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Breed Identification on Mixed-Breed Dogs Isn’t That Accurate

Adoptable mixed-breed dogs might be mislabeled more often than we think. Here’s what a recent study found!

Jackie Brown  |  Feb 25th 2019

Many dog lovers assume the breed identification listed for adoptable dogs is accurate, but as it turns out, such labels should be taken with a grain of salt.

Researchers at Arizona State University’s Canine Science Collaboratory recently genotyped DNA from more than 900 shelter dogs to see just how often those breed labels assigned by shelter staff were correct. In the study sample, 125 different breeds were identified.

Shelter workers had the most success identifying the primary breed in a mix (accurate 67 percent of the time), but when they tried to guess at the secondary breed, that accuracy dropped to just 10 percent.

Thumbnail: Photography ©GlobalP | Ratsanai | Getty Images.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you! 

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at

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