Monday, November 15, 2010

Smooch's family tree

A few weeks ago, I saw a $10-off promotion for the Wisdom Panel Insights dog DNA test. It was all the incentive I needed to finally get an answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries in my life (and one of the most-often-asked questions on this blog): "What kind of dog is Smooch?"

I ordered the test kit online, and a few days later it arrived in my mailbox. The timing was perfect, as my houseguest was here. She was able to assist put Smooch in a headlock as I twirled a small bristle brush inside her cheek for 15 seconds to collect the DNA sample. I mailed the sample back to the lab and have been anxiously awaiting the results, which arrived in my e-mail inbox on Friday.

So, Smooch, who's your daddy?

As I've long suspected, Smooch comes from a distinguished line of other mutts, 
or as the report says, "Smooch's mixed-breed ancestors go beyond three generations back." 
The test did not detect any significant breeds. To qualify as significant
at least 50% of Smooch's DNA would have had to match.

However, at least 25% of Smooch's DNA did match this breed – 
the Australian Cattle Dog, aka Red Heeler, aka Queensland:

The physical resemblance is crystal clear. As far as matching the behavioral traits
of an Australian Cattle Dog, the report asked me if I recognized any of these in Smooch:
Intelligent? Check.
Active? Check.
Energetic? Check.
Watchful? CHECK!!!

Now here comes the surprise.
The report indicated that another 25% of Smooch's DNA matches this breed:

Smooch is one-quarter Chinese Shar-Pei. Who woulda thunk? 
There is no physical resemblance, but she's certainly got the behavioral traits of a Shar-Pei:
 intelligent, independent, and alert dog with a reputation of being loyal to the family.
Smooch, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter what kind of dog you are. 
You are the very best ranch security system money could never buy 
and my life would not be the same without you.


  1. I hope smooch received a cookie for undergoing the indignity of the DNA collection ;-)
    Theresa in Alberta

  2. So Smooch is pretty much as American as the rest of us with that breed mix, huh? She's beautiful inside and out no matter what she is, anyway.
    But mostly cattle dog. I knew it!

  3. The outside of Smooch totally resembles the Austrailian Cattle dog. You'd have to be Ray Charles to not see that resemblance!

    However, I DO see a resemblence to the Shar-Pei...the INSIDE of Smooch who loves to sleep on luxurious textiles and be pampered like the royalty she is!

    (Maybe the wrinkles will come out as she matures and spends more time in the sun?)

  4. Who'd a thought!?!?! It's interesting to find such stuff out though ... I may have to do that with Wally because we 'think' Boxer/American Fox Hound, but .....

    Regardless of Smooch's heritage, you lucked out finding one beautiful, loyal girl.

  5. Smooch? 25% Shar-Pei? ROTFL Interesting to say the least!

  6. hmm. That's one recessive wrinkle gene.

    Does it say anything about racing around the yard like a greyhound? I thought there might be a smidge of that in there...

    Good girl, Smooch!

  7. That's really interesting. I see the cattle dog but no resemblance to the other except for her reclining on the furniture. As is her queenly right of course.

  8. Interesting. It is a wonder he doesn't try to herd everyone.
    I like what was said in the comments. He is American. We are all mixed breeds.
    And you are right, he is beautiful inside and out.

  9. Obviously, Smooch is very regal. I bet if you could trace her pedigree there'd be royalty there somewhere.. :D

  10. Shar pei? Really. Must be recessive genes.

  11. I don't see one inkling of the Shar Pei in him. He's sure great looking though. Fabulous face and set of ears on him.


  12. Very cool! She is always on duty...Rescue dogs always make the best dogs...

  13. Well! Who'da thunk! Smooch, the Aussie/Chinese/American dog!

  14. Now see, I have thought she looked alot like a basenji dog...

  15. Her nose has a bit of a mature Sharpei's shape, but cattle dog--most definitely! I always love the way she crosses her legs so demurely.

  16. Oh, definitely cattle dog! Especially in the eyes... and ears! LOL!

    Here's one of her long lost sisters, up for adoption in central TX:

    owner of two Australian Cattle Dogs...

  17. Wow, I sure don't see the Shar Pei, but I do love a dog that's got a little mixed in there. Best dogs I've had were part Shar Pei.
    Very interesting... I'm going to have to try this around here on a couple dogs I wonder about.
    Very cool post! Never woulda guessed the Shar Pei part.

  18. Smooch is an absolute sweetheart. Gentle, affectionate, protective without being brain-dead about it, curious, funny, smart, and gorgeous. To name just a few. Give her a huge squeeze for me, please. xoxoxo

  19. I also thought she was part Basenji. Whatever her lineage, Smooch is a great companion and security guard.

  20. AAWWW...She's so beautiful.
    As the owner of 2 ACD's I thought I spotted the "look" in her eyes.
    They are smart cookies!!

  21. I'm sorry to say I laughed out loud when I saw the Shar-Pei. Then I went back and scrolled back and forth through the pictures. I do see some similarity in the nose.

    Like you all have mentioned, no matter what her breed it doesn't change the fact that she is one awesome dog!

  22. Very interesting results.
    Smooch does seem to have the pink nose of the shar pei and maybe some slight wrinkling on her forehead, but cattle dog is mostly predominant. One thing's for sure Smooch is a very special canine and a wonderful ambassador for the 7MSN.


  23. We DNA'd our Hunter girl last year. If you look at our blog she looks like a small Newfoundland (she's only 60lbs). Turns out she is Greater Swiss Mountain dog which we suspected because we'd seen her mom. But she is also Rottie and Lab. Whatever she is... she is the sweetest girl ever... Her breed never really mattered to us but it was definitely interesting to know.

    ~The Mama Monster

  24. Wow... this is VERY interesting! :-)

    Please, take a look on my post today.. it's about a Country Home in the Hamptons... take a look and let me know what you think. :-)

  25. I see the cattle dog...thought she might have some greyhound...but Shar Pei? Never woulda thunk it! :) She's a beauty anyway!

  26. Your security system is the Shar_pei, bred to guard ancient temples aka ranches. The cattle dog (also Blue Heeler) is the love bug.

    I think it would be fun to send in DNA from a "purebred" dog and see how it came back. Oh, horror of horrors, wouldn't that stir things up?

  27. Wow, I don't see any shar-pei at all. Smooch has that hidden pretty well. Tee hee.

  28. Beautiful pic of Smooch. I never would have guessed Shar-pei. Good thing it wasn't a contest.

  29. I see the red heeler in Smooch, although she is longer legged and sleeker than most. Bet she could herd if given "free range":) My dog has blue heeler on her dad's side (we think). She loves to do those circular bursts of running! Mixed breeds are the best! Good health and sweet temperament! You are loved Smooch, that's all that matters.

  30. This is too cool. I would absolutely love to do this for the girls.

  31. Obviously Smooch did not get the Shar-Pei's ears, definitely in receipt of the Red Heeler ears. Good thing, too, as what kind of watchdog would he be with no ears?

  32. Purebreds are Man's attempt to improve on Nature; mutts are Nature's means of improving on Herself. I know who I trust more. Great story.
    - - - - - - -
    dog beds and more

  33. I came over after reading your post today about Alex's DNA test and love this photo of Smooch looking regal and relaxed.