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Cattle dogs and pitbulls: Why are there so many and where do they come from?

In the rescue world it seems there are so many mixed breeds and a lot of them are usually labeled as cattle dog/pitbull mixes. The most common areas Colorado Puppy Rescue pulls its animals from are Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Most of these areas are very rural and unfortunately, don't have the same support for spaying and neutering as we do in Colorado. They also tend to live outside which means they are free to continue having litters.

Cattle dogs, particularly Australian Cattle Dogs and Blue/Red Heelers (which refers to Australian Cattle Dogs with blue or red coat coloring), are highly popular in these areas due to their herding abilities. Their presence is closely connected to ranching and agricultural heritage.

Pit Bulls have a history of being used for various tasks, including herding cattle, guarding property, and hunting wild game. In rural areas where there are ranching and outdoor activities, these versatile dogs may have been historically employed for these roles.

For one reason or another some owners in these states (along with others) don't spay and neuter their pets in high numbers. Some of these reasons include the following:

  • In rural agricultural areas some individuals believe intact dogs may be better suited for performing these duties than their non-intact counterparts.

  • Access to veterinary services - specifically spaying and neutering procedures - may be limited, making these procedures prohibitively expensive for many pet owners. The costs and availability can also create obstacles for some.

  • Some may believe that allowing their dog(s) to reproduce naturally aligns with a more "natural" way of living, due to misconceptions regarding potential negative side-effects associated with spaying and neutering procedures.

  • Spaying and neutering procedures incur costs, which some pet owners may be unable to afford due to other financial commitments or prioritizing over them.

  • Certain areas have limited or inconsistent regulations and enforcement related to spaying and neutering procedures that can have an effect on their overall costs.

Many animal welfare organizations, like Colorado Puppy Rescue, along with veterinarians are engaged in educating these areas about the advantages of spaying and neutering. Our goals are to address misconceptions, increase access to affordable services and promote responsible pet ownership - ultimately changing attitudes and practices over time with more information becoming available as social priorities shift.

mixed breed puppies together running around

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