What Breed Is Your Dog?

I’m asked this question a lot since my dog doesn’t look like any one breed. For five years, my answer has been a shrug of the shoulders and “mystery mutt.”

I’ve heard guesses from African wild dog to hyena. Strangely, I’ve heard hyena a lot. I have to explain that hyenas are actually more closely related to cats than dogs (the ears are a giveaway), so that’s not possible.

Not my dog. (steveuptonphotography.com)
Not my dog. Not actually a dog at all.

My dog’s shelter paperwork listed her as German shepherd mix, but she struck me as more of a pit bull mix. She had short legs and a short snout. She didn’t look German shepherd at all. I didn’t care.208794_10150161948826915_401612_n

Then she grew and morphed into more of a boxer build with long legs, a big chest and a tiny waist, so I thought she might be pit bull and boxer, both of which would explain the brindle coat, white chest and feet.

Brindle boxer. (wikipedia.org)

My dog is a consummate picture ruiner, so I don’t really have many pictures of her build besides this one.


Here she is playing with her best friend and brindle doppelgΓ€nger in slow motion. My dog is the smaller, lighter-colored one. This is a perfect example of one of her many signature moves that I call The Bulldozer for obvious reasons. I have titled this bit of cinematic brilliance Cowbells & Lion Roars also for obvious reasons.

No matter how much she’s built like a boxer, my dog’s face is nothing like a boxer’s (or a pit bull’s for that matter) and her fur is deceptively long. At first glance, she looks smooth coat, but her fur is actually about an inch long. You can clearly see the ruff on her neck in this picture where she’s got her head sticking out the sunroof of my car.


Where did that longish fur and snout come from? Certainly not from boxer nor pit bull since they’re both smooth coat with short muzzles. Perhaps the shelter was right in calling her a German shepherd mix.

For five years, it was a mystery. I heard about dog DNA testing. I waffled for a long time on getting my dog tested since I don’t really care what she is, but curiosity finally got the better of me. I ordered a kit online which included a couple of cheek swabs. I sent them in, and today, I got the results.

Sorry it’s rather small on screen. Click to embiggen.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 9.50.13 AM

The American Staffordshire terrier (a fancy name for pit bull) and German shepherd were hardly surprising, but Siberian husky? Really? What the hell? I see no husky in her at all.

And as far as the “mixed breed” grandparent goes, they had this to say:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 9.54.06 AMCompanion group? She’s most likely part “luxury” breed? My dog doesn’t look like any of these.


Though, digging into the companion group, Italian greyhound, Dalmatian and bulldog are also in there.

companiongroup2Her body shape is sort of like a cross between a Dalmatian and a greyhound, and English bulldog is one of the breeds that make up pit bull, so maybe she is part companion group. She is stubborn like a bulldog and fast like a greyhound. Still, I’m mildly offended that they insinuated that my mutt is part toy dog. Only partly kidding.

So, there we have it. I have a pit bull, German shepherd, husky, companion group mix in that order. Does it make any difference knowing this? None whatsoever. I loved her even when she was just a mystery mutt. Still, it’s interesting to see the results.Β I can see a bit of a lot of breeds in her (except husky–I see no husky at all).

Plus, I’m happy to finally have an answer to the eternal “what breed is your dog?” question.

Have you gotten your dog DNA tested? How close were your results to what you thought?