With thousands of dog rescues scattered across the country, dogs are constantly going to their new homes. The question that most people wonder when they adopt a dog is, what breed is my dog? Or what combination of different breeds? Most dogs are given a designated breed while in shelter, but many dog owners continue to wonder about their new dog’s breed or breed mix. These questions can get answered, as people are paying money to get their dogs DNA tested with the hopes of finding out clues about their family pet.
The interesting part of these test results is that they do not always match the designated breed given by the shelter. Without the proper history and with generations of mixed breeds, it is nearly impossible to accurately determine a shelter dog’s purebred lineage just by looking at them.
Shelter dogs can often be mislabeled as Pit Bull mixes due to a lack of knowledge of the actual breeds that make up what people frequently assume is a Pit Bull. According to experts, there is no such thing as a “purebred” Pit Bull. Instead, what people identify as a Pit Bull is actually a mix of breeds with similar physical characteristics, such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino and even the Boxer. However, the dog’s DNA may contain no genetic markers with the breeds commonly known to make up the Pit Bull.
The same can be said for other dogs across the breed spectrum. Labrador Retrievers are commonly mislabeled in shelters as well. The reason why dogs are so commonly mislabeled is the fact that mixed-breed dogs have been breeding for generations. A purebred could be so far down the line of generations that your dog may be only a quarter or less of what they appear to be. This also means that puppies can develop characteristics that look like what we think a specific breed would at that age, when in fact it is just a combination of different breeds. As they grow older, these dogs can look completely different then the breed they were originally thought to be.
Do you think you would be good at guessing mixed breeds? Take the quizzes below to see if you can correctly identify “Pit Bulls” and “Labs." The results may shock you!
See the Pit Bull answers here!
See the Lab answers here!
When adopting a dog from a local shelter or rescue, you may not be 100% certain of their breed. You may never know the exact mix of your rescue dog, but they are family and we love them as the individual they are!