Contest: Guess Hogan’s Breed(s)!

It’s breed-guessing contest time again!

I must admit I’m a little surprised to find myself almost as shocked by Hogan’s breeds as I was by Dusty’s.

2012 March 24_dog park (5) (877x1024)We chose to use a different brand of DNA test for Hogan because we really thought he’d have Cairn, Norwich, or Australian terrier in there somewhere (spoiler alert: we were wrong!), and DNA My Dog doesn’t test for any of those breeds. So we opted for Wisdom Panel, purchased the test kit at a PetSmart store across the border, did the cheek swab, stuck on the Canadian stamps, and mailed the works to the testing centre in Nebraska.

While DNA My Dog guarantees results in five to ten days from receipt of the package, Wisdom Panel’s results took precisely two weeks from arrival—and the arrival itself took two weeks! (I know because I received notification of it.) After the speedy service we got with DNA My Dog, waiting four weeks for Hogan’s results seemed a little long.

Nevertheless, his results were worth the wait!

And that leads me to a tangent…. Some people have asked why I have bothered to do these tests. What do our dogs’ breeds matter? Frankly, they don’t. If they did, we would have scanned for a particular breed of dog instead of falling prey to the first set of sad eyes (Cora’s) that looked fearfully up at us that long ago day in PetSmart. But the DNA tests aren’t expensive, so why not find out their breeds?

DSC_9876 (680x1024)Before getting the test results, that was the extent of my explanation. However, interestingly, being able to read up on our dogs’ primary breeds has made me feel I know each of them better and understand them better. I hadn’t expected that. The knowledge hasn’t made me love any one of them more (not possible!) nor less (also not possible!), but it’s helped me come to terms with certain things. For example, reading that almost all of the breeds that are in Dusty are prone to hip dysplasia made me realize that his diagnosis with it at age one and a bit was virtually inevitable. And that Cora is more than 80% beagle suggests to me we were right in our guess that she was used for breeding.

I only just received Hogan’s test results, so I haven’t done all of the research on his breeds yet, but I do look forward to getting to understand our little guy more, too!

Now it’s time for you to guess Hogan’s breeds! Any idea where that cute curly tail, those modelesque good looks, those top-of-the-class smarts, or that big-dog attitude come from?

Here’s what I’ll tell you: It turns out that one of Hogan’s parents was a purebred from way back (his great-grandparents, too!). His other parent, though, came from a long line of “sleep-around Sues.” That parent had traces of six different breeds! Scandalous!

Hogan in his sweaterI will pick one contest winner (through a draw if there is more than one correct guess). All you have to do is guess either (1) Hogan’s “pure breed” side or (2) guess two of his other breeds (two because I think his 5.48% breed is obvious despite its small percentage). The winner will get a choice of prize: a custom hand-knit dog sweater, like the one below, or a cash donation to the animal charity of his or her choice.

Just post your guess in the comments below or, if you’re shy or want to keep your guess secret, email it to me at by Tuesday, February 5, at noon. I’ll announce the winner—and reveal Hogan’s breeds—later that day. Good luck, everyone, and thanks for participating!

Contest: Guess Dusty’s Many Breeds!

Well, the DNA My Dog results for Dusty were nothing like we’d expected them to be. He has neither basset hound nor dachshund in him—and we’d thought for sure one of those would be his level 1. As a matter of fact, Dusty had nothing appear as a level 1 (75% or greater). Unlike Cora, he is a true mutt, with five breeds showing up in his DNA! (And, Mom, he’s not even 100% hound, believe it or not!)

Dusty posing in his sweater.

Dusty posing in his sweater.

What I will tell you now is that Dusty is a level 3 (20-36%) beagle. That’s not a huge surprise. But can you guess any of the other four breeds that make up Dusty? If you get even one of them, you could win a prize. (Yes, it’s going to be THAT tough!)

Dusty has one level 2 breed (37-74%), one level 3 breed (beagle, as mentioned above), and three level 4 breeds (10-19%). So, what are your guesses? Add them to the Comments below or email me at

If we get any correct answers by Sunday, the winner will get a choice of prize (we’ll go to a draw if there’s more than one correct answer): either a custom hand-knit doggy sweater, like the one Dusty is wearing in the picture, or a donation in his or her name to an animal charity. Keep watching the blog over the next few days. I’ll post hints!

(If you’re unfamiliar with Dusty and want to see better pictures, under “Categories” in the right, click on “Dusty.”)

January 10 hint:

One of Dusty’s breeds is among the twenty most intelligent dogs according to Stanley Coren’s book The Intelligence of Dogs.

January 11 hint:

One of Dusty’s level 4 breeds is another type of hound (one that, to me, doesn’t look like a hound). (This means his hound content, including his level-3 beagle blood, is a maximum of 55%, shocking to us since he really does seem all hound!)

January 12 hint:

I’ll make your final hint a little more helpful. Two of Dusty’s breeds, including his level 2, are long-haired, believe it or not! Oh, and no one has guessed any of his breeds correctly yet!

Contest: Guess Cora’s Secondary Breed!

The results from DNA My Dog are in! We now know the breeds that make up Cora and Dusty. We’ll get to Dusty next (his results were particularly surprising!). But first, I want to hear your guesses for Cora’s secondary breed.

Cora in her hand-knit sweater

Cora in her hand-knit sweater

We learned that she is at least 81% beagle (no surprise there). But what makes up the remaining 10-19%? Let’s hear your guesses! I have three hints for you:

  1. She’s not 100% hound.
  2. Her secondary breed is a dog bred for retrieving and comes in various sizes.
  3. She looks nothing like her secondary breed, so you’ve got your work cut out for you!

I’ll give you until Sunday at noon to post your guesses in the Comments section or by emailing me at All correct guesses will be put into a draw, and the winner will get a custom hand-knit sweater, like the one Cora is wearing in this picture, or a donation in your name to the animal charity of your choice!

I can’t wait to share the answer with you, but I’m going to have to. Check back here or on our Facebook page Sunday afternoon or evening for the answer!