When I adopted Buddy, he was listed as a Boston Terrier mix who was roughly 6 months old. As soon as we brought him outside for walks and to visit dog parks, we received a barrage of inquiries from people asking, “Oh, he’s so cute! What is he?”
My standard answer: “I don’t really know. He’s a mixed-breed shelter dog whose paperwork says Boston-Terrier mix.”
The speculation of mixes was endless. Quite frankly, I have never cared so much about what exactly he is because he’s my Buddy, but at the same time, sure, I was curious.
When I was given the opportunity to try out the PetConfirm DNA Test, I quickly accepted the offer. Finally we might get an answer as to what Buddy’s true breeds were. I couldn’t help but wonder if it would reveal some totally unexpected breed that would totally surprise us.
While Buddy’s shape resembles a Boston Terrier, his coloring is like none I’ve ever seen. It’s merle with irregularly shaped splotches of mahogany, copper, coffee, and white. His coat is short, and he’s a little stocky. He’s got a decidedly un-brachycephalic snout and a nice set of bat-shaped ears.
Buddy’s personality is best compared to John Travolta’s role as Tony Manero in the 1977 classic Saturday Night Fever. For some reason, I can’t help but imagine him walking around with a gold chain around his neck. It seems so fitting.
He walks with swagger and seems to unnecessarily challenge dogs of all different shapes and sizes in some sort of machismo parade. He is not really aggressive, but he’s loud and cocky for sure.
One of the first times we took him to the dog park, he started a confrontation with a group of Boxers and Pit bull-type dogs who were much larger than himself. As soon as I was able to get my hands on him, I had to pick him up and get the hell out, because he was so embarrassingly rude. Buddy’s doing much better now, after getting neutered and taught some lessons in dog park etiquette. I will not bring him to the dog park without his training treats.
In addition to being macho, Buddy’s kind of a mama’s boy as well. Somehow he convinced me to break my crate-at-night rule for dogs and has spent every night snuggled next to me for the last few months.
He is somewhat territorial and makes sure he is close to my side at all times. This has led to some conflict with May Belle, whose paperwork says she is a Chihuahua-Rat Terrier, and who is also quite territorial. Strangely enough, these two also seem to play quite well together when they are willing to get over their bullheaded differences.
When I received the DNA test in the mail, I was eager to try it out. I am not the best at following complex instructions, so I was pleased to find that those included in the package were basic enough for a simpleminded person such as myself.
The directions were both written and visual. They instructed me to swab my dog’s inner cheek in a swirling motion for a number of seconds and then to place the two swabs in a little envelope (two in case one gets lost or damaged). I was to leave the envelope open for a while before sealing it and placing it in the larger envelope, which would be mailed back to the company for lab testing.
I also had to register for an online profile, which was quick and easy to do, except I think I uploaded the wrong size photo of Buddy, so it didn’t print out on the certificate that I later received in the mail. I would have liked to receive an error notification so I could have corrected my mistake.
Once I mailed the sample, it took about five weeks total to get the results back. Guess what I found out?
Buddy is roughly 75-percent Boston Terrier and 25-percent Chihuahua!
Now when people ask about what Buddy is, I answer them with the results I received from the PetConfirm DNA Test.
Dogster Scorecard for the PetConfirm DNA Test
Quality: Overall, I think the quality of the PetConfirm DNA Test is high. It came as a complete package that was easy to use.
Function: The function of the PetConfirm DNA Test was excellent. It worked exactly as it said it would.
Creativity: I like the idea and ease of being able to administer the DNA test at home and mail the results in. That worked very well for me.
Value: I have been told that some DNA test kits are as expensive as $150, which is why I have never had any of my dogs tested. The PetConfirm DNA Test is only $69.99 through the company’s website.
I would definitely use the PetConfirm DNA Test again because it was easy to use. If there was a drawback, it’s that the results took about five weeks. However, that is not a big deal to me. It was fun to find out the results when they arrived. I would recommend this product to anyone who is curious about their dog’s genetic breed composition.
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About the author: Also known as the Breadwinning Laundry Queen, Kezia Willingham is a regular contributor to both the print and online versions of Catster and Dogster. She lives in Seattle with her family, which includes a pack of rescued cats and dogs. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Seattle Times, and xoJane.com. You can follow her on Twitter.