That's why it's tail is so poofy, it's full of secrets.
March 19, 2015 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Doggie DNA test. You gotta do it!
posted by phunniemee (45 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
"He's a husky, but if he had papers - he ate them."
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:09 AM on March 19, 2015


I had my Husky's DNA tested, they confirmed he was 100% Husky.
posted by HuronBob at 10:15 AM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I test all the dogs in the neighborhood for their DNA so I can test poop left on the ground and know who to have my valet yell at.

I am a wildly eccentric, extremely cranky millionaire.
posted by maxsparber at 10:20 AM on March 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


Or you're the city of Boulder: Dog shit DNA database considered
posted by barchan at 10:26 AM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


I get this question constantly AND I have a rescue AND I live in Los Angeles AND I wouldn't be at all surprised if she had a secret life on the side.

We think she's a maltipoo but others have said she must have some Bichon. I gotta do the test.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:28 AM on March 19, 2015


Nice twist that I almost didn't get to because they beat the opening premise to the ground first.

I was one of these assholes a few weeks ago. I met a woman with a rescue dog, and I asked her what type of dog he was, and she said "Glen of Imaal terrier" and I said a flat, emphatic "No" without thinking. And then I listed the reasons the dog wasn't a Glen (no webs on the front paws, head too small, half the size, etc.) Then I felt like a jerk.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:33 AM on March 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


Or you're the city of Boulder: Dog shit DNA database considered

This is a thing in Wales, with testing and fines to encourage owners to pick up after their dogs. At least in or near Llandrindod Wells.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:39 AM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


That was pretty funny!

If someone can find it, would you mind posting the alternate take where a giant asteroid at about 1:51 drives itself into the earth and vaporizes all of the people in that video in a violently expanding ring of light and dust? I can't seem to find it at the moment.
posted by Poppa Bear at 10:53 AM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


In the year I've had Charlie I've been stopped by strangers maybe 10 times who ask, "What kind of dog is that?" and my standard response is, "Half rat terrier, half potato" which is currently landing laughs at maybe a 66% success rate.

Actually if you do the breakdown (not unlike how one counts piggies on someone's toes) starting at the back end she's made up of: two chicken thighs, a potato, two chicken wings, and a block of head cheese. I tell her this every day and it doesn't appear to have affected her self-esteem or anything. The head cheese is just large enough to contain two programs, FETCH and PETS, which are constantly battling for priority.
posted by komara at 10:54 AM on March 19, 2015 [28 favorites]


We've had a longstanding joke that Sophie, the most horrible of our dogs, was a beagle-velociraptor mix, and that if we DNA tested her we'd end up with men in suits and dark sunglasses descending on our house, taking Sophie away in some sort of containment device.

(Bookhouse - turns out she's a "Briard, Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, Glen of Imaal Terrier Cross". No webbing, I just checked. Maybe it's just the eyes. Maybe that's not actually her DNA, but the kinds of other dogs she's eaten.)

You gotta do the test, everybody.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:06 AM on March 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


komara, I am not wholly positive, but I think you've got a miniature pinscher (which coincidentally was recognized the butthole of the video). I have had 3 of them and 2 of them look almost identical at least based on your photo! Though I like your description better :)
posted by actionpact at 11:11 AM on March 19, 2015


We've had a longstanding joke that Sophie, the most horrible of our dogs, was a beagle-velociraptor mix,

My brother's dog Roxy is 100% velociraptor in a pit bull body. She's escaped from every pen she's ever been held in. She learned how to unlatch the latch on her crate. She completely pulled apart the backup spring pin my brother used to secure the crate latch. He had to start padlocking the crate so she couldn't escape, so she spent a few days bending the bars. When that didn't work she started trying to dig her way out through the plastic bottom. Made a hole.

Every time she escapes she finds her bag of food and eats her way through it. Bag of food is kept inside a giant sealed tupperware bin which she just busts right through. Brother started keeping the food bin in a closet as backup. Roxy ate the closet door. Clever girl. She's jumped up on the washing machine to pull the food off a high shelf. The dog is relentless.
posted by phunniemee at 11:20 AM on March 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah, you gotta do the test! We thought our little shit dog Tesla was a combination of scream-barks and stupidity, but it turns out she's mostly just a feist. So she's actually a real dog, and it explained her "fuck you world, I'm gonna do what I want" attitude.

(The word "feisty" comes from the dog breed, or so I've been told.)
posted by barchan at 11:28 AM on March 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


My parents always said that our most-beloved dog of my childhood was a boxer-hyena mix. She was a wonderful, sweet dog and we all adored her, but my lord, she was ugly. Brindled, stubby body, stubby muzzle, stubby tail. I forgave her all of it for her soulful brown eyes and soft floppy ears.

They currently have a new rescue dog, and my mom said that the dog's rescue agency did a DNA test on her and said she was a border collie/lab mix. I don't buy it for a minute. Everybody that looks at her thinks there's shepherd in there, and she's the spitting image of a friend's dog who is definitely a shepherd mix.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:29 AM on March 19, 2015


I always have to say, "She's an Annie." I honestly have no idea. Do those tests actually work?

(And hello, Officer Fischer! You are a long way from Litchfield!)
posted by mochapickle at 11:30 AM on March 19, 2015


Best drive-by question we ever got about our greyhound Trooper in our Los Angeles neighborhood: "Is that a deer?!?"
posted by usonian at 11:31 AM on March 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


I sometimes explain that my dog is actually part gremlin. Mostly I do this to avoid the idiot guesses people come up with--come on, guys, there is an approximately zero chance of there being a wandering Basenji sowing wild oats around rural Georgia, okay? Ditto intact greyhounds, given that most pet greys come out of racing organizations that have them spayed and neutered. It's startling how little basic common sense people apply to the question sometimes.
posted by sciatrix at 11:49 AM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I tested mine. One is 100% JRT, the other is 50% JRT, 25% Smooth Fox Terrier, 25% Boxer. The 100% was represented as pure bread, but with no papers or proof. The other was not represented as a pure bread, and he clearly had some mix, but we would have never guessed Boxer. So that was interesting. $80 (ea) well spent.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:54 AM on March 19, 2015


I used to have a Rottweiler/golden retriever mix that we always called our Rotten Goldweiler, and he was gorgeous, looked just like a rott but taller and golden all over. He actually looked a little like a stocky Rhodesian Ridgeback without the ridge, so if people asked we told them he was a Rhodesian Hatchback. And nobody ever laughed! They just nodded and said, "Oh."

Our current dog is clearly mostly German Shepherd in looks, but is so sweet and so dumb that she must have some retriever in there somewhere.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:03 PM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I test all the dogs in the neighborhood for their DNA so I can test poop left on the ground and know who to have my valet yell at.

So, you run a homeowners' association?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:06 PM on March 19, 2015


It's more of a retirement village for supervillains.
posted by maxsparber at 12:09 PM on March 19, 2015 [11 favorites]


If I had a nickle for every time someone asked, "Is that a husky?" about our dog, Bailey, I would have a lot of nickles.

"Is she some kind of husky mix?" I can understand but she really doesn't look like any husky I've ever seen.

She is a pure bred Akita (as much as any American Akita can be called "pure bred"). This was not my first dog but it was my wife's. We wanted the loaded dice that comes with going to a good, ethical breeder.
posted by VTX at 12:54 PM on March 19, 2015


there is an approximately zero chance of there being a wandering Basenji sowing wild oats around rural Georgia, okay?

Sciatrix—there may be a near-zero rate of wild Basenji parentage in rural Georgia, but I would bet you a dollar that the dog in the picture you linked is at least part Carolina Dog, which is another primitive/pariah dog that is native to low country SC/GA and is more closely related to dingoes thanks to having gotten here by way of the Bering Strait land bridge and not in the holds of boats from Europe.

[By way of example, here's my Dixie Dingo in younger days]
posted by sonascope at 1:03 PM on March 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also, Carolina Dogs generally have the scooped abdomen and can run crazily fast like a greyhound.
posted by sonascope at 1:18 PM on March 19, 2015


I have two purebred greyhounds, and if I had a nickel for every time someone asked, "are those dobermans?"

I'm quite suspicious of Doggy DNA tests, mostly because I don't believe that most mutts are the children or grand-children of pure-bred dogs. I am more comfortable with the ones that list percentages vs. the ones that try to develop actual pedigrees.
posted by muddgirl at 1:29 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed The Bitter Southerner's feature on Carolina Dogs.

My 6-month-old, Judy, says "What am I?"
posted by goHermGO at 1:35 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mean, probably, but my best guess is that she gets the ears, the bulgy eyes, the underbite, and the low body fat from a Boston Terrier somewhere along the line. The brindle coloring is also consistent with a Boston Terrier cross, since they are pretty much all genetically brindle under the dominant black that most of them have. God knows what the other half is--I tend to think a big rat terrier or feist, but it could be any number of things to result in a slightly larger dog (33 pounds) with more muzzle than an actual purebred Boston Terrier. And there is at least one intact, roaming Boston in the area, and it wasn't uncommon to see them around town.

(Her chin happens to look pointier than it is in that photo--these are more accurate, if less hilariously wide-eyed.)

Carolina Dogs are all well and good, but the college town she's from doesn't have a ton of ferals popping up in the local animal control (where she's from). It's also mostly short-haired terriers, pit mixes, bulldogs and hound crosses with the odd purebred retriever, shepherd or husky. So. *shrugs* I don't necessarily trust DNA tests because they tend to be bad about sampling from the populations of dogs likely to wind up in shelters--for example, I saw things like Glen of Imaal Terriers put into them well before I saw feists, and this for American tests!--but if I had the spare cash to blow on one, maybe I'd put some money into it and see if I was right.
posted by sciatrix at 1:41 PM on March 19, 2015


OK, let me explain my brief objection. This is the diagram that the wisdom panel uses to illustrate how their test works. It's similar to the diagram used for human ancestral DNA tests. Except, don't you get the exact same statistical result if the grandparents are an equivalent mix of the same four breeds?
posted by muddgirl at 1:52 PM on March 19, 2015


Except, don't you get the exact same statistical result if the grandparents are an equivalent mix of the same four breeds?

They'll be looking at the mitochondrial DNA and, if the dog is male, the Y-chromosomal DNA to figure out which parent was which. In that hypothetical example, the Y chromosome would be a mix of red and blue markers and the mitochondrial DNA would be a mix of purple and green.
posted by sciatrix at 1:54 PM on March 19, 2015


I suspect our German Border Terrier has an incredibly dark past just by breed alone. However, due to an international amnesty agreement, she was allowed to move to the states and begin life with a clean slate.

Sadly, she has continued her reign of aggressive herding of small children, decimation of any and all squeaker toys, and overzealous protection of her front porch on our fair shores so rehabilitation is obviously futile.
posted by teleri025 at 1:58 PM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


That said, it's not foolproof--for example, this blog post details the example of one dog who was very definitely half cattle dog who was misclassified as being an equal mix of cattle dog, bull mastiff, pit, and god only knows what. They reanalyzed his data based on the prior information--most of these will be calculated using Bayesian models, IIRC--and came up with a rather more sensible interpretation the second time.
posted by sciatrix at 1:59 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought mitochondrial DNA doesn't recombine? Granted my knowledge is mostly in humans. The sex chromosomes in males do recombine at the very tips apparently, but I still don't think that answers my question. The base of the Y-chromosome can be traced all the way back to the last known mutation. It doesn't mean his dad was pure-blooded whatever just because he shares y-DNA markers with pure-blooded whatevers. But maybe it's different in dogs?

From the blog post:
I learned that the sample dogs used to develop the breed algorithms were all AKC registered.
Yeah, see, that's exactly my problem. It seems to me like what Wisdom Panel attempts to do is like Ancestry.com claiming that my grandmother is 100% Irish because I am 25% similar to people who live in modern-day Ireland.
posted by muddgirl at 2:10 PM on March 19, 2015


I liked the parody of how people make wild guesses about dog breeds, but I didn't really love the payoff in this video. It made me sad to think of a dog being a really really bad criminal on the lam or whatever. Dogs aren't bad. Dogs are good!
posted by misskaz at 2:29 PM on March 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


I thought mitochondrial DNA doesn't recombine? Granted my knowledge is mostly in humans. The sex chromosomes in males do recombine at the very tips apparently, but I still don't think that answers my question. The base of the Y-chromosome can be traced all the way back to the last known mutation. It doesn't mean his dad was pure-blooded whatever just because he shares y-DNA markers with pure-blooded whatevers. But maybe it's different in dogs?

You're correct in thinking that neither of those recombine. The fact that they don't recombine (ignoring the pseudoautosomal region on the Y) is actually why you can use them to determine which parent was which, if your haplotypes are distinct enough. The Y gets passed down from father to son without a whole lot of changing, so if you're male and you have a Y chromosome, it's a direct passage up your paternal line, from son to father to grandfather and so forth. Mitochondrial DNA gets passed down from mother to offspring as a unit, so your mitochondrial DNA is an unbroken line from daughter to mother to grandmother up through your female line. So you might not get an idea of what your dog's mom was exactly, but you maybe have an idea of what her grandmother was.
posted by sciatrix at 2:35 PM on March 19, 2015


Or her great-grandmother, or her great-great grandmother...

I mean, if they were using these tests to say, "hey, mutt, this specific dog is your mom, and we know that from your SNPs and mitochondrial DNA" I would agree with that use. But that's not what they're trying to do?
posted by muddgirl at 2:40 PM on March 19, 2015


This is why I like having a cat.

"Oh, what kind of cat is he?"

"The kind that purrs. Now pet him before he destroys you with his mind."

"Oh. Okay."
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:33 PM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Our soulful mutt is probably some kind of cattle dog mix, but I have decided to explain him away as a California Shovelhound, given his fondness for hunting ground squirrels by using his jaws to enlarge their holes until he can stick his whole forequarters into them.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:46 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


My two rescues are, really, god knows what.
On the left is Frankie. His head is shaped like a short-haired border collie, and his mom was some sort of b.c. mix. But ain't no border collie weighs 70 lb and runs with a double-suspension gallop. Since he's brindled and has that musclebutt typical of greyhounds, we figure that's the other half.

On the right is Lady. Webbed toes, so somewhere in there is lab. She was being used as a brood mare for bait dogs in a very rough neighborhood. Of course, she probably has some pit in her, and she's very protective (alternating with goofy) as you'd expect. But then the wrinkly face and remarkably wiggly butt are typical Boxer. Who knows?
posted by notsnot at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


My 6-month-old, Judy, says "What am I?"

Fucking adorbs, that's what she is!

So, both of my knuckleheads are rescues. Rocky was 8 weeks old when we rescued him. He will be 4 in August. The Humane Society said he was a Husky. His Mama was, indeed, a Husky, she was there with him. But he didn't look at all Husky! Husband thought he was part Dane once he sprouted, other people looked at his face and said Boxer. I got him tested, he is Boxer/GSD/Husky. And possibly Moose, from the size of him. Maybe Heffalump. He has the Husky desire to run for years or until he drops, whichever comes first, the gorgeous posture of a GSD...and the fluffy little brain of a Boxer. He is so wonderfully sweet and a little shy, and has all the sense the gods gave a dandelion.

His baby sister, Zoe, is also a rescue. She just turned 3 on Wednesday. Our Wild Irish Rose is an American Pit Bull Terrier who is convinced she is a lap dog. (No, her ears are not cropped, she just flings them back when she plays hide and seek.)
posted by MissySedai at 8:12 PM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


My husband has been wanting to do this for our rescue dog (we gotta do it!). If we did, maybe I could update this old Ask Me, with a "Well, Doggy DNA test says..."

Anyway, around these parts, all dogs that look similar to ours are called "Griffon-Caniche" ("Caniche" = Poodle), which puzzled me because I was thinking of the Brussels Griffon, to which our dog has very little resemblance – but the "Briquet Griffon Vendeen" looks a lot more likely. However "Griffon-Caniche" is so general, I think it basically means "probably poodle and something else," which is yeah, about right.
posted by taz at 4:31 AM on March 20, 2015


Oh man. We did it. We ordered the test, which is silly extravagant for us, but we've been chatting about this for years now, and her adoption anniversary is coming up. So. We had to do it, apparently.
posted by taz at 5:01 AM on March 20, 2015


My dog bears a resemblance to a rare breed of Dutch duck-hunting dogs called kooikerhondjes who have a pretty interesting history - at least enough resemblance that he would appear to be a mix of some sort. Except that my dog was found on a friend's porch as a tiny puppy with his sister in a small village in the Mexican State of Oaxaca, of unknown parentage. It's extremely unlikely that they are kooikerhondjes, but the resemblance is pretty striking and they even have pretty much the exact personality profile.

I've thought about ordering a DNA test, but honestly, he's probably got a bit of everything, and the likelihood that even his great-grandparents were purebred anything is so small. So my friend who adopted his sister and I just call them the Oaxacan Porch Puppies.
posted by lunasol at 11:09 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


at the risk of actually engaging in dog ID talk ...

actionpact: "komara, I am not wholly positive, but I think you've got a miniature pinscher"

I don't know squat about dogs - Charlie is my first, and I've never really paid attention before - but I feel like I gotta disagree. If you look at this unflattering photo of a yawning potato you'll see she's way too stocky to be a min pin.

The SPCA tried to list her as a Shiba Inu mix, but I didn't buy it. Shibas are popular is all, so it's in their best interest to generate views from people looking for them. I don't blame them. I told my vet, "SPCA says Shiba Inu mix" and her first response was, "More like rat terrier" and I've rolled with that since. Personality-wise she's all about it - she flips out if she sees a rat while we're walking along the bayou, and she'll stick her nose into every hole that even smells like a rodent (rat or nutria, I guess) has been through there recently.

but like I said, I don't know nothin' bout dogs. Maybe all dogs do that. Anyway, if you want to try to figure it out further there are more pictures of her but most are from the front-on angle since she'll turn to watch what I'm doing most of the time. Makes it difficult to get a good profile shot.
posted by komara at 12:15 PM on March 20, 2015


Oh! That's what Charlie's facial coloring and body shape remind me of! A rottweiler! A wee little rottweiler terrier.
posted by muddgirl at 1:13 PM on March 20, 2015


"An adopted mutt. Just like me."
posted by IAmBroom at 11:35 AM on March 29, 2015


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