say if a 'well bred' pedigree with be healthier - or if a working bred bedigree will be healthier
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Tarimoor
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05-10-2012, 03:24 PM
You can't really compare, the different range in pedigree breeds is vast, most cross breeds are collie/lab/jrt/spaniel/staffy type cross breeds (not all together, but those breeds seem to feature a lot in cross breeds) - if all the cross breeds were daneadoodles it might be a different story!
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JoedeeUK
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05-10-2012, 03:38 PM
Hybrid vigour only occurs if the animals/plants being cross bred are of different species, so as all dogs are the same species it doesn't exist

Karen Peak wrote this article which explains in more detail. It does however contain an error in regards to wolves fighting within the pack for leadership.

True Hybrids like mules are infertile

I had a crossbreed who lived to over 19, however she had severe HD in both hips & was deaf so even though she lived a long time she wasn't a healthy dog My first BC lived until she was over 16 & was PTS after a severe stroke which is could have occurred in any breed or non breed.

My pedigree dogs rarely if ever visit the vet & live good healthy lives, with the exception of the Cavaliers that all came from the same breeders & all had SM However they all lived until they were over 11 so hardly short lived.

Few crossbreeds are giant breed size & therefore more likely to live longer than the "average"pedigree dog if the Giant breeds are included in calculating the average. Take away the Giant breeds & the life span average difference is much reduced if not non existent.

I have yet to meet a crossbreed breeder(whether it is a designer dog breeder or a breeder of dogs "mongrels")who does any health testing at all, few owners of crossbred dogs do any health testing so there is no actual proof that they are really healthier than any other dog.

Using Insurance companies statistics is not a true picture as the majority of dogs are not insured & the pedigree dogs form the vast majority of insured dogs(from the Insurance industries own information)
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Ben Mcfuzzylugs
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05-10-2012, 03:50 PM
The vet compass survay is one of the most recent


http://www.rvc.ac.uk/VetCompass/docu...12_DONeill.pdf data taken directly from vets in the uk
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Ben Mcfuzzylugs
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05-10-2012, 03:56 PM
and just had a look at the breakdown on the link - and the top cause of death is tumors - which can be a problem of inbreeding - and isnt something any breeder is able to health test for and considering breeding is usually happening between the ages of 2 and 5 we have no way of knowing if the dog is predisposed to cancer before they produce a litter
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Jackie
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05-10-2012, 04:05 PM
Given most cross breeds are small to medium dogs, the longevity is bound to be higher than the average large to giant pedigree,

As there is no record kept of cross-breeds health not sure how the claim can be made they are healthier.

As has been stated using insurance data to conclude the cross breed is healthier is flawed as shown.

Until the cross-breed breeder has a data base to refer to for information on inherent problem I cant possibly see how the claim can be made the cross breed is healthier, as lets face it most are due to accidents, or blind design .

You cannot strive to improve or eradicate a,b,c if you have no idea what a.b or c is, or where it came from and how to avoid it.
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JoedeeUK
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05-10-2012, 04:09 PM
Tumours are caused by inbreeding ????

I lost my mongrel to a brain tumour, a BC to a spleen tumour(is was over 13 1/2) & my father lost a GSD to liver cancer No idea about the mongrels breeding, but the GSD & BC were not inbred(the COIs were under 1%)

Apart from one GSD who had liver cancer all mine have lived well into their teens.

The problem using veterinary statistics is that they see sick dogs far more than healthy ones, My Joedee never went to the vet after his puppy vaccinations & died in his sleep so he would not be included in any statistics

Most of my dogs never saw a vet from being a puppy until they had to be PTS due to old age or stroke etc so they would not be included in any calculation of cause of death statistics.

Do vets actually record all the dogs they PTS & the causes ? I very much doubt it so the statistics are as valuable as those supplied by the Insurance industry
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Ben Mcfuzzylugs
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05-10-2012, 04:11 PM
Yes crossbreeds dont tend to be giant breeds - but the data there is showing them living longer than toy breeds
and it is showing border collies living longest of the lot - longer than all the teeny breeds

That never made any sense to me anyways - elephants outlive mice

Yes all data is flawed - that is from vets not insurance - but it is less flawed than just ingoring it because it dosent say what you would like it to

I dont think anyone has claimed cross breeds are healther - but my point is there is no evidence that pedigrees are healthier - and no evidence that 'well bred' pedigrees are healthier
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one.eyed.dog
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05-10-2012, 04:11 PM
My last dog was a cross GSD/foxhound. Fell to bits and did'nt even make 9 years old. My pedigree 2nd hand GWP is fit as a fiddle. In brilliant nik the vet said and she is 7 and a half.
Depends on the breed I suppose.
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