Mutts have a long history of affection in America. Spike and Higgins, two of cinema’s most famous dogs, were both adopted from shelters. Heroic mutts such as Balto, the sled dog who brought lifesaving diphtheria medication to remote corners of Alaska, are immortalized in bronze statue form.

Best Friends Animal Society is celebrating National Mutt Day this July 31st, 2021 by sharing why mutts often make for the very best of friends. No two mutts are alike. That can make your dog the talk of your block, the latest social media star, or simply a great companion. Thanks to Best Friends Animal Society, this list of five reasons why mutts are awesome was created.

  1. No two mutts are alike. That can make your dog the talk of your block, the latest social media star or simply a great companion.  “Every time I walk through a shelter, large or small, I see a stunning array of dogs of all shapes and sizes,” Katribe said. “Each one is beautifully unique.” 
  2. Mixed breed dogs (aka mutts) tend to have a lower risk of hereditary diseases than purebred dogs.  “Even when breeders make efforts to remove dogs with heritable medical problems from their breeding pools, some conditions will get by undetected in earlier generations,” Katribe said. “Hereditary problems are very common at puppy mills or with irresponsible breeders, as breeding stock is not selected for based on any health criteria.” 
  3. The temperament of a mutt can be just as solid as a purebred. “While some breeds do have behavioral tendencies related to their breeding (for example, herding behavior in dogs bred for that purpose), there are no guarantees that a purebred dog will follow that tendency,” Katribe explained. “The reality is that every dog is an individual.” 
  4. Most mutts are not born in cruel puppy mills or other unfortunate circumstances, Katribe noted. “For dogs that are bred and born in puppy mill situations or by irresponsible breeders, both the parents and puppies are often kept in inhumane and unsanitary conditions. While the puppies get sold, the parents can live in these horrible conditions for many, many years.” 
  5. If you really like purebreds, you can find a mutt that’s pretty close. “One strategy to get the best of both worlds – choose a mutt that is primarily of your chosen breed,” Katribe said. “You’ll get the hardiness of a mutt with the look and, potentially, behavioral tendencies of your chosen breed.” 

Whether you have a beloved mutt at home or are thinking of adding a dog to your family, try visiting your local shelter to see how you can help dogs awaiting adoption.  To find a shelter or rescue near you, visit

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige