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All I Want for Christmas is Dog DNA

I have a confession to make. Along with reading piles of magazines, taking quizzes is one of my favorite guilty pleasures in life.  I’ll take short, silly quizzes (If I were a loaf of bread, what kind of bread would I be?) and long, involved personality tests, like the Myers Briggs. I take them for fun or to help me figure out my strengths and weaknesses. I’ve taken countless career assessment tests, all of which tell me I should be a therapist, a teacher, or a minister. I may not listen to the results, but I really like taking the tests.

So when I discovered that I could do a cheek swab DNA test at home on my two dogs, Birdie and Boogie, I was powerless to resist. I didn’t care what the results were (I love them no matter what). I didn’t care if the tests were 100% accurate. I just wanted to give my mixed breed dogs the ultimate quiz! So as a Hanukkah and Christmas gift to myself, I ordered two DNA test kits from Wisdom. Last month I swabbed their cheeks, sent the kits back to the lab, and have been patiently waiting for the results to come back.


birdie and boogie

photo by Meredith Purdue © 2011 Maine Dog Photography & unlimited dogs


Side Note: For any of you interested in doing this, swabbing the inside of a dog’s cheek turned out to be a little trickier than I thought it would be. Birdie wanted to eat the swab and then I fumbled it on the way out of her mouth, causing it to rub against the palm of my hand. Luckily, they give you two swabs per dog, so I got a second chance to do it right.  I sent both swabs back, per the instructions, and figured if Birdie’s DNA results came back as a Jewish Beagle from New Jersey, this kit was legit.

I just got the test results back and I’m dying to share, but before I do, here’s a little quiz for you. Take a look at their photos below and, in the comments section, give me your best guesses on what breed mix you think they might be. I’ll reveal the actual results later this week!

Here are some hints:

Birdie is 40 pounds and she was listed as a “Beagle Mix” on her adoption paperwork.

Boogie is 50 pounds and he was labeled a “Pit Bull” on his adoption paperwork.

(DNA test info:  Because Boogie has been labeled a pit bull, I should share that Wisdom cannot test for the breed “pit bull”, due to the genetic diversity of dogs within this group. However other dog breeds, that were historically related to the American Pit Bull Terrier, often show up in DNA tests – for instance: American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and the Boston Terrier.  If you’d like to read more, Wisdom explains it here.)

Let the guessing begin!

  1. I’d say Birdie definitely has beagle in her, but apart from that? maybe jack russel?
    And Boogie looks like my neighbour’s black-lab and boxer mix, so that’s my guess there.

    December 19, 2011
  2. Lexi, I’ve been asked if Birdie is a giant Jack Russell, so that’s a good guess!

    December 19, 2011
  3. Rachel #

    I’d say Birdie is Beagle and some terrier thrown in for good measure, probably Russell. As for Boogie…he’s harder. I could see Pit, but I think he’s a mix…he looks too fine-boned and lean to be a full pit-type…and Lab’s don’t tend to be smaller like that…So…something smaller and finer…I’m guessing spaniel, not because he looks anything like a spaniel, but they’re smaller and finer, and they seem to *always* show up in everyone’s DNA tests. 😉 Playing the odds! 😉 Looking forward to finding out the answer. 🙂

    December 19, 2011
  4. My guesses:

    Birdie – Corgi/Beagle

    Boogie – Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Lab

    December 19, 2011
  5. Edie #

    Birdie – Beagle, Bassett, JRT

    Boogie – AM Staff, Lab, Boxer, Cattle Dog, Mastiff. 🙂

    December 19, 2011
  6. Birdie is darling! I guess beagle and either Jrt or Rat Terrier.

    Boogie is so handsome! APBT (pit-type) and perhaps greyhound or whippet because he has those fine lines!

    December 19, 2011
  7. What a fun idea!


    I nominated you for a Versatile blogger award!

    I hope you will accept the nomination!



    December 19, 2011
  8. Danielle #

    Birdie – Russell Terrier Type, and Beagle

    Boogie – Bull Dog Type, as only a few breeds carry the brindle gene….boston terrier/hound/lab/bulldog

    December 19, 2011
  9. Tracey #

    Beagle jack Russell/ pit and sharpei? Now please tell me!

    December 19, 2011
  10. Holly #

    Birdie looks like a dachshund/beagle mix and Boogie looks like a cane corso mix.

    December 19, 2011
  11. Heather Staas #

    Lol.. first, which brand test did you use? Only breeds from their breed list can show up :o) Without knowing, I’m going to guess beagle/pointer for Birdie, and the AmStaff/Lab/Boxer for Boogie.. you know, I’m gonna toss Rottie in there too…!

    December 19, 2011
    • Hey Heather! I used the Mars Wisdom panel (I linked to it the blog, if you want to check out their breed lists). It never hurts to toss in a little Rottie for good luck, right? : )

      December 19, 2011
  12. rc1ark #

    It seem like those test can sometimes come out wacky so I’m going with:

    Birdie: Chinese Crested, Afgan mix (small dog and hound)
    Boogie: Shar pei, Dalmatian (similar face but without the wrinkles and has white on chest)


    December 19, 2011
  13. Leslie #

    Birdie looks like she might have Jack Russell but in a Jack Russell is another mishmash of breeds. And what else Boogie has…I love his face!!

    December 19, 2011
  14. I did the wisdom panel pro blood test & although fun I was not impressed. My female looks a little like Boogie she’s a little smaller about 42lbs. She came back 1/2 American Staffordshire Terrier, 1/4 Miniature Schnauzer, 1/8 English Mastiff & 1/8 mix. Which means 3 generation back a English Mastiff mix bred with a Miniature Schnauzer. My 45lb hound mix(he is a very fast, long legged, small animal killing machine) came back 1/4 lab, 1/4 German Shepard & The rest was mixed. The highest trace breed was something called a Biewer Terrier which I’d never heard of. If you don’t know a Biewer Terrier is a like a 4-8lb tri-colored yorkie & are currently very rare in the US(I have a feeling this will change as they are known as the red, white & blue dog). The first one was brought to the USA from Germany in 2002. I adopted my dog in 2001 & he was 1 1/2 to 2yrs at the time. The test came back with no hound except a very small trace amount of mini Dachshund.
    I do think Birdie looks parsons russell, Beagle & maybe pointer. However he could be Corgi, Chihuahua & Bichon. You never know with these DNA test!

    By the way I love your blog!!! It is wonderfully helpful!

    December 19, 2011
  15. Here in Australia, those ‘types’ of dogs are quite common in our pounds. The little one would be called a ‘jack russel’ and the bigger dog would be called a ‘staffy’.

    I think beagle is quite a realistic mix for the Birdie, considering those ears, but small terriers (like jack russel or parson jack russel or miniature fox terrier, etc) seem more prominent to me.

    Boogie is some kind of mixed breed with some bully ancestory. Staffordshires are common, but so are pitties, am staffs, and so forth. If I had to guess a second breed, my Australian influence comes out and says ‘kelpie’, but I really doubt that that is true considering your geographic region.

    December 19, 2011
  16. Tammie Leeman #

    Hi Jess! I think Birdie is a beagle/dachshund mix and Boogie is a whippet/staffshire!

    December 19, 2011
  17. my guess…birdie is rat terrier/beagle and boogie is amstaff/lab.

    December 19, 2011
  18. Oh so cruel making us wait 🙂
    My first thought for Birdie was Rat Terrier

    Have no idea on the other baby but I’ll go with Catahoula.since their thick heads can make people think they are pitties. But Boxer (as somone else posted) is a good guess I think.

    Does Birdie have any beagle like qualities – like baying or nose always on the ground?

    December 20, 2011
  19. Looking at those ears on Birdie again. I can see why everyone is saying JRT and of course those beagle like colors…..

    December 20, 2011

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