Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lets Play: Guess The Breed!

At the end of August, I adopted a sweet little black dog that I wound up naming "Macy" as a companion for Ranger and I. She fit the bill for everything I was looking for: gentle, sweet, easy to handle, even-tempered, great with Ranger, good with other animals (cats and dogs included), good with kids (we were actually able to "kid test" her the day I adopted her since a little girl was having her birthday party there at the Humane Society), and the list goes on and on...

When I adopted Macy, I knew that she had some major health issues going on with her heart thanks to the consultation with the humane society staff & vets. I immediately had a soft spot for her because I have some heart issues too! When I took Macy to my vet, he said that he had only seen one other dog make it past the first week of life with all of those heart issues; the other dog was a 16 yr old Poodle! So, even though some vets have put her life expectancy around 1-2 more years, you just never know! Hopefully, she will turn out to be like that 16 yr old Poodle and have a long, happy life. Macy is around 4 years old now and is now on daily meds, has gained a healthy amount of weight since being adopted, and is excelling in training!

One of the big questions surrounding Macy when I first adopted her was, "what is she"? Every friend and family member seemed to have a guess as to what she was mixed with: Lab, Chow Chow, Doberman, Border Collie, Rottie, Pit/American Staffordshire Terrier....the lists went on and on! I decided to have Macy tested with the Wisdom Panel Insights Dog DNA test. My reasons for having Macy tested were:

1. I wanted to have a better idea of what breeds she may be mixed with so that the vets and I can specifically taylor a medical treatment plan that will best suite her needs from a breed perspective (different breeds/mixes do better with different treatment options).

2. I wanted to know what breeds Macy was mixed with out of sheer curiosity! Now when people ask me "what kind of dog is that?", I can give them an answer!

3. I wanted to know what she was mixed with so that I could custom taylor my training techniques with her as well. Both of my dogs are in training and it  is much easier to train a dog when you know their genetic background/breed and how you need to work with that animal. Different breeds respond differently to training techniques. For instance, you typically wouldn't train a Chihuahua the same way you would train a German Shepherd. One is a companion, the other a herding dog; different dogs benefit from different techinques!

Well ladies and gentlemen, I finally have a conclusive answer thanks to the Wisdom Panel Insights test! The results are as follows:

Macy is: American Staffordshire Terrier (slang term for that would be "Pit Bull"), Rottweiler, and Chow Chow!

Some people might think those combinations must make her some sort of "Cujo", but that couldn't be further from the truth!  Macy is a gentle as they come and I would trust that dog with my life. In my experience, it's not the breed so much that necessarily determines if you have a "good dog", it's the owners and the environment. I use positive reinforcement training with both of my dogs and both of them are lovely! :)

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