If you're reading this, it's probably because you love dogs. You might not be as dog-obsessed as I am (ahem), but you definitely find yourself always gravitating towards those happy-go-lucky canine creatures. One of the most fascinating parts of my job is that I get to meet (and photograph) a huge variety of dogs. While I absolutely adore having a beautiful, classic, pure-bred dog in front of my camera (Irish Wolfhounds, I'm talking about you - swoon!), there's also something thrilling about having a truly unique, one-of-a-kind dog to photograph.

To celebrate National Mutt Day on July 31, I wanted to share my

Top 5 Reasons Why Mixed Breed Dogs Are Awesome!

They Are Totally Unique

As I mentioned above, mixed breed dogs are well, a mix! I volunteer at the Houston SPCA several times a month helping to photograph the new intakes. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the variety of dogs I see there. Every color, coat type, body shape, and ear shape you can think of, and some you haven't! I come away with a memory card full of remarkable, adoptable pups and a deeper appreciation for canine variety and resilience.

Multiple Breed Characteristics All In One Dog

Each dog breed has specific physical and personality characteristics, for example, Labs, who almost 99.99% of the time love water, Mixed breed dogs are a personality grab bag because of their lineage! You'll might see a variety of traits that come from all sorts of breeds in a single dog - like the agility of a Border Collie or the intelligence of a poodle! With a mutt, you have the element of surprise and one thing is for sure--you'll have lot of fun getting to know your mixed-breed dog!

Hybrid Vigor

Mixed-breed dogs are hardier, healthier and tend to live longer. Why? Pure-bred dogs unfortunately sometimes come with genetic health risks, like respiratory issues or auto-immune disease. Genetic problems are far less likely to occur in a mixed-breed dog.

Adaptable Personality

Because these dogs haven't been bred for a specific function, like herding or retrieving, they often have a more adaptable and flexible nature. A mixed breed dog is generally less likely to have extreme behavior qualities like digging, herding or nosing. But don't let their affable personality fool you - mixed-breed dogs are just as capable of being trained in complex commands and even being trained for K9 police duty or service dogs.

The Best Reason? You'll Save a Life (or two!)

Adopting a mixed breed dog from the shelter not only saves their life but makes room for another dog to be rescued and placed up for adoption. Adoption fees are also much cheaper than buying a dog from a reputable breeder. Giving a shelter or abandoned dog a forever home is life-changing — for everyone.

Mutt Magic Session

Do you have a mixed-breed dog? Let me help you document their uniqueness with a photo session! Grace the walls of your home with artwork that is as individual to your style as your magical mutt. To get started, just contact me here.

Want to read more about National Mutt Day? My blog is a part of a blog circle with pet photographers from around the world - next up, Fiona from Happy Tales Photography tells some personal tales from the Spanish shelter this week on her blog.