Homer’s DNA Results and Family Tree

It’s been a good experience adopting Homer, but my type A personality has always wondered what breed(s) he is. My brother mentioned that there are DNA tests for dogs (I had no idea this was a thing). The past few months, I’ve had a few friends say they’ve done DNA tests of the dogs they’ve adopted and how interesting the results were. Most of them had mentioned Wisdom Panel as the brand they used. One of my Christmas presents was money from my dad to buy the DNA kit, so I did. The kit I bought was $50 on sale on Amazon (price is usually $80). I probably wouldn’t have rushed to purchase one, but using Christmas money made the expense a bit more justifiable. 🙂

Getting Homer’s DNA was easy, and the kit provided very detailed instructions. There were two swabs, and I used each one for 30 seconds rubbing between his gum and cheek. Then, the swabs had to air out for five minutes before putting them back in their packets. I had to get online and activate the kit. Wisdom Panel did ask how old Homer is and his weight. I sent the kit off on a Monday, received an email they had received it on Friday and about eight days later received his results via email.

We were all so excited to see the results. Based on an idea a friend had given me, I had everyone write down their top three breeds they thought Homer would be. When we adopted him, the people at Tails of Hope said he (and his brothers) was a lab mix of some sort. Our vet, from the beginning, thought he may have some Husky in him.

The picture from Tails of Hope when Homer was up for adoption. I used the Pet Finder app to search for lab mix puppies within a 100 mile radius of Lexington.

Our Guesses:

Hayden: Lab, Husky, and Wolf!

Hadley: Golden Retriever, Yellow Lab, and Husky

Travis: Lab, Husky, Heeler

Me: Lab, Golden Retriever, Shepherd

The Results:

  • 25% American Staffordshire Terrier (I hadn’t even heard of this type of dog!…and I always thought all terriers were small in size!)
  • 25% Great Pyrenees (Once I clicked on the pic of this dog type, I could totally see it in Homer…and it must be where he gets his long legs…as this breed was the tallest of Homer’s mix)
  • 25% Labrador Retriever (Thank goodness he has a bit of what we were looking for in a dog! :))
  • 12.5% Chow Chow (This one still surprises me!)
  • 12.5% Siberian Husky (I guess our vet was right!)

Online, you can click on the link for each dog and it provides pics, traits, physical features, and even history about the breed.

  • American Staffordshire Terrier – Hard-working, loyal, stoic, intelligent, usually good with children, enjoy sports. Bred to guard people and property.
  • Great Pyrenees – Intelligent, watchful, generally calm (maybe Homer is easing in to this trait? haha), can be standoffish.
  • Labrador Retriever – Gentle, trusting, happy-go-lucky, good family dogs, enjoy retrieving (we know Homer knows how to do this!) and swimming.
  • Chow Chow – Loyal family dog, reserved, wary with strangers, independent spirit, bred to guard people and property.
  • Husky – Intelligent, hard-working, active, social, friendly, do well with children, energetic, stubborn, long history of helping humans, engage in digging and chasing wildlife (after reading about digging and chasing wildlife, I think Homer should have a higher percentage of Husky in him! haha) Also, cute story–Hadley was reading about each dog and the history/traits…for Husky, it said they are used to herd reindeer. Hadley said, “How hard can it be to herd reindeer?” I looked at her like, “Huh,” and she said, “There are only eight reindeer. I guess nine if you count Rudolph!” So sweet.

Family Tree

The family tree showed both parents, grandparents 1-4, and great grandparents 1-8.

Parent 1: Terrier, Lab; Grandparent 1: Terrier; Grandparent 2: Lab; Great Grandparents 1 and 2: Terriers; Great Grandparents 3 and 4: Labs
Parent 2: Pyrenees, Chow Chow, Husky; Grandparent 3: Pyrenees; Grandparent 4: Chow Chow and Husky; Great Grandparents 5 & 6: Pyrenees; Great Grandparent 7: Chow Chow; Great Grandparent 8: Husky

I’d say Homer is a sweet mix of all of these breeds. He’s loyal, intelligent, energetic, happy, independent, stubborn, watchful, active, and social. He’s a handful, but we love him. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a puppy, so I think I’ve forgotten what that takes, but he’s worth it (most days!) Sometimes, I feel like we are still getting to know each other. I’d say I feel that I was always the most attached to Shiloh and Scout. Now, I joke that there are four of us and I’m probably fourth in line to love Homer. (haha)…probably because, at times, he’s like having ten toddlers, and he’s one more thing for me (us!) to take care of.

That being said, it was my idea to get him….it’s just in me to know the love, loyalty and joy a dog brings to a family…and I know the time and will come when he quits destroying things (that time is going to come, right?), stops putting his paws on the counter, and will eventually leave dead birds outside (right?!).

He’s a good one though…and it’s been great for my kids to have a dog at their age to help and play with while also learning about the responsibilities it takes to own a dog.

Special shout out to Travis who walks him daily (the kids help sometimes too as an after school chore) and takes care of him when he’s driving me crazy.

I think the DNA kit does help give us a better understanding of our sweet, handful of a pup as we continue to get to know each other.

And, while he does drive me bonkers sometimes, I think it’s sweet that he wants to be where we are and as close as possible to us at all times. Also, he loves a routine…like every night, he hops in Hadley’s bed for a few minutes…before she kicks him out after he smothers her with his love. If she shuts the door on him before he can at least hang with her a few minutes, he whimpers and slides his paw under her door. It’s one more thing to add to our bedtime routine, but it’s Homer, so we let him have his moment.

Our sweet, playful, handful of a boy is 10(ish) months old.

Last thing, if you are a dog lover, you’d love this Dogs magazine from Life. Travis knows me so well, and it was in my stocking. It has the sweetest pictures and stories and had me tearing up from time to time.

“Dogs have given us there absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”

–Roger Caras, A Celebration of Dogs

This is most certainly the truth. We heart Homer. (AKA: Biscuit, Pooks, Homster, Homer, stop! Homer, drop it! Homer, kennel! Homer, be a good boy!) #wehearthomer #homerisahandful

Have a great weekend.

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

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