Dog Breed Identification: What Kind of Dog is That?

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This website shows the results of an online survey of 5,000 people who work with dogs. Respondents viewed photos of 100 dogs, and recorded what breed or breeds they thought the dog was. The dogs had been DNA-tested, and each had 25% of at least one breed in their genetic profile. Responses were counted as accurate if the survey participant identified any breed that was part of the dog's heritage, no matter how small the percentage. Respondents varied widely in their guesses, and accuracy was low for most dogs. Visitors to the website can view the photos, the top survey responses, and the actual DNA profile for each dog.

[Abstract excerpted from original source.]

"Dog breed designations have 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. 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.

We 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."

Spot Check Number: 2467
Sponsor: Maddie's Fund Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida and the National Canine Research Council
Researcher/Author: Dr. Julie Levy and Kathleen Croy
Animal Type: Companion Animals, Dogs
Record Type: News article, Organization or agency
Research Method: Online Survey
Geographic Region: Worldwide
Number of Participants: 100 dogs and 5,000 humans
Population Descriptors: Mixed breed dogs, humans who work with dogs in various capacities
Year Conducted: 2012

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