If you have a marvelous mutt or mixed breed you need to read this – Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker discusses a recent experiment which assessed a person’s ability to identify which breeds make up a mixed-breed dog based on the dog’s appearance. The guesses made by the 10,000 study participants were then compared to DNA tests for the dogs. The guesses were accurate only 25% of the time.
It is rare that there will be witnesses to the breeding which results in mixed breed puppies. Therefore, when these puppies or adult dogs end up in a shelter or rescue, they will be labeled with a breed or mix of breeds based on their appearance. Based on this recent study, as well as other studies, it is very likely that the label will be entirely wrong. For this reason, many shelters are no longer guessing a mutts lineage and are just labeling them according to size and color. To me that makes sense, as people often have expectations about a dog’s temperament and behavior based on that breed label, and since it is wrong, may end up disappointed.