GENERAL BREED INFO

What Breed Is My Dog: How to Determine the Breed of Your Pet

Different dog breeds
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Identifying a dog’s breed requires a thorough understanding of dogs as well as its behaviors. Before adopting a dog into your family and personal life, it is always advisable to go through a study or session of learning how different dog breeds are, their virtues as well as limitations are, to be prepared to acquaint it with your own unique a lifestyle.

If you want to know what breed your dog is, you must go for a DNA test to understand the kind of dog you would have. It is always better to do your research in order to choose a breed of dog that suits your own attitude, tastes and behavior.  Additionally when you have an idea of what breed your dog is, you will observe the virtues and traits of the breed you own!  As said and clichéd for centuries, Dog is but Man’s best friend of course, as much as man is his own!

Why identify your dog’s breed

Without knowing the hereditary or genetic behavior and necessities of a dog, it is impossible to provide it with the apt care. Many of us are hardcore dog lovers such that when we come across a lonely and helpless pup on the road, the whole eternity fails to coax us to leave it be! We plunge out on the road and cup it up in our arms almost instantly as if it is our lost baby!

The aftermath of an irresponsible dog adopter’s ways and care results in sickness, disease and discomfort as well as illness in the pup during its growing years. Past the endless love and care that you shower on your pet, lay logic and wisdom.

Every dog deserves a fair chance

Adopting a stray dog instantly is never a crime, but it can turn into one if you are, caught in the ignorance of the dog’s necessities due to your infinite love and bewilderment.  It is necessary to identify a dog’s breed in order to provide it all the necessities, amenities and specifics that it needs by understanding the kind of dog you have. Every dog is different from another, not just because of its breed differences but its growing up as well as instinctual behavior. One must always have an estimate of the hereditary root of a dog in order to care for it the best.

Even if you are not a social activist in case of dog welfare, you must always select and meter out the characteristics and virtues that you are looking out in a dog beforehand, to live with it happily. Without knowing the basic urges, cravings, biological demands and other necessities of the dog you plan to select it is impossible to bring about any hygiene, health and happiness your life.

You should properly understand all dos and don’ts regarding the dog before the adoption procedures. Many characteristics require a thorough understanding of before selecting one to your personal and private setting called home. If you select a dog without thorough analysis, correction and research, you might end up having to face undue skin infection, diarrhea and a distressed or aggressive dog.

Testing dog DNA

One should be thoroughly, informed when selecting the choice of dog breed. In order to, conveniently select a pup or dog to acquaint to your life, you should be aware of its diet, cleaning, water, infrastructure and behavioral needs. Getting to know the base requirements of every dog breed makes you analyze and choose the right virtues that assert the behavior of the kind of dog you have. Go through a dog selection questionnaire to conclude certain virtues that is similar to your own homely situations or convenience.

How to recognize different breed of dogs

This takes us to finally analyze and comprehend the various types of dog breed in order to understand what kind of dog you have. There are but many ways to categorize different dogs. The best of which is, based on the idea of its size and nature, hence, keep the following in your head when deciding what kind of dog you have or want.

It is impossible to identify a dog’s breed by just a look as a dog can be, crossbred with various breeds that can be subtle or dominant in displaying its characteristics.

Only through a proper DNA test can one find out the right breed of dog that one has.  Some other accurate tests to infer your dog’s breed is through observation and cross-examination. A veterinarian can guide you to spot certain specific behavior of a breed of dog, but most dogs will have multiple ancestry evidences when the DNA test is, taken.

Veterinarians have many testing mechanisms that can determine the percentage of different breeds present in your dog. With the curiosity of the genetic information of your dog kept aside, many people want to determine the breed of a dog for reasons of extending ownership, exchanging pets and improvising the atmosphere, environment and infrastructure presently provided for the dog.

Dog breeds drawing

There are hundreds of different dog breeds with different behavior, intelligence, fur-size, aggression, skills, talents, emotional and physical growth such that identification processes that include just an hour long physical examination can go wrong or right, equivalently.

Hence, one must have a clear idea of the breed of dog that one has before providing care for it! Following provides some ways to examine and determine what kind of dog do you have, based on certain general characteristics. Although, you must always go for a DNA test to assert with evidence, the breed of your dog as the recessive virtues in your dog can detour you to wrongly, confirm the breed of your dog.

  1. Size:
      There are mainly four various sizes of dogs to select from. They are:

    • Toy: These dogs are generally, combined under groups of herding, hunting, sporting and companion dogs, which are lap warmers as with exceptionally adaptive indoor skills as well.
      There are lovely toy sized dogs in most breeds that are playful, intelligent, obedient, alert, attentive, watchful, sensitive and social. Some breeds of toy sized dogs are Poodle, Pug, Japanese chin, Maltese, Havanese, English Toy Spaniel, Italian Greyhound Toy, Chinese Crested, Chihuahua,  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Brussels Griffon, Affenpinscher, Toy Pinscher, Manchester Terrier Toy, Pekingese, Papillon, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu,  Yorkshire Toy Terrier, Silky Terrier Toy and Toy Fox terrier. These have a life span of 12-15 years.
    • Small: The second category to determine what kind of dog you have is based on the size of dogs that are bigger than toy size but smaller than medium built. These dogs are generally, encompassed under the groups of Herding, hounds, Sporting, terriers, sporting and hunting dogs. They are, known to be protective, amiable, sight and scent sensitive dogs that can be, trained to be exceptionally adaptive indoors.
      Some of the breeds of small sized dogs are Beagle, Dachshund, Basset Artesian Normand, Schipperke, Xoloitzcuintle,  Tibetan Spaniel, Patterdale Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Sussex Spaniel, West Highland White terrier, Lancashire Heeler, Lakeland Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Shiba inu, Jagdterrier, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Skye Terrier, Airdale Terrier;
      And also Scottish terrier, Cockapoo, Russian Spaniel, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Italian greyhound, Lowchen, Chow-chow, Samoyed, Plummer Terrier, Drever, Swedish Vallhund, Japanese terrier, Sealyham terrier, Bedlington terrier, Glen of Imaal terrier, Bichon Frise, Japanese Spitz, Volpina Italiano, Rat terrier, Dutch Dachsund, Carin terrier, Cesky terrier, Pomeranian, Jack Russell Terrier, Welsh terrier, Prazkzy krysarik, Black Norwegian Elkhound, Norwegian Lundehund and Keeshond.
    • Medium: the best category of dogs preferred is the medium-sized dogs. These are preferred are herding, sporting, hunting, hounds, tracking, casing, guiding and aiding man in different types of activities. Apart from the physical pace, strength and skills, these dogs are excellent companions as they are intelligent, clever, sportive, loving, playful as well as watchful kind.
      Some of the breed of medium sized dogs are Pont Audemer Spaniel, Boxer, Pumi, Bearded Collie, Puli, Portuguese Podengo, Australian Cattle Dog, Shetland Sheepdog, east Siberian Laika, Wetterhoun, Andalusian Hound, American Cocker Spaniel, Vizsla, silken Windhound, Catahoula Cur, Serbian Hound, Belgian Shepherd Tervuren, Dalmatian, Finnish Lapphund, American White Shepherd, Shar-Pei, Brittany, Whippet, American Pitbull terrier, Shikoku and English Shepherd.
    • Large: Bigger than medium sized dogs, these dogs are generally stronger and powerful than the regular apartment dogs. These wilder kinds of dogs are trained for military purposes, hunting, herding, athletic skills, and sporting as well as guardian tasks. They are powerful, watchful, obedient, aggressive, playful, amiable, loving, faithful and intelligent category of dogs.
      Some breeds are Rottweiler, Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Tibetan Mastiff, Great Dane, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Bouvier des flanders, Rajapalyam, Boerboel, Doberman Pinscher, Labrador Retriever,  Bohemian Shepherd, American Akita, Alano Espanol, Afghan Hound,  Briard, Komondor and Bloodhound.
    • Giant: The last categories of dogs based on their size are the giant dogs. Some of them grow higher and heavier than humans and are hence the hugest category of dogs. They are powerful, aggressive, gentle, loving as well as intelligent kind of dogs. Some of the breeds are Kuvasz, Landseer, Pakistani Mastiff, Greyhound, Great Pyrenees, Leonberger, Caucasian Ovtcharka, Giant Schnauzer and St. Bernard.
  1. Fur: Another important characteristic of determining what kind of dog you have is by observing the nature of their fur. Some dogs are hairless, like the Chinese crested while some have long, short, thin and thick hair. If your dog sheds quite a lot of hair, then you must conclude it as the hairy variety. Note your observation about the nature of hair or fur in your dog with this step. Also, note the bundling up of the hair, if at all as well as grooming techniques implemented in your dog.
  2. Drooling: Dogs drool excessively or in limited amount depending on the size of their upper lips. Some breeds of dogs that drool are Newfoundland, Mastiff, St. Bernard and bloodhounds. Additionally, the tartar build up in your dog can also instigate drooling.
  3. Hypoallergenic: Most dogs are hypoallergenic but the range of effect they have can be, varied. Some of the highly hypoallergenic dogs, possess a coat of hair that does not shed, but, produce dander, which causes the allergies in humans. Some of these hypoallergenic kind of dogs are Giant Schnauzer, Afghan Hound, Puli, Keeshond, Welsh Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Bichon Frise, Lowchen, Bedlington Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Airdale Terrier, Xoloitzcuintle, Norfolk Terrier, Shih-Tzu, Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon and Poodle.
  4. Behavior: Note the behavior of your dog regarding his feeding, barking, pooping, resting and playfulness. There might be distinct way of resting, sleeping, playing or moaning in him.
  5. Color: Note the colour of your dog’s skin as well as the texture of his hair.
    With all the above observations of your dog’s size, nature, behavior, hair, hypoallergenic and other activity-oriented reactions, consult a veterinarian to conclude the breed.

How to select your dog?

If you are looking to welcome a new dog to your family to help your present dog socialize, your kids learn responsibility and companionship or anything, you should first go through this questionnaire.

One such questionnaire is:

No: Question A B C D
1 What type of a dog do you need? Friendly Sporty Hunter Companion
2 What is the size of dog that you prefer? Tiny Medium Big Any Size
3 How smart a dog do you want? Smart Responsive Dumb Any rate
4 What activity do you prefer with your dog? Walking Playing at the beach Snuggling on sofa Hunting
5 What fur do you want in a dog? Furry Thin-haired Hairless Any
6 How much would you exercise with your dog? Rarely Occasionally Frequently Adaptable
7 What home do you have? Small Medium Big Any
10 How old are the kids at home 2> <2-5 <5-12 <13- Adults
12 Are you allergic to dogs? Yes No Maybe
13 Does drooling bother you? Yes No Maybe
14 What is your idea of domesticating? Parenting Petting Friendship Grouping

Answering the above:

  1. Depending on the energy, potential and characteristics of your own needs, one can easily conclude the type of dog to choose. When you want a dog for hunting or athletic responsibilities, you must be logical to choose one of the breed of hunter dogs or of the sort, to be successful in the act of deciding what kind of dog you have.
  2. There are dogs of all sizes and a dog that adapts to your sense of surroundings, needs and activities will determine the size of dog you want. Additionally, you should make sure that you encounter all of your size-related fears and choose a dog that you are unafraid of, finally.
  3. Depending upon the rate of smartness of your dog, you can analyse how much it can do to your own welfare. Exemplifying, an elderly will need a smart dog that aids, comprehends and responds to the older one’s needs, demands and emergencies. If you need a cute companion to be around, there are various breeds to fit in, as well.
  4. Once you know the kind of time and exercise that you want to spend with your dog, you will know how the dog wants to spent it. This determines what kind of dog do you have as well. Depending on the target time of exercising that you plan to do, you can understand the kind of energy you would want in a dog as well.
  5. Depending on the time of exercise you prefer to spend with your dog, you can judge the kind of activities both of you will like as well. You can train your dog into various assistant activities of hunting, chasing, tracking, walking and entertained as per your techniques of training.
  6. The idea of your own health conditions will make you understand the kind of dog you can have around. With aggressive health conditions, the closeness maintained with any pet is judgmental.
  7. Another important factor in selecting a dog to live with you is your own conditions of allergies in order to decide what kind of dog you have.
  8. With the knowledge of your own health conditions, now you should know how much of your own space are you ready to share with the dog you choose. Depending upon the space of your own house, you can understand the nature of the size of your choice of dog as well.
  9. The next answer you must be aware of is the rate of drooling bearable and comfortable to you as all dogs drool in extreme rates.
  10. Finally, you should know what you want to do with the dog. If your idea is to parent the dog, adopt a young pup. If you wish to train a dog to hunt and be sportive alongside you, you must train it to be so. As proclaimed since centuries, dog is but man’s best friend!

As dogs are, known to have been, evolved from foxes, it is difficult to have a predetermined idea of specific characteristics of dogs on a lone list in order to identify what kind of dog do you have.

The fact is dogs have evolved from another species that possess a drastic difference in physique, emotional and mental balance, which in turn also extends the chances of dogs possessing evolving and distinct characteristics even now.

Mixed dog breads

Choice of a breed of dog should be dependent on the dog’s behavior, texture of hair, nature, response, and skills. Bringing a dog to your own private or personal space requires a clear idea of everything that your dog demands and requires to be healthy. Along with selecting or determining a dog’s breed, make sure you have a regular veterinarian’s consultation, notes and observation regarding how to take care of your dog.

Good Luck!

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

  • Daisy Simmons

    Sure, I’ve had this vague idea of the many kinds of dogs there are, but only this article made me actually scrutinize the fact that THERE ARE MANY KINDS OF DOGS! The point where a dna test is required to identify a dog’s breed, is a factor I came to terms with. Our vet didn’t really illustrate the sheer number, which isn’t her fault at all but I am very glad that I encountered this article nonetheless. This would doubtless lead to numerous google searches. Is it possible to have more trivia about dog breeds than one has use for?

    • There are hundreds of dog breeds and I really do believe that there’s always something distinct. DNA testing is the gold standard in identifying the breed so far.

  • Robin James

    I also recommend buying some books with breeds classifications and characteristics, so it would be comfortable in the future to find a dog for your kids or friends. There are a lot of such books with many images and interesting facts.

  • Reading more resource material (especially those with pictures) can help narrow down the breeds that resembles your dog. This can be a great learning experience for the family, I must say.

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