Written by Adam Lee-Smith
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 04/16/2021, edited: 10/05/2022
More and more, people are using ancestry websites to find out about their genetics and history. But what about your canine compadre's family tree? If you have a mutt or you adopted your fur-baby from a shelter, you may even be unsure what breed your pup is. While researching your doggo's breed may prove more difficult than discovering your own family history, there are few ways you can figure out the facts. Here are a few handy tips to help you answer the question, "What dog breed is my dog?"
The first and most obvious way to get an idea of your dog's breed is by their appearance. You'll be able to rule out some breeds just by looking at your mutt. For example, any hulking dog that comes up to your waist is unlikely to be part Chihuahua or Shih Tzu. Or a pup with a slender frame resembling a Greyhound is unlikely to be part Newfoundland.
That being said, telling a pup's breed just by their appearance is tricky, especially with crossbreeds. Veterinary geneticists have found people only correctly guess one breed in a mixed breed dog under 25% of the time. If you feel your doggo is purebred, but you're not sure which breed, consider downloading one of the many apps that claim to be able to identify a dog's breed just from a photograph by using complex algorithms.
Another clue that'll help work out your pup's breed is their temperament. For example, if your dog has a heavenly temperament and is excellent with kids, then they might be part Collie or Golden Retriever. While you can generally say a specific breed has a particular disposition, no two dogs are the same and can have wildly different personalities, just like people. A rescue may have been raised differently, which may affect their temperament.
If you got your fur-baby from a breeder, the easiest way is to ask them! Your breeder should be easy to contact and have all the information your need about your dog's breed. You may even get lucky and be able to meet some of your pupper's brothers and sisters.
You can also try to work out your dog's breed by browsing different breeds online. Wag! has an extensive catalog of dog breeds, ranging from purebreds to every type of crossbreed imaginable. By using these articles as a guide, you'll be able to work out your canine compadre's family history in no time!
Next time you take your pupper to the vet, consider asking them about your pup's breed. Vets come into contact with thousands of dogs across their careers and will undoubtedly be able to give you some helpful insight into what breed your dog is. You can also ask a vet 24/7 through Wag! for advice about your dog's breed.
Still struggling to find out your dog's breed? If you've exhausted every option, there are several companies out there that offer doggy DNA tests. These can be a bit on the pricey side (usually between $70 and $150) but may save you money down the line if you discover your pup has any genetic mutations or hereditary medical concerns. And most of these tests claim to be correct within only a few percent while scanning hundreds of breeds.
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