Interesting Facts About Today’s Mutts

Thanks goodness mutts are in vogue! This means that more and more people are adopting loving, funny mixed breeds, or, as they are sometimes referred to, “pavement specials.” We have a special day to celebrate them because as it stands right now more then 53 percent of dogs in America are mutts.

The last mutt census conducted in this country was done in 2011. It was based on some 36,000 DNA tests done on mutts. Ultimately, what the tests showed highlighted which breeds were popular in past decades. And that if a breed was trendy in the past, but has fallen from popularity, it may still represent a large portion of the current mixed-breed population.

For example, the most common breeds registered by the American Kennel Club are not necessarily the ones most often found in mixed-breed dogs. German shepherds may be popular both as purebreds and mixes, but the Chow Chow, a popular purebred dog in the 1980s, was found to be a more common grandparent or great-grandparent amongst mixed-breed dogs.

The tests also revealed that the top 10 most popular breeds found in the mixed-breed population are the German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Chow Chow, Rottweiler, Poodle, American Staffordshire terrier, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and Siberian husky.

The census revealed the shelters were the most popular place for people to adopt a mixed breed dog and that in fact breeds weighing more than 80 pounds represent less than 11 percent of the mutts of America.

Home DNA kits are very accessible to pet parents and an interesting snapshot of your dog’s family tree. It’s simply a matter of swabbing your pooch’s mouth and sending the saliva sample away for analysis.

We recently did a DNA test on one my doggie testers named Clancy. He is a big brown pooch of indistinguishable background. The tests came back claiming him to be a Mega Mutt. And it turned out that there was Siberian husky and Pembroke Welsh Corgi somewhere way back in his family tree. Looking at him, you would never guess!

Clancy is an enthusiastic member of my testing team and game for anything. That’s one common trait amongst mutts – they are all lovable!

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