This post is sponsored by Wisdom Panel® Canine DNA Tests.
Beau's original adoption listing said he was a mix of Miniature Schnauzer and Yorkshire Terrier. We have no idea if his owners gave that description when they surrendered him to the shelter, or if it was just a guess made by a vet or the rescue group or what. We do know that the "Schnauzer" part seemed to mostly be based on his pre-haircut appearance, because once his fur was groomed it was clear his actual snout wasn't all that Schnauzer-like after all.
His foster mom agreed, and added her personal guess of terrier breeds mixed with wire-haired Dachshund, based on his legs and feet. Our vet said he was all terrier: Yorkie, Jack Russell, Cairn, and probably a good smattering of others. When I would play around with online tools and surveys based on his physical appearance, I would get wildly weird results, like Pomeranian and Shih Tzu.
The guessing game can be fun at first, but also hugely frustrating. What ARE you, dog?
I've been sent photos of several Beau doppelgangers from all over the country -- crazy identical pups, right down to eyebrow coloring and the flippy floppy ears. And I would immediately ask the same question everybody asks us: WHAT KIND OF DOG IS THAT?
And their answer would always be the same as ours: No idea. A mixed breed of unknown origins. Sure is cute, though.
GUESS WHAT. WE KNOW NOW. !!!
Quite a few readers/followers suggested we try testing Beau's DNA with a kit from Wisdom Panel, and I very literally had my finger on the order button when I was asked if I'd like to participate in a sponsored campaign. (Oh how I love when that happens!) Um, yes. YES I VERY MUCH WOULD.
The kit arrived, we cleared away some Legos, swabbed the inside of Beau's cheek while he sat there looking rather confused, then sealed up the samples and dropped it right in the mailbox.
A couple weeks later, an email arrived with a link to Beau's full results, and we had our Big Answer:
HAHAHAHAHA. Look at that little overgrown purse dog.
Beau is half Chihuahua. HALF CHIHUAHUA. And then a mix of Bichon Frise and Pekingese. Three breeds that never came up as possibilities; breeds no one ever guessed.
And yet, there is is. Genetics are so unbelievably fascinating.
Beau got a super-short summer haircut this weekend, and we all mildly freaked out because he looks like a completely different dog now. He looks so much smaller without all his fluff, and yes, he looks A LOT like a Chihuahua. With a Bichon face and Pekingese paws.
(I've been doing a LOT of Google Image Searching for dogs lately, yes.)
The irony here is delicious: I spent the entirety of Ceiba's life correcting people who assumed she was a Chihuahua. EVERYONE always thought she was a Chihuahua. No! I am not Paris Hilton! She's a Miniature Pinscher! A completely different kind of yappy little rat dog, thank you very much.
And now I've got a secret half-Chihuahua in disguise. The only correct response here is "LOL."
All this to say, huge thumbs up to Wisdom Panel, and I highly HIGHLY recommend anyone with a mystery mutt give them a try. Or even if you think you know, there might be some surprises going back a generation or two. And it's more than just for entertainment or bet-settling, since knowing exactly what breeds you're dealing with can be really helpful for behavior, training and health purposes. We now have a better idea of what a healthy adult weight really is for Beau, for example, and he tested negative for a couple gene mutations, including MDR1. And all three of Beau's breeds are big on reward-based training, which: YEP.
(Guess who accidentally got out last night for the first time in ages! Guess who came right back the second I called for him! I am officially the dog whisperer of string-cheese-based training.)