a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: What Kind Of Animals Are Chip And Zorro?

Monday, December 30, 2019

What Kind Of Animals Are Chip And Zorro?

SUMMARY: My breed guesses before the DNA results arrive.

PART 2 of the Chip/Zorro DNA saga. Here's PART 1.

What is Zorro (aka Luke on occasion)?

See this previous post for lots of photos and observations and musings about Zorro's breed.

When I first saw him, there was something Basenji-like, and I have a photo in one of my books to prove it.

He was listed as a Border Collie mix. So I give some credence to that on the assumption that maybe someone who came up with that listing knew what the mother was. Maybe not: Maybe someone just guessed as I am doing.

Early on, I had already started thinking Australian Cattle Dog (aka Heeler) by appearance and personality (stubborn, smart, eager to DO stuff). I haven't seen any herding behavior, but then he hasn't been around anything that he could herd. (Unlike Boost, who clearly went into herding mode when other dogs were chasing frisbees, for example.)

See this previous post for another cattle dog photo comparison.

And I know that at least BCs and ACDs can be obsessive about things, including hunting rats (and lizards, and squirrels, and birds, and snakes...), but still there is something terrier about him. Like maybe a rat terrier. Like really maybe a rat terrier. (I can't find a full-body tricolor legal reference here, but here's a tricolor face from Wikipedia public domain.)

Zorro Breed Best Guess

1. Cattle Dog 2. Rat Terrier 3. Border Collie 4. Basenji

Finally, Zorro's results are in.

What is Chip?

See this previous post (scroll to the bottom half) for lots of photos and observations and musings about Chip.

I am seriously lacking in guesses.  I think that the previous owner's idea of a sighthound is decent. Like a Whippet? Fairly deep chest compared to waist, although not super differentiated. He is basically a couch potato who loves to run full out a little and then he's done. When Zorro is chasing a toy, Chip's full attention is on him and he'll often zoom in full speed to grab at his neck or shoulder. (Like all attributes, many breeds have them.) (Both from Wikipedia: Standing whippet, running whippet.)

But he has those naturally upright ears and the tail is certainly not sighthound.

He loves to dig. People have also suggested Malinois from his appearance, or German Shepherd Dog, but he just doesn't seem to have the working-dog working ethic.  He's smart enough, but not driven. (Except for biting at spray from the hose, or digging digging digging.)

I'm thinking more likely Lab or Golden Retriever mixed in there, mostly because they're common, and mostly because my first dog, Amber, didn't look horribly different from Chip and she was a known GSD/GR mix. I have no idea how to account for the digging!

Chip Breed Best Guess

1. Whippet or Greyhound 2. Golden Retriever 3. Labrador 4. German Shepherd (had to get the upright ears from somewhere! )

Finally:  Chip's results are in.

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