So if you can recognize the ancestry of a particular mixed breed dog, you can see how a puppy is likely to look as an adult.
An advantage of getting a purebred is that each breed has certain health concerns linked to it.
And we talked about what behavioral traits to research by breed.
Border Collies are intelligent and active, Shih Tzus are rather the opposite.
Dachshunds are said to be prone to back problems, Schnauzers will bark at anything.
And just because you buy that breed doesn't mean your doggy will be identical, but if you selected a reputable breeder there is a good chance your dog will be pretty much like the rest of the breed, hopefully with fewer health concerns.
Your mind is set on a dog for Christmas.
And it doesn't help that every person you ask tells you to consider their suggestion before taking the plunge into puppy ownership.
Really, though, you puppy doesn't have to be a purebred.
Mixed breeds make excellent loyal pets and may be less expensive to purchase than a purebred.
What size dog you wish to own and can handle? Think about the size of your home, yard space and your budget.
Small dogs such as schnauzers don't need as much space inside or outside your home and can be easier on your budget.
They eat less and their veterinary needs, such as heartworm preventatives, are less expensive, too.
There is fun and frustration with bringing home a new puppy - be ready.
There is the happiness of sharing your life with the cute thing, but that happiness is often curbed by the new holes in your favorite pair of shoes.
No matter what breed enters your home, it comes with the ups and downs.
However, there are pros and cons to both purebred and mixed breed puppies.
With a purebred puppy, you know almost exactly what you are receiving.
You usually know how big your puppy will get, the type of temperament the puppy will have, and how much energy he or she will require.
You have a better chance of matching the type of puppy you want to bring into your home, but each puppy varies.
With a mixed breed puppy, the outcome can be varied.
You're not really sure of the size it will become if you don't know what breeds it comes from.
And it may be tough to predict how a mixed breed dog will react with children or small animals as you're not sure on their temperament.
On the plus size, puppies can easily adapt to distractions such as children, most puppies can be conditioned to live in any number of situations.
Know that you'll have a few surprises in terms of size and behavior, but a mixed breed puppy can be a wonderful companion.
When faced with a problem of whining all night, we set up a string of solar yard lights to comfort the puppy through the night with a soft glow of light.
And remember, going the mixed breed route, you're making a positive difference in reversing the tragedy of pet overpopulation.
A pure bred puppy will be more expensive.
A mixed breed puppy might even be free or cheaper.
Purebred often have more of care associated with them.
Puppy mills won't pamper, worm and give the purebreds their early shots.
Pure bred puppies from these mills could have congenital problems from inbreeding unless care was taken.
Buying a purebred with paperwork from the American Kennel Club or other such breed clubs helps keep track of several generations of parents.
The AKC offers pure bred dog registrations for both puppies that you will want to breed and puppies that are not going to be bred.
Most of the time the breeder you purchase your puppy from will charge you more for a puppy that you want to eventually breed and have those puppies registered.