Every so often, dog lovers find themselves wondering “What breed is my dog?”
This question either sparks from curiosity or with the motive to understand their pet better. Because, let’s be honest, knowing your dog’s breed is always an advantage. You will be able to understand your pet’s behavior better. Why does your dog keep sniffing the ground? You will be able to know what their character traits are.
Just like humans, dogs also have different personalities that differ from breed to breed. Knowing your dog’s breed will explain a lot of things and physical traits. Furthermore, it will be much easier for you to provide it with the right care. For instance, a dog doing something out of its breed can be abnormal and dangerous. It can be an alarming sign for you. However, if you would be able to notice, then you will be able to train them for good.
Most likely, when people get curious about their dog’s breed, they either ask a veterinarian or shelter staff from where they adopted. Most likely, the answer isn’t satisfying. They can tell you it’s a mixed breed, but not the exact breeds. Without any doubt, these people are experts. But, in all honesty, even experts can be wrong when judging on visual clues alone.
Below will be discussed methods. Using these few simple methods, you will be able to identify nearly every dog. Also, we will be discussing how credible each method is.
1. Distinguish Physical Traits
It is a super easy and commonly used method to figure out your dog’s breed. You just need to observe and do a bit of research. However, let it be known, that this is not a very accurate method. It’s true that you will be able to learn it in a few days. You will be good to go around and guess dog breed. But, oftentimes, you will be guessing wrong. Physical traits don’t necessarily belong to one trait. It’s just the way how dog inherits.
However, this method still stays one of the easiest ones to begin with. Here is what you will need to do. Get a pen and paper and write down the common physical traits of your dog.
- The shape and length of the head (note down if it’s short, narrow, or pointed)
- Ear shape and carriage (check if they are pointed or folded, e.t.c)
- Tail (long or curled?)
- Body type (is it muscular, strong, and tall?)
In short, when noting down important visual clues, describe your dog. Dog’s length, the shape of ears, the shape of the head, and other physical characteristics define its breed. The term for it is “phenotype”. You should rely more on notable physical traits than color and coat. The truth is that color and coat don’t make much difference. They are the result of single genes, this is why hundreds of breeds share the same color genes.
2. Dog breed identifier app or quiz
There are apps available online that can identify a dog’s breed for you. They use machine learning to do it. It’s actually an algorithm version of identifying dogs through visual clues. However, this is more accurate than the first step. It is obvious that machines are better when it comes to research and analysis.
You either will have to upload a photo of your dog or take a quiz. In the quiz, you will have to answer basic questions related to your dog’s breed. And that’s it. You will be provided results in seconds. It’s the same process as the first one. However, this is faster than you can possibly imagine.
However, this again is not a very accurate approach. Breed identifier apps and quizzes are far from being exact. These methods can predict wrong breeds, or simply miss out on a few.
3. Take a DNA test
This is the best and the most accurate way to identify a dog’s breed. If you are a science fan, then you must be interested in this. You will be able to get results with the highest accuracy. All you have to do is order a DNA kit. Despite the popularity, there are only a few companies that provide these services. However, it’s still advised to be attentive when ordering one. The more reference sample database, the more preferable. DNA test doesn’t rely on visual appearance and compares the genetic samples against the one submitted. This is what makes it more accurate.
You will also be provided a report on your dog’s ancestry and genetic health conditions. It will give you an exact idea of what activities will be fun for your dog, and also beneficial.
You no longer have to be confused if someone asks you your dog breed. Using these methods, you will be to identify your dog’s breed. It is an essential thing to know to manage and train your dog. You will know what activities will be fun for your best friend, and what behaviors are abnormal.