Many pet owners have pondered, “what kind of dog do I have?” But guessing by look alone isn’t always an accurate way to identify a breed. Instead, try looking at your dog’s morphology and behavior.
For example, if your dog loves to chase small animals, they may have herding lineage from breeds like Pembroke Welsh corgis and Border collies.
What is my dog’s breed?
If you’ve recently adopted a dog or are considering adopting one, it might be difficult to figure out what kind of dog you have. This is especially true if your dog doesn’t have a pedigree.
The first thing you can do is look at your dog’s physical characteristics and note any specific elements that seem unique to a breed. For example, a Pug might have a round skull and short snout (brachycephalic), whereas a Collies might have a long snout and narrow skull (dolichocephalic).
Behavior is another good way to determine your dog’s breed. If your dog has a strong prey drive, for instance, it’s likely they have lineage from a breed in the hound group, such as Greyhounds and Ibizan hounds.
Knowing your dog’s breed can also be useful for medical purposes, as some breeds are prone to certain health problems. It can also help you choose the best training methods for your dog.
How do I know my dog’s breed?
The most accurate way to know your dog’s breed is through genetic testing. These tests look for specific DNA sequences that are associated with particular breeds.
Once you have the results of your test, you can begin researching the history of your dog’s ancestry. Many kennel clubs maintain pedigree records that can help you trace the ancestry of your purebred.
Another good way to determine your dog’s breed is through its behavior. A dog that is bred for herding, for example, may circle or stare at people and pets, or nip at them if they try to approach them.
A dog that is bred for protection, such as the Rottweiler, may be cautious around strangers and not want to let anyone in their home. Likewise, a dog that is bred for hunting, such as the Labrador retriever, may chase anything that moves.
What if my dog is a mixed-breed?
Often people don’t realize that their dog may be a mixed-breed. Whether it’s a mutt, mongrel, designer or cross-breed, these dogs can be a great addition to the family and they may have a variety of advantages over purebreds.
However, mixed-breeds can also be susceptible to hereditary diseases and other health issues. Because of this, genetic screening is a good option for pet parents to determine if their mixed-breed can develop any specific disorders.
According to a recent study, mixed-breed dogs have fewer genetic diseases than their purebred counterparts. Researchers from Wisdom Health and Genoscoper Laboratories tested the DNA of 83,000 mixed-breed and 18,000 purebred dogs for 152 disease mutations.
How do I know if my dog is a mixed-breed?
If you are considering getting a dog, knowing what breed your pet is likely to be is an important consideration. It can help you decide if you will be able to provide the best care for your new pet, and if so, what kind of health needs you should expect.
A mixed-breed is a dog whose parents or grandparents are not of the same purebred. These dogs, often called mutts or mongrels, can be more difficult to identify than purebreds due to their genetic variations.
However, you can learn a lot about your dog’s breed through their physical appearance and behavior. If you hear a Beagle or Basset Hound “yodel,” for instance, that is an indication your mixed-breed dog has those breeds in their genes.
You can also test your dog’s DNA to find out what breeds they are more likely to be a part of. This can help you understand their genetic predisposition to certain health concerns and personalities, which can be extremely helpful when talking with your veterinarian about the best health plan for your dog.