When it comes to adopting a dog, one of the most frequently asked questions is “What breed is the dog?” While it’s understandable that potential adopters may be curious about a dog’s breed and traits, the actual answer isn’t usually very clear. We want to shed light on why determining a dog’s breed can be challenging and why we often find ourselves with as much uncertainty as anyone else.

The challenge of breed identification

At AWL NSW, we rescue dogs from various situations, including surrenders, injured strays and those saved from neglect or abuse. Unfortunately in most cases, we have limited information about the background of the dogs that come into our care. We rarely know the true identity of their parents so identifying a dog’s breed becomes a complex task.

But I thought you are dog experts? Can’t you just look at the dog and tell me what breed he or she is?

While some dogs have distinct physical characteristics associated with specific breeds, many mixed-breed dogs have a blend of traits, making it difficult to pinpoint their true heritage. Sometimes the coat colour, size, ear shape, and face features can provide some insights, but they are far from definitive.

Breed assumptions based on appearance alone can be misleading and often completely incorrect. A dog may look like a particular breed but possess a completely different genetic makeup. Mixed-breed dogs also often have a unique combination of traits that cannot be attributed to a single breed. Our team at AWL NSW encourages potential adopters to focus on a dog’s individual personality and compatibility rather than solely on what breed a dog may look like.

What about DNA testing?

In recent years, DNA testing for dogs has gained popularity and can provide some clarity on a dog’s genetic composition. However, these tests are not foolproof and may not encompass all breeds or mixed backgrounds. New owners of dogs adopted from our shelter may choose to do DNA testing after adopting, at their own cost.

Embracing the best breed of all: “Rescue”

Rather than fixating on a dog’s breed (or a guess as to what a dog’s breed may be), AWL NSW encourages potential adopters to embrace the individual personality of a dog. By focusing on a dog’s personality and energy level, you’ll be better matched with a dog to suit your lifestyle.

Thousands of adoption success stories showcase the incredible love and joy that mixed-breed dogs bring into their families’ lives. Regardless of breed, every dog has a unique personality that transcends genetic lineage. By adopting a mixed-breed dog from AWL NSW, you open your heart to the endless possibilities of love and companionship of a dog in need of a loving home. Find your new furry friend here.

Still have questions? Can’t find what you’re looking for? Get in touch today!

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