What Breed is My Puppy? Understanding the Basics of Canine Identification 

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how to tell what breed your dog is If you’ve just welcomed a new puppy into your home, you may be wondering what breed it is. Identifying the breed of a puppy can seem daunting, but there are several steps pet parents can take to get an accurate answer. To learn how to identify your pup’s breed, read on to learn how we tell what a dog’s breed is and how to do it yourself as dog owners. It’s also important because DNA and lineage can help predict health issues like hip dysplasia or incorrect head shape. It’s important to get to know the American Kennel Club, the breed standard for purebred dogs like German Shepherds, Border Collies, and Chow Chow.

Physical Characteristics 

Most breeds have distinct physical features that make them recognizable even when they’re puppies. Dog lovers may be able to recognize some of these features in your pup, such as floppy ears or short fur, or a particular nose shape. Additionally, certain dog breeds come in specific colors, like black and white or brown and tan, which may help narrow down the possibilities and kind of dog. These physical characteristics can provide helpful clues as to the possible different dog breeds of your pup, especially if you’ve been exposed to various breeds in the past and can recognize their differences. A mixed-breed dog might be a little harder to guess as opposed to specific breeds, so let’s explore some other ways.

Behavioral Characteristics 

Every dog has unique personality traits that distinguish it from other dogs, but some traits are characteristic of particular breeds. For example, herding dogs are known for their high energy levels, while lapdogs tend to be more laid back. If you observe your pup’s behavior carefully, it may be possible to determine the breed of dog based on its habits or tendencies, such as barking frequency or curiosity level. Of course, this is not an exact science – puppies are still developing, so their behaviors may not reflect those of an adult dog – but it could provide further clues about what breed your pup is most likely related to. 

DNA Tests 

If all else fails, there is always the option of getting a DNA test done on your pup in order to definitively figure out his breed(s) with detailed data, including possible health conditions or the discovery of rare breeds. This is really the best way to get hard data on your dog’s ancestry in a timely manner. DNA tests are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain; with many different DNA test kits, all it takes is a simple cheek swab sample from your pup and then sending it off for processing. The results will give you insight into his genetic makeup and tell you definitively what type(s) of breeds make up your little pup!  

How to Identify your Dog’s Breed At Home 

Step 1: Start With the Basics 

The first step in identifying your puppy’s breed is to look at the physical appearance that tends to be unique to certain breeds. Does your pup have a double coat like a Golden Retriever? Pointed ears like a Pomeranian? A wrinkled forehead like a Shar-Pei? Looking closely at your dog’s appearance will help narrow down its possible breeds. 

Step 2: Consider Your Dog’s Personality 

Certain breeds are known for having certain temperaments and personalities, so consider if these traits match up with those typically associated with the breeds you have identified by looking at physical features in Step 1. For example, Terriers tend to be energetic and active, while Cocker Spaniels tend to be loving and affectionate. If these personality traits match up with what you observe in your pup, it could provide further evidence as to its breed identity, with the wild card of a mix-breed dog. 

Step 3: Reach out to the rescue organization or person that you adopted your furry friend from. They might have information pertaining to the mix of breeds in your pet before you go in on dog DNA testing just to learn more about your dog’s heritage.

Step 3: Take Advantage of DNA Testing Tools 

The most accurate way to determine what breed your pup is would be through DNA testing tools such as Embark or Wisdom Panel. These tests can provide an exact answer as to which breeds make up your pup’s genetic makeup — even if it is a mix of multiple different breeds! You can collect their DNA sample by brushing their fur and sending it off for testing — easy as that!  

Checking Out Local Resources 

If you don’t have any papers from the breeder or find yourself still unsure after visiting the vet, consider asking around locally. It’s possible that somebody in your community might recognize the particular mix of characteristics common in different breeds present in your puppy. This could be particularly true if there are any rare or uncommon breeds native to the area! You can also search online for specific combinations of traits and see if anything reminds you of your little one. 

Which Option is Best For You?

Identifying the breed of your puppy doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful! By taking advantage of the resources available — from looking at physical features and personality traits to using DNA testing tools — you can easily determine which breeds make up your furry companion without too much hassle. So go ahead — take some time today to uncover more about the origins of your beloved pup!