At least once a week while out on a walk with Dahlia, someone stops me and says some variation of “Your dog is gorgeous” or “I had a dog who looked just like this,” which is often followed by the question I can never quite formulate an answer to: “What is she?”
I have, literally, had this question shouted at me by people on bikes, by people walking their dogs across the road, and once even by someone who was stopped at a stoplight and just had to know.
The answer? I have no idea. Dahlia was picked up as a stray as an adult. Her mix is entirely unknown to me. I have ideas of course, based on her looks and her personality (and ok, a bit of research into canine genetics because I’m an obsessive type) and I will share those guesses but really that’s all they are. I tend to call her a “Hairy Black Farm Dog” these days and leave it at that.
But then this Christmas my mother (bless her soul), got us a Wisdom Panel DNA test. For those who have never heard of this, the basic gist is you swab your dog’s cheek to gather up some DNA and send it off to them. Their lab analyzes it and sends you information on your dog’s ancestry. Are they a purebred? Are they a “designer” dog (a 50/50 mix between two purebreds) or is their mix a little more complicated than that.
Of course, there are a lot of discussions on how accurate these tests really are. Looking through the dogs on the Wisdom Panel site, some seem likely to match at least part of their ancestry. Some seem so far off it’s ridiculous (we’ll have Kelsey share her Wisdom Panel story in a followup post). But since I have the test, we’ll be doing it.
So I thought it would be fun to open this up to our TU readers to see what you think Dahlia might be before we get back the results.
Let me first tell you a bit about Dahlia: She’s currently approximately 7 1/2 years old (best guess). She weighs 50 pounds and measures 20.25″ at the withers. She is fairly mellow, but can get the energy up to do agility. She is a very quiet dog, unless the UPS truck comes by or she sees the horses at the agility barn. She is almost all black, except for some white at her haunches and on her belly, and she has a thick double coat. Her favorite things to do are play tug, squeak her toys, chase the geese and ducks at the park, and get belly rubs.
Below you will find a variety of photos that should give you a good idea of what she looks like.
And some side views.
And here are some action shots of her so you can see her moving.
For results from this test, see the follow up post here.