The results are in!

dahlia1Not that long ago we here at Team Unruly asked you to weigh in on what breeds you thought Dahlia might be before we got back the results from her Wisdom Panel DNA test. We received many great responses, but there was a general theme among them:

1. Dahlia has some sort of retriever in her. By far this was the most popular suggestion. Guesses included Labrador Retriever, Flat-Coated Retriever,  Golden Retriever, and Curly-Coated Retriever.

2. There could very well be some sort of herding breed in her mix. Most common suggestions were Border Collie and Australian Shepherd. Also suggested was the English Shepherd.

Other more minor guesses included some bits of Spaniel, Newfie, and maybe a Spitz breed, possibly a Samoyed (because she has the world’s largest tail).

My opinion, for many months now, has been that she’s a Border Collie/Golden Retriever mix. I’ve done a fair bit of research on canine genetics (or at least, the layman’s understanding of canine genetics) and found a few interesting things regarding this:

1. Short coats are dominant to long coats, which led me to believe Dahlia’s parentage came mostly from long-coated dogs.
2. Black is dominant to gold.
3. Solid coloring is dominant to parti-coloring.

You can read more on this from Retrieverman here.

What this means is that Border Collies and Golden Retrievers tend to have almost all black puppies. There’s a photo on the Retrieverman page I linked of a known mix of these two dogs who is a dead ringer for Dahlia. I’ve been pretty convinced for a long time now that this is what her mix is. And it seems many people agree something along that line is likely.

Enter The Wisdom Panel Test. Sending the test kit off is easy. We swabbed Dahlia’s cheek with the two swabs provided, let them air dry as instructed, and then put them back in the mailer, sealed it up and sent it off. It went out on Saturday, January 25 and we received our report via e-mail on February 5.

So what is she? Well, according to the test, on one side she’s a mix of Labrador Retriever and Italian Greyhound. No, really, Italian Greyhound. For those who don’t know much about them, they look like this:


Photo from Wikipedia

They weigh approximately 8 to 18 pounds. Are you laughing yet?

Ok so that’s one side. On the other she was evaluated as being so mixed they couldn’t really sort out what might be there. But they did make several suggestions they found “traces” of:

Anatolian Shepherd (a large livestock guardian, weighs 80-150 pounds)
Great Pyrenees (another large livestock guardian; weighs 85-130 pounds)
Glen of Imaal terrier (a scruffy little terrier, fairly rare breed; weighs 30-35 pounds)
Bichon Frise (a fuzzy white lapdog; weighs 10-20 pounds)
English Springer Spaniel (a medium-sized gun dog; weighs 35-55 pounds; at least one of the dogs on the list weighs around what Dahlia weighs)

Some years back, Team Unruly member Kelsey had her dog Lucy tested by the same company. For those who don’t remember Lucy, she’s this lovely muppet of a dog.



Like Dahlia, Lucy is a shelter mutt of unknown origin. She weighs about 60 pounds and her mix is entirely unknown. Most guesses about her breed include Airedale Terrier, Doberman/Poodle mix, Schnauzer, and German Wire-Haired pointer.

So what did her Wisdom Panel come up with? It said that the most prominent breeds in her were Malamute and Miniature Bull Terrier. Go ahead, scroll back up to her picture and just think about that.

Conclusion: A big thumbs down from the Team Unruly quarter. Inaccurate at best. A total scam at worst.


20 thoughts on “The results are in!

  1. Yeah. All the results I’ve heard about from Wisdom Panel seem really … suspect.

    One person who had three unrelated dogs that sent them all in at the same time had a panel that said all three had pekenese as a dominant. They are some sort of pit bull mixes. So yeah. I don’t think they keep a very clean lab, for starters.

    There is a blood draw test that is available at the vet. I’ve wondered if that one has more believable results.

    • I did the blood draw test for Ruby. Her results came back as predominantly Border Collie and Jack Russell which I entirely believe based on her physical and behavioral traits and her resemblance to many Border Jacks I’ve seen. It does seem that most reviews/results I see though are less believable if not outright ridiculous.

    • Not keeping a clean lab would cause an issue too, definitely! I do wonder if a blood draw one would be more accurate…but I definitely don’t have the money to experiment!

  2. Yeah, that sounds totally unbelievable! There doesn’t seem to be a hint of Italian greyhound in sweet Dahlia. Everyone I’ve heard who’s taken these tests has come up with similarly wild/unbelievable results, so I’ve come to chalk them up to something of a crock. But creative nonetheless! Whatever she is, Dahlia is a beautiful dog!

    • I did the blood draw test for Ruby. Her results came back as predominantly Border Collie and Jack Russell which I entirely buy based on her physical and behavioral traits and her resemblance to many Border Jacks I’ve seen. It does seem that most reviews/results I see though are less believable if not outright ridiculous.

    • I cannot imagine there’s any Italian Greyhound in her. That just seems a wee bit wrong. And hilarious. I sort of feel bad because my mother spent money on it and it’s pretty much a scam!

  3. I recall hearing that DNA tests do fairly well when the dog’s parents were purebreds or close to it, but get really random if you have a multi-generation mutt. I don’t know if that’s true or not.

    But I think you’re right – if Dahlia’s not a Golden/Border cross, she sure ended up with the exact appearance of one.

    • That’s sort of the interesting thing about it. She looks exactly like known crosses of that mix. And she certainly acts like she could be of that cross. So either she’s so mixed that she ended up looking exactly like that mix…or she IS that mix. Either way I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have Italian Greyhound in her!

  4. I am still not sure how I feel about these tests. I have done it three times. The first I had no idea of what the dog really is but the results were dead on with his suspected mix (one parent was purebred and the other parent had one purebred parent). The second was insane and impossible. And strangely similar to the first dog even though they were nothing alike. So I wonder if “keep their mouth from touching anything” is a big factor. The third, we knew what mom was and the test got it exactly. But the other side was unbelievable.. So I am not sure what to think! It’s obviously somewhat reliable since it picked up on the known parent.

  5. Could I ask what was Dahlia “expected weight range”? I did this on my 100% mix everyone guesses german shepherd/malinois retriever mix of a girl. She came up Redbone Coonhound 50% and a bunch of other terrier mixes with a weight range of 30-50. I did this mostly for fun. But it seems like when the dogs origin is 100% unknown mix the results are very scattered. My girl has always been 65-75lbs.. has pointy shepherd ears, retriever tail and bloomers and did I mention fuzzy furry coat….

    • I never honestly would have done this if my mother hadn’t given me one as a present because I’ve seen some pretty wonky results. Dahlia’s “expected weight range” was 53-81 pounds. She weighs about 50, so that was somewhat close. But I guess that’s what you get when you mix a 6 pound dog with a 150 pound dog. LOL

      • thanx. I don’t think I would ever do this test again. I know where my dog came from (MX…where there are no redbone coonhounds a wandering) and I’ve seen her brothers who all look like german shepherd mixes.

  6. Oh rats. My dog Spencer looks just like your girl and we too have the same suspicion as you, border collie/flat black retriever. Our test with Wisdom is being processed right now so I’ll be very curious to see the results. I’ve had three vets and three dog breeders confirm our suspicions so we will see what happens. I’ll let you know what comes back.

    • Oh please let me know what the results are! I’ve seen some great results come back and I wonder if mine somehow got mixed up.

    • What a gorgeous dog! And I’d believe that mix definitely! I do sometimes wonder if their was a mix-up with Dahlia’s. They offered a refund but only if we could find the receipt, which had sadly been lost. I may have to try again sometime!

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