Guess! That! Breed!

Look at that adorable pup.  Our little fur-baby, aka Jimmy McNulty, aka Monkey, aka Fuzzypants, aka “God dammit get out of my way!”  (That last one would be David as he trips over the dog, who is glued to his feet while he cooks dinner, for about the 50th time in a span of 5 minutes.)  For all his quirks and laziness, we love our dog.  The story of how he came to us is a little long for my purposes today, but suffice it to say he was a full-grown adult stray of indeterminate breed and age when he came into our life four years ago.

People never grow tired of cooing over how adorable he is or asking his breed or guessing at his breed when we tell them we don’t know.  Most people say he looks like a Toto (Cairn terrier) or a Westie or a Norwich terrier – all of which is true, except that those breeds max out at about 15 lbs, and he’s closer to 30 lbs.  Our vet imagined he might be one of those breeds mixed with a wire-haired Jack Russell, giving him his wiry coat and big teeth – also fine, but again, Jack Russells are much smaller than our McNulty.  We’ve also heard comparisons to Corgis, and the weight there is closer to what he is, but he’s not really long and squat enough for that.  So generally, we say he’s a terrier mix of some sort, and that’s likely true if somewhat unspecific.

From left to right: Cairn Terrier, West Highland White Terrier (Westie), Norwich Terrier, Parson Jack Russell Terrier, Pembroke Welsh Corgi (source: American Kennel Club)

I’ve been pondering lately the DNA-based dog breed testing, though.  Not because we need to know – honestly, it doesn’t matter; it’s not going to change what kind of dog he is or how we feel about him to find out what breeds might be lurking in his DNA.  But I’m curious, just because I am.  Vets and shelters who have used the tests say that they’ve been wrong about the breeds they’ve guessed something like 60% of the time, so maybe he has no terrier in him at all!  Seems unlikely, but I suppose it’s possible.  Tests tend to run about $80, which seems a little steep for something that really makes no difference in the end.  Am I crazy that I still kinda want to know?  What would you do?


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