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Is My Puppy Purebred?

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This is a question some new pet owners ask, especially if they are unsure of the breeder's reputation or if they got the puppy from a backyard breeder. Physical traits help to answer this question, but the only sure way to know is papers (and assurance of breeding practices) or a DNA test. This is a guide about, "Is my puppy purebred?".


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By 1 found this helpful
December 31, 2008

I have a 4 month old Shetland Sheepdog that I just adore. She was a bit pricey (full papered and what-not) and I want to get a second one to keep her company. I found one without papers, the same age, but a very unusual color. She is almost solid black, with a little white on her chest (not full collar white) and paws. Based on the picture (and keeping in mind that this is a 4 month old pup) does this appear to be a purebred Sheltie?

Stacey from Dorr, MI


January 2, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have seen kits at our local pet supply store, and have heard of vets that will take swabs for genetic testing to determine the makeup of a family dog.


These tests are usually marketed to people with mutts to determine how many different "flavors" our dogs are made of. Results are supposed to be fairly conclusive and it might be a way to go if this question is really making you crazy, but I think the tests run something like $60-100.

We considered it for our pup Gus as a fun thing to do but decided a $60 kit was too much to spend for a fun test since it doesn't change Gus any.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 12, 2009

I bought my puppy Sasha from a breeder on the south side with ADBA registration. So she is an ADBA registered red nose pit bull (her family tree goes back 5 generations) but everyone says that she looks a lot like a Weimaraner. Is she a mix or pure bred? What do you guys think?


Paul from Chicago, IL


By (Guest Post)
January 14, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

First of all, the AKC doesn't acknowledge pit bulls, so there is no AKC standard or "model" for the pit bull. The closest thing that AKC acknowledges to a pit bull is the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Secondly, no one can really tell for sure by looking at the dog whether or not it is purebred until its at least 6 months old because their features change a lot. I do agree that the muzzle is rather long for a purebred pit bull. Did they show you the parents? Just for future reference, if you are buying a purebred dog, ask to see the parent dogs, and you want to see them with the puppy, especially the mother dog, because they won't be able to fool you when it comes to the mom. She will play with her pup in a certain way that only the mom plays with her pup, even if its been weaned.


Thirdly, it is simply not true that the only way to assure that a dog is purebred is if it has AKC papers. Long ago I had a purebred cocker spaniel that I had the papers on. I was given pictures of that dog in the conformation show ring, blue ribbon and all. But I didn't send in the change of ownership papers, I just didn't know or care about the importance of that. Later on, I bred him to another purebred cocker spaniel with papers, and those pups were given away without papers, again, because no one was really worried about that. The people that we gave them to were looking for good family dogs, and we hand picked them and knew them, so we knew they treated the dogs well. Were those dogs any less cocker spaniel puppies because they didn't have papers? Come on,now, folks. We have to start considering the truth about these things. What really matters and when have we just been sold a bill of goods?


While I do think its sad that you paid money and may not have what you paid for, you really did get a beautiful pup, and that's what matters.

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