I Tried A Dog DNA Test On My New Puppy, And The Results Were So Surprising!
I adopted my schnauzer-poodle mix two years ago, named her Lucy, and went through the painstaking process of house-training a puppy...my shag rugs are still recovering. Just as I was celebrating the end of the puppy phase and Lucy was becoming a dog we absolutely adore, my boyfriend Dan brought home a 4-month-old pup. While skeptical at first — puppy PTSD is real — I was smitten as soon as I met the little guy. He was super sweet and gentle with the most earnest of puppy eyes.
We named him Diego after Dan’s hometown San Diego. He also has the personality of a chill surfer dog compared to my slightly neurotic Lucy (above left, wishing she had her giant dog bed all to herself). His genetic origins, however, were somewhat vague. The adoption shelter suspected he was a German shepherd mix with maybe a smidge Boxer. We were certain of the shepherd part as he was always trying to herd Lucy into a corner — an action often met with fierce objection, but they've since grown to tolerate (and even sort of like) each other. Side note: Diego broke his leg falling down the stairs soon after we brought him home. Highly recommend pet insurance right after adoption!
Over the weeks and months, as he started to grow into his actual size (50 lbs-ish), we guessed maybe he had some pitbull in his heritage. When strangers inevitably asked what he was, Dan would jokingly reply, “American Fence Jumper.”
Meanwhile, my daughter was in dog heaven and kept declaring that when she gets old enough to have her own dog she is getting a Siberian Husky (she’s in the wolf phase of kid animal obsessions).
We used the at-home dog DNA kit, Know Your Pet DNA by Ancestry, to crack Diego's DNA code. The test was pretty simple – easier than a Covid test – and required that we just swab his inner cheek for a saliva sample and mail it off.
We anxiously awaited the results and joked about having a breed reveal party (any excuse to gather, right?). We also wanted to know what we were in for in terms of health and behavior issues. Four weeks later, we received the email that would unlock the mystery.
The test revealed his behavioral traits like willingness to share (yes), separation anxiety (nope), possessiveness (not at all), noise sensitivities (calm), and more, helping us understand him a little better or just confirming what we already knew about him. We even met some of his genetic relatives!
Then of course was the biggest surprise: His breed. Any guesses?
Turns out, Diego is 49 percent Siberian Husky! My daughter was thrilled. His breed mix also included American Pitbull Terrier (26%), American Staffordshire Terrier (19%), and Australian Cattle Dog (6%). He's super social and loves everyone and every dog and is pretty much house-trained...except for the occasional shoe and rug casualty. We're working on it. 😉
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Header image via Theresa Gonzalez
Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.