What Breed is My Dog? 3 Tips for Solving your Furry Mystery
Millions of Americans families include a canine member, and it’s often a “mixed breed” dog, or—dare we say—mutt. Many of us are curious: “What breed is my dog?” What breeds are in my pet’s background or heritage? Perhaps you acquired your family dog from a local rescue, shelter, or from a friend. You’re just curious or maybe you’d like to better understand why your dog behaves in a certain manner. The rescue or shelter probably offered some insight based on the dog’s appearance, or perhaps the person you got her from has some ideas. So what breeds do you see, and is there a magic dog breed identifier? Here are 3 tips for uncovering the mystery between those soulful eyes and wagging tail!
1. What Breed is my Dog? Ask your Veterinarian about Possible Dog Breeds
Veterinarians are a great resource. Not only have they studied different types of dogs during their formal training, but they also see all kinds of dogs in their daily work. You may also want to consult with obedience trainers and groomers—they bring a ton of practical experience and a wealth of knowledge to the table. When you get lots of knowledgeable opinions, pretty soon you’ll see some common threads, which will help you narrow down the possibilities. Although your chances of getting in the ballpark with your dog’s breed is good with a veterinarian, it’s by no means definitive. Even a dog whose outward appearance looks just like a Labrador Retriever may have other hidden breeds in its DNA. And recent studies have shown that even seasoned pros get breed identification wrong. A lot.
2. What Breed is my Dog? Do your own Research for Dog Breed Identification
No one knows your furry friend better than you! Keep a journal about your dog’s unique behaviors and list her physical characteristics as well. Here are some ideas:
- Princess has a long body with short legs and weighs 23 pounds
- She has a distinctive “smooshed” nose and makes snorting noises when she breathes
- She has a double coat
- Her tail curls up
- She doesn’t like to fetch, but she hunts mice
Now take your observations and visit dog specialty sites on the internet (like the American Kennel Club) and search for dog breeds that display these characteristics. By process of elimination, you may be able to hone in on a few possible breeds. But remember, this method is really an educated guess.
3. What Breed is my Dog? Eliminate Guesswork: Get a Dog Breed DNA Test to Answer Dog Breed Identification Questions
If curiosity is getting the best of you, no worries: technology has arrived and it can help! The only sure dog breed identifier is a DNA test specifically for mixed breeds like the one offered by DDC Veterinary. A non-invasive, painless DNA sample from your dog (obtained via cheek swab) is sent off to the lab and in just a few weeks, you’ll know what breeds make up your pet’s DNA going back three generations or more. This dog breed DNA test is affordable and literally takes all the guesswork out of your pet’s family tree.
So what Breed is my Dog? Here’s the Tip of the Tail
The first two tips are fun exercises, but the chances of getting a correct answer to “What breed is my dog?” solely based on observation are not that great. Even the person from whom you got your adorable mutt may only be able to give you information for a single generation back, at best. If you’re just curious about Princess’s lineage, or you want to customize a wellness plan for your pet based on breed, a DNA test is best. Mystery solved!