I’ve posted before about how much I love mutts but after a recent conversation with a friend, I was compelled to dig a little deeper. We both adopted dogs around the same time and both decided to get out mutts’ DNA tested to find out what breeds they actually were. She mentioned that she was really glad that she finally did the test and that it has helped her relate to her dog better. This seems to be a common sentiment for people who get their dog’s DNA results. However, this got my gears turning. I was glad that I knew Pippi’s breed mix but I’m a scientist at heart so I just like knowing stuff. I haven’t really used this information to help me in any way. Should I be?
I know that she is Super Mutt. Pun intended. What I mean is that her breed mix is very mixed! Her parents are Chow Chow + unknown mixed breed on one side and Australian Shepherd/Lab/Husky/Other mix on the other side. Here’s the illustration I received to help you keep track.
As you can see, Pippi has quite the extensive heritage. Her most dominant breed is Chow Chow and she has the black tongue and curled tail to prove it! The rest of her body looks very much like an Australian Shepherd so when people ask, I just say Chow/Aussie mix. It’s easier. The cool thing about the Wisdom Panel results is that they also give you a report on what potential breeds could make up that “unknown mixed breed” tag. Here are Pippi’s results.
I think it’s very interesting that she’s likely mixed with some sort of giant breed!
But… should I care? Should I be more fascinated with the actual results than by the fact that this is even possible to begin with?! As usual, I don’t think there is a clear cut answer on this. Every dog is different and unique. A good understanding of animal/dog behavior will serve me far better than knowledge of her breed mix. Simply watching her mannerisms and behavior will help me determine which methods are best for training, when I know I can get her to react positively to something, and when she would prefer to be left alone.
However, knowing that she has a strong Chow lineage does explain her aloof, cat-like behavior, her fierce independence, her wariness to trust me at first, and then her incredibly strong bond once she determined that I was trustworthy. Hmmm… is it possible that I’m part Chow?!
p.s. I definitely recommend using Wisdom Panel for DNA testing. It’s easy, fast, and they give you LOTS of information about your dog’s breeds. Pippi’s results report was 16 pages long!