Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Piper - What Is She??

When we adopted Piper, the rescue had her listed as a Border Collie/Husky mix. Every time I told people Border Collie mix, I got some version of this reaction: "Uh oh, you're going to have your hands full!" So I started doing a little research and read that along with being one of the smartest breeds, Border Collies are also one of the most often misidentified breeds. After watching this cute video we decided to have her DNA tested.

It was a quick 2 swabs of her cheek with a special q-tip thing, and then a couple of weeks before we got her results back.

Say Hello to Piper, the Husky-Malamute-Terrier-Spaniel mix!! We are calling her a HMTS (hum-tiss) for short. :)

They analyze three full generations of her DNA. Out of 8 great-grandparents, 3 were Siberian Husky and 1 was Alaskan Malamute. The rest of her ancestors were mixed breed, with Airedale Terrier and Field Spaniel being the strongest statistical likelihood. Additional breeds that may have contributed were listed as Boykin Spaniel, German Spitz, and Toy Fox Terrier, although those were at a lower detection threshold. Her predicted adult weight was 30-48 lbs (an admittedly wide range).

So there you have it! No Border Collie detected at all! Just a plain ol' HMTS.

BD and I were both surprised that she has that much Husky in her, because the Huskies we have seen have all been relatively large dogs. Piper is pretty small (currently around 30 lbs), and we're not really expecting her to get a lot bigger at this point. But it turns out that the small end of the Husky size range is 21" and 34 lbs, and I guess mixed with the smaller terrier/spaniel DNA, has resulted in our small, spunky girl!

When we found Kip as a puppy, our vet in Louisiana took one look at him and said he was a German Shepherd and Treeing Walker Coon Hound mix. We did a little bit of research and, judging by the pictures and the breeds' characteristic descriptions, that was exactly what he looked and acted like.We never thought twice about it; he was always a Shepherd/Hound mix to us. I do still think that was the majority of his genetic makeup, but now I'm wondering what else was floating around in there??!

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