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I don't mean to be a naysayer, but my understanding is it's very difficult to figure out the breeds in a dog just by looking at them. The higher the "mutt" percentage, the harder it is.

That said, doesn't anyone use any of the dog DNA services? Has anyone tried Embark?
 

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It has been proven that DNA tests can help get a dog adopted faster because people naturally want to adopt a dog they know the mix of. However, there are plenty of clues and guesses that can help you guess the breed.

For example, at our shelter, you can generally guess a dog is going to either have Hound, Chihuahua, Pittie, Shepherd, or Lab in it. Most of our dogs are mixes of these and you can tell because of the color, shape, personality, eyes, patterns, tail, ears, ect. Pitties have brilliant, human-like yellow eyes while labs have gentle brown eyes and hounds have goofy (and so cute) eyes inbetween. The little things can help you guess.

Also, common breeds or breeds commonly found locally will give you a hunt of what the breed probably is. Labs are more common then, say, Flat-coated retrievers so even a dog that looks like a Flat-coated Retriever mix is probably just a Lab or Golden mix.

Hope this helps. Sorry that I can't answer the Embark question. It can be expensive to do tests on animals, and so at our shelter we always do our best to guess.
 

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I think people just like to have some idea as what to call it, because mutt isn't good enough to some lol

It doesn't have to be fully accurate just is sometimes fun to guess.

But even DNA tests are not fully accurate. Some have brought back some insane silly far from the truth answers and it depends alot on if your dog has full breeds in the few generations back to get a clear answer. If it is a mutt, with lots of other mutts... it is going to give very skewed results.

If you have zero clue at all then i can see why someone would not want to have it done. It is alot of money to spend to give you no more info than someone guessing....
 

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At our town shelter, out of 14 available dogs to be adopted, 13 of them are pit bull mixes, very strong on the pit bull. The other two are chihuahua mixes.

I agree about thinking about what breeds are common locally (or I should say commonly surrendered) and using that as a starting point.
 
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