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Mutts are adorable, and there is no denying that—their floppy ears, patches of different-coloured fur, and deep loving eyes. For those who just need a friend, someone who will be thrilled to see them when they get home, snuggle on cold evenings and always be up for an adventure, a mutt is the perfect pet.

But over the millennia, there have been many other reasons people have needed dogs, to do many things they could not do alone, and those jobs required a special type of dog to do them right. As lovable as 25-pound mutts are, they don’t make very effective herding dogs, being too small to be taken seriously by both wolves and cows or sheep. When an excellent sense of smell is required, nothing beats the nose of the bloodhound that can follow scents both on the ground and in the air with its 300 million scent receptors. What dog could possibly be better suited to pulling a sled though ice and snow than the resilient, independent husky?

Due to the occasional puppy mill horror story we see on TV, dog breeders get a bad rap these days. And granted, there are breeders who care only about making money as fast as possible, completely disregarding the welfare of their dogs and the genetic flaws that are passed on from one dog to the next in the general rush to sell the next litter of puppies. Many dog breeds, however, have made enormous contributions to society, and National Purebred Dog Day is about celebrating these majestic, loyal creatures that have helped humans in so many ways.

History of National Purebred Dog Day

National Purebred Dog Day was officially created by a woman named Susi, a writer-editor, in 2014. However, the holiday was actually born out of years of frustration of responsible dog breeders as well as the owners of purebred dogs, who were simply tired of being vilified by the media as greedy and ruthless. Purebred dogs, they said, have helped people in countless different ways, so why should we not celebrate them?

If it weren’t for Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, the entire small city of Nome, Alaska, may well have died from the outbreak of diphtheria that struck it in 1925. The dogs saved the inhabitants of Nome from that fate by making a 1,085-kilometer run to bring them the serum they needed to recover. In the 1900s, a St. Bernard living named Barry living in Switzerland rescued over 40 people from from freezing to death in the surrounding mountains throughout his lifetime.

Those stories, however impressive, are just the very tip of the iceberg. Every day, purebred dogs the world over help the blind cross streets, sniff out drugs, and help people recover from serious mental conditions. National Purebred Dog Day was created so people could remember just how much purebred dogs have done and continue to do for humanity, as well as remind them that dog breeding is not the vile business that organizations like PETA tend to portray it as.

How to Celebrate National Purebred Dog Day

For all of the ways dogs make our lives better, they are fans of simple pleasures like a game of fetch, a good meaty bone to gnaw on, or a long belly rub, so if you have a dog, spend some extra time with it today to show your love and appreciation.

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