We have, of course, fallen head over heels in love with her, but over time it has become abundantly clear that she is NOT a lab/retriever mix.
|ADORABLE! Love that puppy face!|
It seems silly, but we (and when I say WE, I really mean I) started to really wonder what kind of dog she was. I found lots of information on-line, but it was all just a guess. She has a block head, but not quite as blocky as a pit, we thought maybe some hound because when we go for walks her nose is to the ground the entire time.
Why does it matter? To me, there were a handful of questions that I really thought were important.
- How big will she get? She's not a huge girl, and labs typically are big dogs. At around 8 months old she weighs 48 pounds. When you think about it, dog food labels base how much food you should give a dog on their adult weight. If you have a dog that will weigh 80 pounds when they are fully grown, you feed them differently than a dog that will weigh 50 pounds.
- In training her, what behaviors should we be aware of? What types of challenges can we expect from her? Some dogs respond well to strict training and others are more stubborn and require a more reward based training.
- Most importantly, how can we best work with her to keep the peace between her, Copper, (our Sheltie) and our 2 cats.
"A dog’s ancestry can influence him in surprising ways. Obvious and not-so-obvious physical traits plus behaviors like digging, herding and barking all come from the various breeds in a dog’s family tree. Once an owner understands a dog’s natural tendencies, it makes it possible to create a tailored training, exercise and nutrition program to fit his one-of-a-kind needs."EXACTLY what I was thinking! After some emailing back and forth with their PR folks, they agreed to send me a free kit in exchange for sharing the information on my blog and I couldn't wait! The kit came in the mail in just a few days and I got started immediately!
Just a short time later, our results arrived! It can take up to 4 weeks, but ours only took 10 days. The first image that I saw when I clicked to view the report made me laugh out loud!
American Staffordshire Terrier - definitely! But Siberian Husky? Shiba Inu? And what the heck is a Vizsla?
American Staffordshire Terrier is generally the same thing as a pitbull and makes up the majority of Maggie's DNA profile. The size is about right, and look at that pic of the dog in the middle above. Is she smiling? We have had some trouble with her and Copper getting along and we've chalked it up to them establishing dominance, but now I'll definitely be researching how to better work with her.
The Siberian Husky is crossed with a mixed breed , as is the Shiba Inu and the Vizsla, but she definitely has behaviors that come from each! Remember the hound that keeps its nose to the ground? That's the Vizsla! She's also shy around strangers, loves water and is a darn good retriever.
We also received predictions about Maggie's adult weight, and it's a huge relief to me knowing that she is nearly full grown. I've never had a large breed dog before and it's been a challenge to train her to walk with me without pulling me. I can't imagine what I'd do if she was to get much bigger!
Overall, we received 12 pages of information and every page was so interesting! Of course we know that she is a true MUTT and who knows what really makes up our little Maggie Mae, but we learned so much about what we can expect and what we can do to better train her. In addition, we have more information to provide to Maggie's vet so that he can better care for her in the future.
Typically, the Wisdom Panel Breed Identification DNA Test costs $79.99, but I found it available on amazon.com for $64.99. The experience (in case you can't tell) was a lot of fun for me and I think it would make a great gift idea, too, for any pet lover who wonders about what makes up their mutt!
I was provided a free kit by Wisdom Panel in exchange for promoting them on the blog, but all opinions are mine.