We recently conducted a national survey of dog experts to compare their best guesses for the breeds of dogs in a series of photographs. These visual assessments were compared to DNA breed profiles for the dogs.
More than 5,000 dog experts, including breeders, trainers, groomers, veterinarians, shelter staff, rescuers, and others completed the survey. You are invited to view pictures of the 100 dogs in our study, their actual DNA breed results, and what our survey responders guessed their breeds were.
While many people like to know “What kind of dog is that?” just to satisfy their curiosity, dog breed designations have also been used in an attempt to predict future behavior, match pets to families, find lost dogs, and even to restrict the ownership of certain types of dogs.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and frequently without pedigrees to describe their heritage. The breeds of dogs with unknown or mixed-breed lineages are frequently guessed based on their physical appearance, but it is not known how accurate these visual breed assessments are. This study is examining the relationship between visual breed identification and DNA breed results.
This study is being conducted by Dr. Julie Levy with the assistance of Merial Veterinary Scholar Kathleen Croy and is made possible by a grant from the National Canine Research Council.