There are ways to find your dog breed accurately–or at least give it your best guess.
1. Figure out which breeds your mixed breed dog resembles. A good way to do this is to get a comprehensive book of dog breeds with colorful pictures. Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World by Bonnie Wilcox, DVM & Chris Walkowicz; The New Encyclopedia of The Dog by Bruce Fogle and Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D. Caroline Coile Ph.D. are all good ones to check out. There are various things to consider such as colors, coat length, tail, ears. The mixed breedâ€™s size, for instance, is often midway between that of her parents.
2. Consider your dogâ€™s behavior traits compared to those of the breeds you think he might have in him. His behavior should generally fall somewhere between that of his parents.
3. Study health problems that specific breeds are prone to and compare these to that of your dog. However, keep in mind that even if your dog has a specific breed in her, she may not have been passed down all of that breed’s health traits. My dog Cleo, for instance (a mixed breed of unknown parentage), definitely has the face of a Shar-Pei and had to have her eyes tacked (entropion surgery) as Shar-Peis often do, but didnâ€™t inherit the narrow ear canals synonymous with those Chinese wrinkle dogs.
4. Test your dog’s breed makeup. For a little over a hundred bucks you can order The Canine Heritage XL Breed Test by MetaMorphix. This kit enables you to swab the inside of your dog’s cheek for a DNA sample and have the results in about four weeks, provided the breeds are on their list of 108 breeds.
5. There is also a more accurate blood test available through veterinarians; Wisdom Panelâ„¢ MX by Mars Veterinary can identify the AKC’s 157 recognized dog breeds within two to three weeks, and you’ll spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $125 to $170 (see Resources below). Aside from satisfying your curiosity–knowing your dog’s genetic makeup is useful for pricing pet health insurance and knowing the disease or illness risks associated with your dog’s particular breeds.