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Can I Find Out What Breed My Fur Baby Is?

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Did you get your dog from a shelter or rescue and wonder what breed he or she is?

With the increasing number of adoptions of stray, shelter and rescue dogs, many dog parents don’t know the backgrounds of their newly adopted friends and this has become a frequent question.  There is now a way to put this age old question to rest and  narrow this guessing game down.  It has been shown that mixed breed dogs can look quite different from their litter mates and so we can’ t judge “a book by its cover”.

The Wisdom DNA test is a simple procedure that can help determine a dog’s breed. Here’s how it works:

It’s simple to administer and very user friendly – you wipe the supplied q-tip against the inside of your dog’s cheek and then seal the q-tip in the sample bag (also supplied) and send it off to obtain your test results. You get two q-tip samplers with your test pack, so you have a back-up if you messed up the first one.

The test instructions tell you that it’s important your dog doesn’t eat anything for 2 hours prior to testing, as eating, chewing or even licking anything (basically anything inside the dog’s mouth) within that time can contaminate the test result. This is the source of most errors.

The test is basically a type of genotyping – it reads PCR markers (or bands) to determine the percentages of the different breeds that make up your dog’s DNA. It can determine percentages only (for example 50% doberman and 50% poodle) and not exact lineage. So even if the test comes out as 100% poodle, it cannot determine which poodles are your dog’s parents. There are other DNA tests that breeders can get which may assist with determining parentage, but the Wisdom DNA test is a breed percentage test only.

It’s important to remember that the test will only show breed percentages of 12.5% or more. And it’s a simple fact of genetics that recessive genes do carry through. So your dog may be the offspring of two dogs that appear to be pure-bred, but if there is a slight percentage of another breed in their lineage, then a recessive gene may carry through to your dog, making it look more like its un-typical ancestor than its parents. Similarly, if you have a dog with a real mixture of different breeds (the old Heinz 57 varieties dog), if none of those breeds make up 12.5% or more of your dog’s DNA you won’t get a positive result for any breed.

So if you’ve ever wondered why your beagle looks more like a poodle or vice versa, the Wisdom DNA test (full name Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit) may just be the answer you’re looking for. It may also solve the mystery of who is likely to be the sire of your dog’s puppies: the German shepherd up the road or the Labrador you thought it was. It can point towards breed traits that are more likely than not, including helping to predict size, appearance and temperament, and maybe even explain a few unsolved mysteries. It’s simple to use, doesn’t hurt your dog, it’s quick. The test kit comes with full instructions and a back-up q-tip sampler incase of accidental contamination of the first sample. The test is scientifically proven and you receive a full written report explaining the test results.

You can get the Wisdom DNA test kit here.  It is a very handy tool for dog owners wanting to determine a dog’s breed with no apparent down-side, so why not give it a try?

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  2. Avatar Of Mary Adams

    Mary Adams


    I had my dog tested through the vet with a blood test. It was amazing – he is not at all the breed we thought. I will do it again if I get another mixed breed rescue.

  3. Avatar Of Lynn



    I used a different service and the results that came back were a bit bizarre. They did not give the advice about not eating/chewing/licking anything for the prior two hours. I think I swabbed my dog after a walk and she almost always picks up a bone of some sort from the gutter. Perhaps another dog had the bone in it’s mouth before she did and that contaminated her test.

    Also, they required a photo of the pet which led me to wonder if they were just guessing about breeds rather than doing an actual DNA test.

  4. Avatar Of Pamela



    Downside????? $64 on Amazon.com I know Lucy is part schnauzer… Don’t think it’s worth that much to find out the other half.

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