What Breed Is My Dog?


Pedigree dogs are beautiful, but there is something special about mixed breed dogs. With a pedigree dog, you know what to expect because these dogs are bred to have a certain appearance and temperament. But, mixed breed dogs are a mystery, and because of this, your dog will often have a personality and appearance that is totally unique to them. 

There are lots of different types of mixed breed dogs. There are mixed breed dogs that are bred from two different pedigree breeds, such as labradoodles that are half Labrador, and half poodle. These mixed breeds are considered designer dogs, and a lot of people now consider them to be pedigrees. Alternatively, there are mixed breed dogs which are a mixture of multiple breeds, making it difficult to tell what breeds your dog is made up of. 

Thankfully, even if your dog is a mixed breed, there are ways for you to identify what breeds they are linked to. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at how to find out what breed your dog is, so if you want to know, keep on reading.

What Breed Is My Dog?

Table of Contents

The Difference Between Pedigree And Mixed Breed Dogs

First, let’s take a quick look at what the difference is between a pedigree dog, and a mixed breed dog. Pedigree dogs are dogs which are dogs who are parented by two of the same breed.

These breeds must be recognized by dog registration schemes or society for them to be considered pedigree. For example, a breed of dog must be recognized by the Kennel Club for it to be pedigree. 

Pedigree dogs differ from mixed breed dogs because of their parentage.

As we have said, pedigree dogs are parented by two of the same breed, and this makes them part of the same unique breed bloodline.

In contrast, mixed breed dogs are parented by two different breeds of dog.

Here are some mixed breed dogs that are quite well-known that we’ve written about:

In mixed breed dogs, their parents do not have to be pedigree, and they might be mixed breeds themselves. This is why mixed breed dogs tend to have a lot of different breeds in their genetics. 

Typically, pedigree dogs are very easy to identify because they have certain characteristics in their appearance and temperament.

In fact, you will often find that some pedigree breeds look almost identical to one another.

But identifying the breeds that make up your mixed breed dog is often a lot more difficult. So, let’s take a look at how you can do this. 

Identifying Breed Through Appearance

Signs to look Out For

Identifying Breed Through Appearance

One way to identify the breeds that make up your dog is to look at their appearance. Some breeds of dog have clear characteristics that make them easy to identify.

So, if your dog is a mixed-breed which is made up of 2 dominant breeds, you might be able to identify these breeds by simply looking at them. 

For example, if your dog is part German Shepherd, they might have a large body with a sloping back, and black and tan fur.

These physical characteristics will enable you to identify that your dog is part German Shepherd. 

Likewise, if your dog is a smaller build with a flat face and a short coat, you might be able to identify that they are part pug or French bulldog. 

Identifying breed through appearance is difficult if your dog is made up of multiple different breeds. But, if your dog has fewer breeds in its genetics, then this is a lot easier.

If you find that you can’t identify your dog’s breed by looking at them, then you might be able to do it by observing their behavior instead.

Identifying Breed Through Behavior

But, if you are unable to identify your dog’s breed by looking at their appearance, you might be able to do so by looking at their behavior instead.

Every breed of dog has behavioral characteristics that are totally unique to them.

Some of these characteristics include the way that some breeds bark, others will include the way that they play fetch. Even the way that they behave around their owners can be a characteristic.

For example, German Shepherds and Border Collies are bred to shepherd sheep. Due to this, they have natural herding instincts.

This means that if your mixed breed dog spends a lot of time showing herding behavior, then it is likely because your mixed breed dog is mixed with a breed of dog that has shepherding instincts.

Your dog may also be part German Shepherd if they exhibit protective behavior around their owners, because these breeds are often bred as guard dogs.

Likewise, a dog that shows protective instincts could also be part Doberman or part Rottweiler. 

Every breed of dog was bred for something. So, by watching your dog’s behavior, you will likely be able to trace it back to their breed.

However, there is only one way to get definitive confirmation of the breeds that make up your dog. That is to do a DNA test. 

Identifying Breed Through DNA

If you want a definitive explanation of your dog’s breed, then you will need to do a DNA test.

Just a few years ago, it would have seemed strange to do a DNA test on your dog. But thanks to companies such as Wisdom Panel, this is now considered normal.

A lot of people are now doing DNA tests on their dog to identify their dog’s breed, even those who own a pedigree breed. 

Completing a DNA test on your dog is simple. All you have to do is take a saliva sample from the inside of your dog, using the kit that Wisdom Panel will send you.

Then the sample will be sent to the lab and analyzed. Within a number of weeks you will hear back from the company. You will receive a full breakdown of your dog’s breed. 


In short, identifying your dog’s breed isn’t always the easiest task. Unless you have bought a pedigree dog from a breeder.

But, there are a number of ways that you can do this, including observing their behavior and appearance.

However, if you want to definitively identify your dog’s breed, you should do so using a dog DNA test, such as Wisdom Panel.


How can I tell what breed my dog is?

Look for physical characteristics that are common in certain breeds. Observing your dog’s behavior and instincts can provide clues about their breed heritage. But if these aren’t good enough to tell, try professional and scientific help. Your veterinarian might be able to offer insights into your dog’s potential breed mix based on their experience and knowledge of dog breeds. DNA testing kits designed for dogs can provide information about your dog’s breed composition.

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