Just had Lucy’s DNA tested with DNAMyDog. The results were so surprising that at first I didn’t believe them. But apparently the sample I sent was a good, clean one with no contamination… and there’s no denying that the combination of breeds could definitely produce a Lucy! She’s not a Chihuahua Cross at all, but a Siberian Husky Cross! ROFL
Here are her results:
Level 2 – 37-74% Siberian Husky (her curly tail, her ability to quickly dig up stuff on our walks, her love of the snow)
Note: She could be some other spitz that they don’t have in their database. Siberian Husky would be the closest match.
Level 3 – 20-36% American Staffordshire Terrier (her colouring, her ears, her broad chest, her strength, her sun-loving nature)
Level 3 – 20-36% Australian Cattle Dog (her head shape, her trainability and intelligence)
Note: The Australian Cattle Dog seems to strongly pass along its “type” when crossed with other breeds.
Level 5 – <10% Beagle (her size, her tracking ability, her love of food!)
Here’s what the levels mean:
This category will only report when a dog’s DNA contains a majority of a specific breed (75% or greater). Most mixed breed dogs will not usually have a breed in this category unless one or both of their parents are purebred.
This category reports breeds that are easily recognizable within your dog. While these breeds may have a strong influence on your dog, each breed listed makes up less than the majority of your dog’s DNA, between 37%-74%. This can mean that one of the parents was a purebred.
This category identifies breeds that have between 20%-36% of the listed breed(s). Although still recognizable, a breed at this level indicates a mix and is often carried down from the parents of your dog’s parents.
This category represents 10%-20% of the breed DNA, usually carried over from previous generations in your dog’s ancestry. Although it is a smaller representation of your dog’s DNA make-up it is often still recognizable.
This level represents the lowest level of breed found in your dog, occurring at 9% or less. Although not always physically apparent, it still appears at a low and measurable amount in your dog’s DNA.
Why does all this matter? Well, health issues are often breed-specific, such as the Siberian Husky’s predisposition to zinc-responsive dermatosis. By looking at Lucy, no one would ever think that she might be prone to this very specific type of dermatitis, since she doesn’t look like a Husky at all. So a vet might never think to treat her for it. But, because I know she’s at least 37% Husky, I can mention this if Lucy ever has a skin problem (so far she has no skin issues at all!).
Knowing a specific breed’s personality can really help with understanding your dog when it comes to training. Beagles are very hard to train, while Australian Cattle Dogs are highly trainable. Fortunately, Lucy is <10% Beagle! Lucy’s trainability may well be due to the fact that American Cattle Dogs pass on their traits very strongly!
But don’t confuse trainability with intelligence. Hounds need to be independent, not dependent on a handler’s instructions. So they may not be the most trainable of dogs, but that doesn’t necessarily make them stupid. Note: The so-called intelligence rating for dogs is tied to trainability, not to true intelligence. In the dog intelligence rating, “Of the bottom seven breeds, four are hounds used in hunting, breeds in which independent thinking is more critical to success. A hound that continuously looks to its handler for directions is useless.” [http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-training/dog-behavior-issues/article_19686.aspx]