What Breed is My Dog? How to Determine Your Dog’s Breed

By Clearvoice / September 24, 2018
what breed is my dog, pup looking at family tree

Have you been staring at supposed-to-be-little Fluffy lately, trying to figure out, well, what breed is my dog exactly? It seems like Fluffy the “Shih Tzu” is more like Fluffy the “Great Dane” nowadays!

There are many reasons a pet owner might want to work out the breed of their dog – curiosity, joining breed-based clubs, or even working out if it’s okay to have other pets like cats in the house. One of the more serious reasons could even be to work out whether breed-specific legislation or breed-specific law applies to your dog.

Whether you’re buying a new pet from a breeder or adopting a mixed breed dog from a shelter, exciting new developments in technology mean that it’s easier than ever before to find out the true breed of your dog. If you’re asking yourself ‘What breed is my dog?’ then read on!

How to Determine the Breed of Your Dog: There are Multiple Ways! 

Recent developments in technology mean that today not only, is there reliable science to work out the exact makeup of your mixed breed hound, but there are different methods of going about it.

Whether you think you have an American Staffordshire Terrier, Border Collie or a Golden Retriever mix, DNA tests are an excellent way to figure out what breed your dog is. How much Bull Terrier is in the mix? Perhaps a little bit of German Shepherd?pup looking at family dog pictures

Dog DNA Tests: How They Work!

Here’s where things get kinda Science-y, so let your inner-nerd out. Every living organism on earth possesses deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA. This molecule contains the instructions or code that an organism needs to develop, live and produce normally.

In essence, dog DNA is very similar to human DNA in most respects. The information stored in the DNA molecule is passed down from the paternal and maternal sides of lineage to the offspring. This makes DNA testing a reliable way to find out exactly what breed your dog is.

In fact, each dog breed has its own defining markers which come from their DNA code, which is why testing lends itself perfectly to working out what breed is my dog!

How Does the Testing Process Work?

As an owner, once you receive your DNA testing kit, it’s important to get an uncontaminated sample – this means no dropping the swab on the floor or letting your cat use it as a new plaything!

dna test for dogs dog getting swabbed

Getting a sample of DNA from your dog is easy. Use the swab according to the test instructions, which usually involves swiping it on the inside of your dog’s cheek, then immediately place it into the sealed receptacle provided by the company.

Remember: an uncontaminated DNA sample is your best chance of answering the question, what breed is my dog!

Some of the most popular and reliable tests on the market today include:

  1. Embark 
  2. Wisdom Panel for Dogs DNA Test 
  3. DNA Test My Dog 

What Kind of Dog Do I Have? Factors That Go Into Analyzing the Data

So can a scientist work out what breed is my dog? Yes – using sophisticated DNA tests they can, and this is how they do it.

After receiving your doggy DNA sample, Scientists place the cheek cell sample into a solution which extracts the DNA. From there, an analysis is performed and the sample is compared against

a database which holds genetic information about thousands of other purebred dogs, from common to rare.

Breeds such as the Siberian Husky, Flat-coated Retriever, Portuguese Podengos, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Labrador Retriever, and American Eskimo Dogs, are all on the panel. If the breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club it is definitely on the panel!

The process is carried out using up-to-the-minute software technology. This means the analysis is repeated hundreds of times to ensure the most accurate result is given.

Most tests will show what percentages of purebred dogs the mixed-breed dogs are made up of, so you can trace the roots of your adorable mixy.

Online Dog Breed Selector

Another way that is less scientific (and way less expensive) is using the latest photo recognition software to work out ‘What breed is my dog?’ quickly and easily online.

pup taking a selfie for an online dog breed test

With technology becoming incresingly sophisticated and accurate in this area, this may be a good option for those that don’t want to go to the trouble of trying to stick a swab in Fido’s uncooperative mouth, sending away a bulky test and waiting for months before seeing any results.

Upload Your Dog Pictures and Find Out!

All that is required for this method of finding out the answer to the question: ‘What breed is my dog?’, is to upload a photo of your pooch either via an app or via a website. You can quickly and easily have your dog’s gorgeous features matched-up with a database of thousands of purebred dog photos.

The database includes breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher, Shepherd Dogs, Cocker Spaniel, Fox Terrier, and even the Chinese Shar-Pei! Did we mention this awesome service doesn’t cost a penny?

Which Apps and Sites Work?

Some of the best options for finding out ‘What breed is my dog?’ through photo recognition are:

What Dog App (FREE)

This app lets you simply upload a photo of your pooch straight from your mobile device. Now, we know that you’ve got approximately 7,568,945 photos of your woofer on there, so what could be easier than that?

Once you upload your photo to the app, it will give you a percentage estimate of what breed your dog is.

You can download the free What Dog App on the App Store for iOS users.

pup using dog images on an online dog breed finder

What Dog Website (FREE)

This website lets you upload a photo of your prized pooch. It then compares it to purebred dog images using the same technology as the app. Great if you have higher quality photos stored on your computer.

Vice Versa! What Kind of Dog Am I?

Another cute feature of the What Dog app is the What Dog Fun function. This lets you upload a photo of yourself or your friends and will then match you to your doggy doppelganger, with hilarious results!

What Breed is My Dog Quiz / What Breed is My Dog Online Test

Another fun, albeit fairly unscientific way of finding out what breed is my dog, is to do an online test like dog breed identifier. These tests will generate a breed based on your answers. While highly subjective, they can definitely be a bit of fun!

How to Tell What Breed My Dog Is: What’s The Best Way? 

If you are looking for the most reliable and scientifically proven way to find out the truth about the breed of your dog, then we would recommend going with a Dog DNA Test.

These tests, while costing more and taking some time, are definitely the surest way of finding out the origins of your beloved pup. Not only that, but most even offer additional services based on your dog’s breed, such as the best dog food to feed your pet, tips on the personality and temperament and exercise ideas.

For example, if your pet has a herding dog breed showing in its DNA, such as a Border Collie, reputable dog DNA test companies can provide you with an excellent exercise plan relevant to your woofer’s instincts.

pup taking a what breed is my dog quiz looking very confused

Trivia Time! The Doge Dog! What Kind of Dog is Doge? 

We all know Doge – the loveable dog that took the internet by storm a few years ago, inspiring meme after meme after meme. This cutie with the adorable expression is no doubt a super photogenic pooch! But what type of dog breed is he?

What Kind of Dog is This? Doge Dog Breed

Doge is actually a super special Japanese breed, known as a Shiba Inu. These gorgeous pups are the mascots of Japan. There is even a statue of the most famous Shiba Inu, Hachiko, located in front of the well-known Shibuya metro station in Tokyo!

The story goes that Hachiko the Shiba Inu always waited for his owner to finish work at Shibuya station at the end of each day. One day, Hachiko’s owner suddenly died at work and did not return home. Hachiko loyally waited at the station for his master until the end of his life.

If that story doesn’t have you weeping into your keyboard, we don’t know what will! Doge’s Shiba Inu breed is so famous, there is actually a feature film about Hachiko’s story starring Richard Gere. That’s one celebrity Doge!

How to Identify Your Dog’s Breed Just Got Easier!

Whether you think you might own a Bernese Mountain Dog, a Staffordshire Terrier or a Cockapoo, thanks to new technology there are different ways to check your hunches with varying scientific accuracy.

For a top-notch lab-derived result, try out a dog DNA test. For a fun, simple way to identify the breed of your dog, try the What Dog app and see what your pupster comes out as. Whatever the results, there’s no doubt there’s nothing as special as the bond between you and your furry bestie!

picture of dog family photo

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