Aside from his age (around 12), the question I get asked most when out and about with Tucker is ‘what kind of dog is he?’. His unique looks garner lots of attention and his breed is the subject of much curiosity. Is he a Lab? A Golden Retriever? Does he have some Greyhound, Collie or German Shepherd in him?
The simple answer is, we don’t know. He’s a mutt for sure, and when we adopted him, we were told he was a Labrador mix, which he could very well be. He doesn’t look a great deal like the other Labs I’ve had in my family – he’s taller, slimmer and rangier, and his muzzle is longer and more pointed. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say his fluffy coat, feathery tail (not to mention superior shedding skills) and love of water make him part Golden Retriever, but he takes off and runs like a Greyhound. He’s certainly got a Lab’s appetite (but only for ‘people food’) and playful, gentle nature. My spouse calls him a ‘Heinz 57 Hound’ – a reference to the Heinz food company slogan – because he’s a dog of many varieties!
I had considered getting a dog DNA test to find out more about Tucker’s origins. There are organizations online that, for under $100, will send you everything you need to get a sample from your dog to send back to them for analysis against their database of breeds. This information could be useful for a few reasons. From a health perspective, certain breeds of dog can be predisposed to particular genetic conditions or health concerns, and awareness of these issues could help you better care for your dog. It can also clue you into characteristics and behavioural traits, including energy levels for exercise needs and potential obedience issues.
In truth, I’m not sure how accurate such tests are. And while I’ll admit to being a little curious, as far as Tucker’s concerned, it really doesn’t matter to me – whatever the results, he’s a pretty fabulous concoction. I already know that he’s a handsome, gentle, smart, adventurous, discerning, obstinate, hairy mutt, and that it’s his unique personality that makes him so darn adorable.
He may not be purebred, but he’s 100% pure loved!
Now I just have to wait and see whether my curiosity gets the better of me.