Genealogy is something that many of us are interested in these days. We all want to know if we’re related to royalty, and millions of us are hooked on shows like Who Do You Think You Are?. It can often be a real thrilling journey to follow your family history and unveiling where your genes come from. So much so that it’s huge business these days. What’s also becoming increasingly popular is discovering the genealogy of our pets too! Many of our dogs have mixed breeding heritage, and you can discover and find clues as to what your dog’s breed truly is Below you’ll find some of our top tips on how to do so, from processes you can take to general observations…
Take A Doggy DNA Test
The best method of discovering a dog’s breed is through dog DNA test packages. While they’re the most expensive method, they’re also the most effective, for a number of reasons. The best tests cost around $100 to $150, with the likes of Wisdom Panel and Embark among the most popular. They can tell you all manner of things and all you need to do to get the results is take a swab from your dog and post it to your test provider. From there it’s a waiting game to receive the results back, which will tell you:
- The breed of your dog
- Genetic behavior
- Size predictions
- Any health issues
Of course, as well as finding your dog’s breed, you can also find if they’re carrying any genetic health issues, such as blood disorders, hemophilia, heart diseases, kidney problems and much, much more. This information can help you prepare for later in your dog’s life as well as begin to take the steps to prevent possible health issues for your dog, whether it be through diet, exercise or additional vitamins or minerals.
The Shape of Your Dog’s Head
The shape of your dog’s head is often one of the clearest visual indicators of the breed of a dog. There are three main groups of head, which can be broken down as follows:
- Dolichocephalic: This is a long, narrow head and is associated with breeds such as German Shepherds, Whippets, Great Danes, Poodles, Borzoi and more.
- Mesocephalic: These are more medium sized. The skull is broader in the same manner as a Dalmatian, Yorkshire Terrier it Beagle.
- Brachycephalic: These dog’s heads are wider and have shortened muzzles with the likes of Bulldogs, Pugs, Tibetan Spaniels having these types of skull.
From the shape of a dog’s head you can then start to decipher which type of breed your dog comes from.
The Shape of the Ears
The ears can also be a good indicator of a breed. You’ll find all types of ears on a dog from button ears to bat like ears, floppy, folded, v-shaped and more. Floppy ears will generally indicate genetics of the hound family, while pricked up ears would suggest a terrier-like genetic background. Examine your the shape and carriage of your dogs ears and match them up to one of the main breeds.
Coat Texture and Coloring
Different breeds come from different parts of the world and therefore have different types of coats in order to adapt to the various weather conditions and terrain in which they originate. Short haired dogs with coats that are quite wiry generally come from families like the Jack Russell Terrier or Great Dane, while curls naturally point towards the poodle. Longer haired dogs are more likely to be a part of those that that originally were required to stay warm in harsher conditions, such as Border Collies and Bouvier des Flandres.
Traits of Your Dog
Different dogs have different traits. For example, Border Collies are likely to be more obedient as they traditionally spend their lives rounding up sheep. A dog’s temperament will offer insight into the breed, while things such as energy, sleep and appetite can also provide you with breeding information. Dogs that are more alert and bark a lot are particularly associated with terriers and Beagles, while a dog that is very protective and guards the home could well have German Shepherd or Labrador blood within them.
Take The Next Steps…
Of course, one of the first things to do is simply ask the breeder in which you purchased your dog from for further details, before taking the next steps. They should have much more detail on any cross-breeding. If not, explore all visual avenues and if you want to take it that one step further, pick up a dog DNA test and find out for certain the true breed of your dog, as well as many other important pieces of information about your precious pooch.