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The Big DNA Reveal: Boogie

The guesses for Boogie were really interesting and Boogie was particularly flattered that some of you think he’s a pretty handsome dude. He’s been bugging me for his own Facebook page, ever since I let him read your comments.

Before I reveal Boogie’s DNA results, which are far more complicated than Birdie’s results, I thought I’d share what Boogie’s dad and I thought he was, based on behavior and physical characteristics.

Boogie is muscular, but slender compared to the average pit bull.  Also, his fur is much longer and his tail is much thicker. So it was clear to us that he was a mix.

Completely obsessed with playing ball, Boogie reminds us of a Lab. He was a stray dog found in the backwoods of Maine, so it also made sense that he might be a Lab mix because (you may not know this if you’re from away) Mainers are required, by law, to own Black Labs. Ok, maybe it’s not a law, but they’re the state dog, no doubt about it.

So our guess was Lab mix. And we weren’t sure if there would be any pit bull markers in the results at all.

Or he might be a pure bred DINOS:

So what did Boogie turn out to be? Here are the results!

Boogie's DNA results

 

What’s the deal with all those mixed breeds in there, you ask?

Here are the five other breeds that they report are present in his DNA panel:

 

Boogie's DNA results

So what does this mean for Boogie? It means he’s not a Lab! It also means he’s, in all likelihood, a pit bull. 

In an explanation of the various breeds that are present in his results, here’s what Wisdom has to say about DNA testing for pit bulls:

“The term “Pitbull” does not refer to a single or recognized breed of dog, but rather to a genetically diverse group of breeds.  Pit bull type dogs have historically been bred by combining guarding type breeds with terriers for certain desired characteristics – and as such they may retain many genetic similarities to the likely progenitor breeds and other closely related breeds.  If a pit bull type dog were tested, we might anticipate that the Wisdom Panel test might detect and report moderate to trace amounts of one or more distantly related breeds to those used to breed the dog, it is possible that one or more of the following breeds might be detected at moderate to trace amounts: the American Staffordshire terrier, Boston terrier, Bull terrier, Staffordshire Bull terrier, Mastiff, Bullmastiff Boxer, Bulldog and various small terriers like the Parson Russell.  These breeds would be detected because some markers in these breeds have genetic identity at a minority of the markers the Wisdom Panel test uses to the breeds in our database.

Mars Veterinary’s analysis of the many Pitbull type breeds, which are known to be closely related, indicates that this diverse group of dogs could be one or a mixture of American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull terrier, Boston Terrier and some Bulldog.  Due to the genetic diversity of this group, we cannot build a DNA profile for the Pitbull.  Any Pitbull type breed tested using Wisdom Panel™ MX Mixed Breed Analysis is likely to reveal a combination of several breeds.  For example, a Pitbull type breed might show up as 25% Boston Terrier, 25% American Staffordshire Terrier and 50% unknown.”

Since all of those breeds showed up in his DNA results, it turns out Boogie is probably a pit bull after all.  Well, sort of, since he’s also got a little bit of  Brittany and Irish Setter in there too. Does anyone else find this confusing?

On a serious note: pit bull type dogs are banned and discriminated against around the world, based not on their individual actions, but because of the way they look.  

So, in the eyes of the law: is Boogie a pit bull?  If so, is it because of the way he looks? Or because his DNA test list breeds that are historically related to pit bull type dogs?

Does it matter what he is?  Can anyone determine how safe (or worthy of compassion) a dog is by his appearance or his DNA results?  Of course not.

No matter what Boogie’s breed mix is, he is just a dog. He loves to play ball and I love him. He’s a treasured member of our family: he’s Birdie’s brother, a play thing for our cats, and my husband’s best friend.

I have every right to share my life with my pit bull.

Or my Irish Setter mix…

You know what I mean.

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11 Comments
  1. I suspect a DNA test would show similar results for our foster dog. He is similar in size and appearance to Boogie but pure black. We also suspect lab because his fur is longer and tail thicker, with feathering at the end, than most pits, but maybe the story is more complex after all. Thabks for sharing!

    December 22, 2011
  2. It means your dog is very cool, imho. And that you can’t take him some places (because of some parts of him? doesn’t make any sense to me), but that doesn’t make him any less precious.

    December 22, 2011
  3. Juli #

    I have a pit bull-shaped dog of unknown ancestry. When people ask me what kind of dog she is, I tell them, “She’s a GOOD dog!”

    December 22, 2011
    • “good dog” I LOVE it!

      December 23, 2011
  4. Tery #

    This might explain why there are so many stubby-dogs in the world!

    December 22, 2011
    • indeed! turns out there might be a little stubbydog in all of our dogs ; )

      December 23, 2011
  5. Boogie is so cute!! He definitely looks like a pit to me :) I have a pit bull and I tell people he’s a pit bull. He is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met and people need to understand that pit bulls just have a bad name. If I say “he’s a mix” or something like that, then the stereotype is just continued. I’m proud to say he’s a pit bull – which to me means cuddly, sweet, playful and loyal!

    January 4, 2012
  6. Boogie is totally adorable, and looks JUST like my Staffordshire Bull Terrier (British!) Seriously, he’s nearly identical. Oddly enough, ours is called ‘Boody’. Huh.

    September 7, 2012
  7. Bronson #

    Boogie looks exactly like my Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Border Collie mix lol.

    October 3, 2012
  8. ace #

    I will test my dog Sampson. He’s a great dane mix of some kind. He is my 101 lb lap dog.

    July 23, 2014

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