Q:

How can you tell what kind of dog you have?

A:

Quick Answer

DNA testing provides the most conclusive results in the identification of a dog's heritage. A registered or pedigreed dog also comes with papers certifying its heritage. For mixed breeds or dogs with uncertain lineage, a 2012 University of Florida study found that physical characteristics can be misleading, even for professionals in the dog industry.

Know More
How can you tell what kind of dog you have?
Credit: Don DeBold CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

DNA tests examine the genes of dogs to determine their heritage with precision. Often, owners simply swab the inside of their dog's mouth and send this DNA sample to a laboratory. Results are then mailed to owners after analysis.

The American Kennel Club recognizes 180 distinct breeds of dog and maintains strict standards for the physical appearance as well as expected temperaments of each breed. Dog breeders can pay to register their litters, and owners can participate in competitions based on their dogs' conformation to breed standards, obedience, training, agility, tracking or performance in field events.

Although a dog's breed profile can often predict its personality and potential behavioral or health concerns, each dog is unique. Experience, age, training, exercise, hunger and abuse can shape how a dog behaves. To ensure a happy home for your dog and yourself, owners must make sure that their activity levels, lifestyle, family size, home size and budget support their dogs' individual needs.

Learn more about Dogs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What kind of dog is Brian Griffin?

    A:

    Brian Griffin, the talking dog and member of the Griffin family in the "Family Guy" animated series, is a white Labrador retriever. Labrador Retrievers are medium-sized working dogs that, according to the American Kennel Club, are the most popular dog breed in the United States.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kind of dog was Spuds MacKenzie?

    A:

    Spuds MacKenzie was a bull terrier. The dog who starred in the Bud Light commercials as Spuds MacKenzie was actually a female dog whose real name was Honey Tree Evil Eye, or "Evie" for short.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kind of dog was Lassie?

    A:

    Lassie was a rough collie. This is a dog that was developed in Great Britain, specifically Scotland, as early as the 16th century to herd sheep.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kind of dog is Baxter in "Anchorman"?

    A:

    Baxter, the dog in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" is a Border Terrier. The breed is generally smaller in stature and scruffy in appearance, with a rough double coat of soft under-fur and a wiry outer coat.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore