a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Zorro's Breed Results Are In!

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Zorro's Breed Results Are In!

SUMMARY: Biggest part is as expected, but then --

... much unexpected!

My guesses were, in order: 1. Cattle Dog 2. Rat Terrier 3. Border Collie 4. Basenji.

And here's the big reveal:

  • To the ACD, I say, well, duh!  
  • Beagle: OK, has a non-ACD bark, I've always thought. 
  • But Chihuahua?  One friend said, while guessing her own breeds, "Including  Chihuahua because around here these days *everything* probably has chihuahua."  
  • And I expected terrier, but Boston Terrier?  I don't know enough about BT traits to say, "no way," or, "well, THAT explains it."
  • German Shepherd Dog: I sometimes wondered whether those were Shepherd ears. Should've added to  my guesses.
  • Supermutt: Additional breed ancestry so diluted that all they can do is make guesses. "We cannot be sure, given how little of their DNA has carried down to Zorro, but we thought you might like to know our best guess anyway!"
    • Smooth Fox Terrier
    • Shetland Sheepdog
So much for his original rescue posting as "Border Collie Mix"! Not a whit of that.

It also includes a list of physical traits. Here's the summary:
  • Coat color: Gives a fairly broad range, but not incorrect so far--I'll have to wade thru the "but if the dog has xxxx gene, then..." material. It is correct that he is not merle.
  • Coat qualities: Short or medium fur, straight not curly, sheds a lot seasonally.  Yep.
  • Other:  "Likely to" have medium or long muzzle, normal-length tail, normal muscling. "Unlikely" to have hind dew claws or blue eyes.   Yep.
  • Genetic diversity: Inbreeding 0%. Well, that's pretty interesting!


They list 30 dogs whose DNA makes them "Close relatives: As related as human first cousins." They are ALL listed as ACD, while Zorro is Mixed Breed.  All those who have photos are clearly ACD as claimed. And although 2 are named Truckee and Cali, almost all of them live on the east coast except for an enclave in Nebraska. Intriguing.

As long as we're here--I also asked for the health screening. They tested for 181 things, and he's all clear except:
       Carrier for "Progressive Retinal Atrophy, prcd" and "Progressive rod-cone degeneration (PRCD Exon 1)"
No worries about him ever carrying that anywhere. I'll have to look  up what breeds commonly carry that. Later.

Now can hardly wait for Chip's to arrive, because I had no confident guesses at all!
And here they are!


  1. That is pretty cool! So ACD for sure then. Interesting scattering of other breeds there. I thought your guess of part rat terrier made a lot of sense. I wonder if Chihuahuas, boston terriers, and rat terriers might be related somewhere back in time, which could tie it all together? (no idea)

    However, I would take these results with a grain of salt, because they completely missed the froggy half of his genes, which, you know, throws it all into question, really. ;)

    Looking forward to hearing Chip's results!

    1. LOL!
      I'm also wondering where his obsessive hunting trait for small animals comes from. I'm fully aware that there can be dogs in almost any high or medium energy breeds who hunt rats/etc. obsessively. But it seemed so rat terrier-like! Wikipedia article says "While [Boston Terriers were] originally bred for fighting as well as hunting rats in garment factories, they were later down bred for companionship. They are not considered terriers by the American Kennel Club." So that's dating back 120-150 years ago, depending on when they became less of rat-hunting dogs.

      Another site says that the top 10 breeds for hunting rats are these, but they're not listed for Zorro's ancestry:
      Rat Terrier
      Cairn Terrier
      Yorkshire Terrier
      Norfolk Terrier
      Jack Russell Terrier
      West Highland White Terrier
      Miniature Schnauzer
      Lakeland Terrier
      German Pinscher