You can do a little detective work to help determine what breed of dog you have and this is a common question amongst dog owners. Different breeds of dogs were created by man by methods of selective breeding and through geographical isolation of the animals. They were generally domesticated to do his bidding. This practice has led to the evolution of numerous breeds of dogs. Generally DNA testing can identify the breed of a purebred dog, with 99% accuracy. Other conspicuous physical factors and personality traits can also help in identifying the breed of your dog. You can get a little closer to identifying the breed of a dog by noticing certain prominent characteristics in his body:
Firstly determine the vital statistics of your dog. Carefully measure the height of your dog. Also take a note of his weight (If you can safely lift your dog and weigh yourself carrying him/her, then weigh yourself after you can easily work out the weight by subtracting one weight from the other). Keep in mind that there are variations in height and weight between the males and females of the same breed. For example, a male German Shepherd may be 24″ to 26″ tall, but a female German Shepherd may reach to a height of not more than 22″.
Carefully note his facial structure and the structure of the head. Look at his eyes, ears, nose and shape of his snout and teeth structure. See if his ears are standing upright or droopy; feathery or clear. These facial markings are different for different breeds and can be good indicators for determining your dog’s breed.
Check the feel of the fur of your dog. Is it short or a heavy coat? What is the texture of the hair? Is the hair straight, wavy or shaggy? Now, make a careful observation of the coat’s colour. See if it is uniform and single coloured or is multi-coloured, with patches. For example dogs like Labradors and Boxers are short-coated, whereas Jack Russells and Terrier breeds are famous for their fine and silky coat.
Never underestimate the tail of a dog. A tail tells a lot. See if your dog has a full bodied tail or a wirey tail. Breeds like Terriers have a flowing and feathery tail, whereas some breeds, like the Doberman, have a straight and thin tail, without much hair. You can get a good idea of a dog’s breed by carefully observing the structure and the density of hair in his tail.
Last but not least, one of the most important marks of determining the breed of your dog is his temperament and psychological make-up. Some dog breeds are innately even tempered and have a mild demeanor. They can be easily trained as good house dogs. On the other hand, some breeds are ferocious and wild, which is a hereditarily acquired disposition. The energy level your dog displays during physical activities can also be a strong factor in determining his breed.
If you have a mixed beed (mongrel), maybe combining different features will help you guess what breeds your dog’s parents were, but unfortunately this article relates to purebreds.