Three Things Your Dog’s Looks Can’t Tell You

by Rebecca Reid • Posted in: Adoptions, Awareness/ PR, Behavior, Education

great dog1. Personality and preferences

A dog’s appearance is determined by only 0.25% of their entire genome. That leaves 99.75% of their genome unaccounted for. To predict personality and preferences based on 0.25% of a genome is like predicting what a cake will taste like based on less than a teaspoon of an ingredient.

2. Breed

That’s right, when mixed breeds are visually assigned, most professionals get it wrong.

Several studies have shown that visually identified breed assignments do not usually match up with genetic testing. So even if we could assign personality and preferences to certain breeds, we’re usually not getting the breeds right to begin with.

See for yourself how difficult it is to visually assign a breed here.

3. Whether that dog is a good match for you

In realizing how difficult it is to assign breeds in the first place, it is never a good idea to dictate your choice of pet based on breed alone.


We encourage our new adopters to approach the adoption process with an open mind. 

Are they looking for someone to run with who will curl up on her own bed after dinner?

Are they looking for someone that will play fetch for hours and burrow his nose in their lap while they’re working?

Are they looking for someone that promises to be loyal and strong-willed? 

These honest and open-minded assessments will help new adopters find the best fit for their home. Even in instances when breeds are definitively known, finding someone’s next best friend should never be as simple as checking off a box labeled “Golden Retriever” or “Border Collie.”

Are you looking for your next furry best friend? Here’s our recommendation: Look for the individual dog that suits your lifestyle… look for the individual dog that loves what you love… look for the individual dog that melts your heart…

and when you find that dog… you’ll know.


Not convinced? Check out this helpful infographic:

AllDogsAreIndividuals  *Graphic courtesy of Animal Farm Foundation.