December 2nd is National Mutt Day. As you probably know, a mutt is any dog that is not a purebred. According to the Mutt Census of 2010, 53% of all dogs in the United States are mixed breeds (mutts). As part of the 2010 Mutt Census, 36,000 dogs were tested to determine what breeds are represented, and the German Shepherd was found to be the most common breed identified in mutts across America.
The Mutt Census also identified the top AKC breeds making up our country's mixed breed dog population. The top ten breeds involved are:
1. German Shepherd (# 2 most popular AKC registered breed)
2. Labrador Retriever (#1 most popular AKC registered breed)
3. Chow Chow (#63 most popular AKC registered breed)
4. Boxer (#6 most popular AKC registered breed)
5. Rottweiler (#13 most popular AKC registered breed)
6. Poodle (#9 most popular AKC registered breed)
7. American Staffordshire Terrier (#70 most popular AKC registered breed)
8. Golden Retriever (#4 most popular AKC registered breed)
9. Cocker Spaniel (#23 most popular AKC registered breed)
10. Siberian Husky (#22 most popular AKC registered breed)
Some other interesting statistics that came from the Mutt Census are that 89% of mixed breed dogs are spayed or neutered and 46% of mixed breed dogs were adopted from a shelter.
If you want to find out what breeds make up your dog's DNA, you can purchase a Wisdom Panel cheek swab test kit online or your veterinarian might use the Wisdom Panel Professional. The veterinary test uses a blood sample which may result in a more accurate sample, and there is an additional report that veterinarians receive that indicates potential breed-related diseases.
Whether or not you know the breeds that make up your mixed breed dog, you might want to consider joining the Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America. This organization is a national registry for mixed breeds, providing many of the same opportunities that the American Kennel Club (AKC) offers for purebreds.
So, if you have a mutt, take a minute to celebrate National Mutt Day with them this year with an extra hug or kiss.