Pet Care 

Which breed is my dog?

Although no two dogs are the same, genetic traits can influence their behaviour and predisposition to certain health issues. Future dog owners must research which breed is best for them and their families before adopting a new best friend.

Knowing your dog’s breed is an important aspect of dog ownership. Responsible breeders should give new owners health and pedigree documents. Some breeds are more common at rescues and animal shelters. It can be difficult to identify the different breeds in your dog if you are thinking of adopting.

What is it important to know about the history of mixed-breed dogs?

A majority of dogs are mixed-breed. Each breed has its unique traits. You and your trainer can use these characteristics to create a happier home environment for your dog.

Also, inform your vet about your dog’s breed to help them determine the best diet, exercise, and preventative medicine program. This will make your dog happier and healthier.

How to determine your mixed-breed dog’s lineage?

These are some ways you can help unravel the mystery surrounding your mixed-breed dog’s ancestry.

Investigate Your Dog’s Physical Characteristics

A mixed-breed puppy or dog can look very different from a purebred. Shelter staff can often make educated guesses about the makeup of mixed-breed dogs.

Start by listing your dog’s physical characteristics:

  • Body – How big is your dog’s body? Is your dog tall or short? Are they muscular and thick or thin and long?
  • Muzzle – Does your dog have a long, medium or short face?
  • Tail – Is their tail bobbed or docked? Long, short, curly, pointy?
  • Ears – Does your dog have floppy ears or erect ears? Are your pup’s ears long or short?
  • Coat – What colour or pattern is the coat of your dog? Are their hair and fur soft or stiff? Is their hair long, medium, or short?

Once you have a list, you can research your dog’s traits to find common breed attributes.

Learn more about Breed Group Behavior

Dog breeds are often bred to perform specific tasks. This can impact how certain breeds behave and even help you identify your mixed-breed dog’s lineage.

Take note of any behaviour your dog exhibits frequently. Do you notice a tendency in your dog to chew furniture, retrieve toys, point out hidden birds or rabbits, or chew on the furniture? These traits are identified with specific breeds.

These are just a few behaviours that can indicate a breed group.

  • Family cat herding. The herding group may be a good fit for your dog if they are prone to circling, staring, barking at children or other pets, or if they are prone to nipping or barking at them. Some breeds of this group were originally bred to herd sheep or cattle.
  • Chase small or large animals. Your canine companion might be a member of the hound groupGreyhounds and Ibizan Hounds are just a few examples of breeds originally bred to hunt.
  • Yard digging. The terrier breed was bred for hunting vermin and left them with an instinct to dig and burrow. This behaviour may signify that your dog has Russell TerrierBoston Terrier, or Scottish Terrier as their heritage.

Get a DNA test for your dog

It can be hard to determine your dog’s breed by their behaviour and “eye test”.

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