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What Breed is My Dog & How to Identify Dogs' Breeds

Updated by Amy Granger on Nov 23, 2021

There are a variety of reasons why you may want to know your dog's breed, ranging from fascination to gaining insight into traits to learning about potential health issues they might face in the future due to breed predispositions. Your shelter dog could be purebred, or your mutt or mixed puppy could be a combination of many breeds. You may be able to help answer the popular question, whether you use science or merely making a well-informed guess.

what is my dog breed

DNA testing is the most reliable way to identify your dog's breed at the time of writing this article. There are many companies that offer Dog DNA testing that you can find around. Generally speaking, the affordability of the test depends on the number of dog breeds a company has in its database to compare samples with. Therefore, a company with more dog breeds in its database will charge you higher.

If you decide to use the service of any Dog DNA testing company, you have to get a unit of their DNA sample kit. Then, go ahead and take a sample from the cheek of your dog. Once these two phases are complete, send the sample back to the company, strictly following the instructions on the kit. Your results should be ready in two to four weeks. This test will identify how much of a particular pure-breed is in your pooch.

Relying on Expertise

If you need to know what health complications your dog is prone to, based on their breed, then you may need the experts. It goes without saying that your vet (qualified vet) has seen and treated many dogs. Therefore, you may be able to rely on their expertise to know what breed your dog is.

Predicting Based on Physical Characteristics

This is a do-it-yourself- method, and it is the least reliable method among all the methods of identifying your dog's breed. One good thing about this DIY method is that it is totally free! Unless you want to charge yourself anyways.

The major steps in this method are all based on looking and more looking:

  • Take a look at your dog and jot down the most defining characteristics, like dropping ears, the fur type, etc.
  • Take a look again to evaluate the build of your dog. Is it a small, medium, or large-framed dog? Is it more slender or muscular in form?
  • Place your dog on a pet scale to determine its weight. For those that do not have a pet scale, take your dog to any veterinary office to get its weight.
  • It's time to have another look at your buddy: look at your dog's skull, snout, back, tail, and legs, and note any distinctive attributes.
  • Now, after taking all these "looks," you can compare the features of your dog to other dogs and take a wild guess—It is a wild guess.

Using Your Smartphone

There are a plethora of apps available for Android/iOS, with the best rated (by users) being Sinwalu Dog Scanner. You only have to take a photo or video of your dog, and the app may identify which breed it is.

  • Basset Hound: just 14 inches tall at the shoulder but has big-dog strength and stamina.
  • Beagles: There are two types of Beagles: those under 13 inches tall at the shoulder and those between 13 and 15 inches tall.
  • Bichon: a foot and a half long at the hip with hypoallergenic white hair, soft and velvety to the touch.
  • Chihuahua: a little dog with a terrier-like temperament and a weight of no more than 6 pounds.
  • Collie: The Collie is a massive but agile herder who stands between 22 and 26 inches tall.
  • Corgi: a well-built male Corgi is a large dog in a compact package, measuring 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder and weighing 27 to 30 pounds.
  • French Bulldog: Except for the big, upright "bat ears" that are the breed's distinguishing characteristic, they look like miniature Bulldogs.
  • German Shepherd: they reach a height of 26 inches at the shoulder and show an image of straight, delicate curves.
  • Italian Greyhound: more slender bodies but the same beauty and charm as a Greyhound.
  • Maltese: small play dogs with a long, straight, silky coat that weighs less than seven pounds.
dog breed
  • Afghan Hound: an old breed with dignity and aloofness about him.
  • Basenjis: short, elegant hounds with a shoulder height of 16 to 17 inches.
  • Bloodhounds: huge, powerful dogs, and can weigh up to 110 pounds, and stand 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Bulldogs: especially the American Bulldogs are incredibly stubborn dogs that can be difficult to train.
  • Chow Chow: Chows are powerful, compact dogs with a shoulder height of up to 20 inches.
  • Dalmatian: The Dalmatian's delightful, eye-catching black or liver spots adorn one of the animal kingdom's most conspicuous coats.
  • Irish Setter: The Irish is known for a brilliant coat of mahogany or chestnut, standing more than two feet at the shoulder and having a substantial and graceful build.
  • Mastiff: A male stands at least 30 inches at the shoulder and can outweigh many a full-grown man. The rectangular body is deep and thickly muscled.
  • Pekingese: are toy dogs that are lightweight and stocky, weighing up to 14 pounds. Pekes are known for their distinctive "lion's mane."
  • The German Shepherd: although a very friendly dog, it can be very hard to train because it is intelligent enough to think for itself.

Q1. Which Dog Breed is Best for First-time Owners?

The best dog breeds for first-time owners include Poodle, Golden Retriever, King Charles Spaniel, Pug, Papillon, Greyhound, Bichon Frise, Boxer, Basset Hound, Beagles, Bichon, Chihuahua, Collie, Corgi, French Bulldog, German Shepherd, Italian Greyhound, Maltese, etc.

Q2. What Dog Breed is Low Maintenance?

The dog breeds below were selected for their low-maintenance personalities. All of them need very little grooming, are content for a couple of brief everyday walks, and are mostly calm. Of course, each dog has their own quirks and desires, so you'll have to be adaptable in order to provide them with what they need: Greyhound, Dachshund, Shiba Inu, Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Chihuahua, Pug, Whippet, etc.

Q3. Which Dogs Sleep the Most?

Dog breeds that love to sleep the most include Bulldog, Mastiff, Shih Tzu, Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Pekingese, Greyhound, Lhasa Apso, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Saint Bernard, Chow Chow, Great Dane, Cocker Spaniel, Great Pyrenees, etc.


There are plenty of breeds of dogs spread across the continent, and identifying what breed your dog is can be very tricky. DNA test remains the most reliable method to confirm the breed of your dog. While some species are easy to train, some are extremely tasking to own. Then there are the sleepyheads that the only thing they love more than sleeping is food. If you are eager to know more about dog breeds, you can refer to American Kennel Club to learn more.

Amy Granger
Amy is an editor from iPetor, owns a 4-year experience in writing tips and tutorial for users. As a pet owner, she will share more pets care methods and recommend more useful products for all pet owners.
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