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What Breed is My Puppy? | How to Identify Your Dog’s Breed

If you’ve just gotten a new pup and aren’t quite sure what breed it is, you may be questioning the various methods of figuring out what breed your puppy is?  

Luckily, dogs are pretty evident in their genetics, and you would just have to spot one or two traits before establishing just which breed your canine friend belongs to. Whether you know much about the breed, there are a few ways to help you identify your pup.  

Keep reading to learn more about how to identify your beautiful dog breed and which signs to look out for.

goldendoodle puppy what breed is my puppy

5 Ways to Find out What Breed is my Puppy

Your first guess would be to browse a breed directory of sorts in an attempt to spot something resembling your dog. The chances are that you’ll go through multiple pages before finding your specific identification, so here are a few ways to narrow down your search.

1. Use Technology

Thanks to the improvement of cameras and recent app software, many apps online will help you figure out more or less which breed your dog is from a single picture.  

These apps are relatively easy to use. If you’re downloading them from the App or Play Store, check the comments and reviews, as some won’t do what they say they will. There are also a few apps that would prefer you to insert a credit card and email address to use their trial, which won’t be necessary as you’ll only need to identify one or three kinds of dogs.  

husky puppy
husky puppy

The Dog Scanner App allows you to scan a few pictures without signing in or logging up. You catch a snapshot of your puppy at a few angles and upload it to the app. The rest works through an algorithm and can quickly give you a breakdown of your dog’s breed. You can also download apps like Fetch! and Mobiminds’ Dog Breed Identifier.

2. Look at Breed Pictures

There are a few common traits among dogs; some dogs look like bears, or they may just be big, white, and fluffy. If your dog has some of these traits, a quick google search will help you identify more or less which breeds it could be.   

Some people also know what kinds of dog breeds their pup could fall under. Have a look at these features and see which ones resemble your puppy. This can streamline your search for a specific breed.  

Pomeranian Mixed Shih Tzu brown and white pu

You can also avoid downloading apps entirely if you’re privy to the joys of Google’s Image Search tool. Take a picture of your pet and run it through Google; this will also give you an idea but may not be 100% accurate. You’ll have to do some more research on the breed to be sure.

3. Speak to Your Vet

Your vet should have all of the information; they’ll at least be able to look at certain distinct features in your dog and will be able to tell you whether or not your dog is a mixed breed or purebred. This will help narrow down your search so that there are fewer breeds on the possible list of maybes.  

Your vet will also be able to perform specific tests for you. Things like hip dysplasia, congenital heart defects, and the like can be spotted from early on. Your vet can guide your pup’s health decisions according to what breed they’re suspected to be.

goldendoodle puppy

4. Compare Behavioural Traits

Some breeds are best known for their behavior. Pitbulls are (mis)labeled as one of the most dangerous dog breeds, and terriers are among the most aggressive. While some behavioral traits are not as consistent among all breeds, they can lead you to ask the right questions.

Observing your dog’s behavior can also help you figure out which personality traits are most robust and can help you figure out more about its breed. Nonetheless, it is rather complicated, but you can set your Staffy apart from your Bulldog.

Pitbull Terrier
Pitbull Terrier

5. Keep Your Eye on Physical Features

Whether you’re new to the dog scene or have been watching their adorable faces for years, certain physical features are pretty standard, specifically among common breeds.  

If your dog has a blue tongue, it’s probably a Chow Chow. There are also a few dogs who most commonly have blue eyes. If it’s fluffy and furry, you can guess it somehow belongs to the poodle family.   

brown chow chow dog drinking water
Chow Chow

You can group your pup into a specific dog breed by noting some of your pup’s physical characteristics.

Find Which Group Your pup Belongs to

Your dog’s behavioral and physical traits have made it easier for the AKC (American Kennel Club) to group breeds into specific categories. Each category theorizes what your dog should be best at doing and also some of its main physical features.  

Each group has been categorized by their ancestry as well. So, new mixes are constantly being recognized and added to the index at the AKC. This means you have a greater chance of finding your puppy’s breed by honing in on a specific group.

There are seven different categories as follows:

1. Sporting Group

You’ll find your Labradors, Kooikerhondje, and Cocker Spaniels in this group. This group is comprised of your exceptionally sporty dogs. They’re best known for their swimming and hunting capabilities, as well as their thick coats and sporty builds.  

Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever

If your dog has long ears, a long muzzle, and is naturally active and alert, you’re most probably being graced by a spaniel, retriever, or setter of sorts.

2. Hound Group

The hound group is made up of all hounds – duh. It refers explicitly to all pups who are bred for hunting and will happily track and chase prey. These dogs are usually (but not always) easy to spot, thanks to their long limbs, skinny bodies, and keen sense of smell.  

two basset hounds asleep in wicker bed

If your pup has long limbs and hound-like ears, you could be lucky enough to have one of these handsome hounds. These can easily be mistaken for a breed out of the sporting group, but the hounds’ mostly thin bodies and thinner legs are the main give away.

3. Working Group

This group is usually described as the blue-collar workers of the dog world. They’re traditionally your Huskies, Boxers, Great Danes, and the like. There is no standard and defining physical feature, so, unfortunately, if your dog belongs in this group, it will be a bit more challenging to place.  

Great Dane
Great Dane

These dogs are usually helping their humans in some way and tend to be quite strong, intelligent, and loyal.

4. Terrier Group

The Terrier is a quite commonly feisty and short-legged dog. They usually have pointed ears and are loving companions. This group includes the Bull Terrier and every other Terrier that you can think of.  

Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terrier

If your pup has pointed ears, short legs, and a sassy personality, then you’re probably sitting with a wonderful rat hunter.

5. Non-Sporting Group

This group is as diverse as the working group. There are no specific traits that group them together. Instead, you’ll have to keep an eye out for popularity. Breeds like Dalmations, Finnish Spitz, Bichon Frise, and so many more belong to this category.

dalmatian sniffing

6. Toy Group

This group is distinguishable by its adorable size. The toy group is also sometimes called miniature dogs or teacup breeds. Their tiny size is their ultimate draw card.  


You can expect breeds like Brussels Griffon, Chihuahua, and Maltese to form part of this group. So, if your pup is exceptionally tiny (generally and not just as a puppy), they’ll most likely find a place somewhere within this group.

7. Herding Group

The final group is best known for its innate ability to herd other animals. They’re most commonly seen on farms or in adverts for dog shampoos as they can be quite rugged and may roll around in mud whenever they get the chance.   

why is my dog panting and restles

If your pup has a guard dog feel to him, it may fall into this category. Common breeds include the Border Collie, Berger Picard, Sheepdog, Cattle dog, and Bearded Collie. These pups are usually quite energetic and attentive; they are also very intelligent.

Genetic Testing

If all else fails, you can always resort to science. Genetic testing is a surefire way to determine which breed your dog may be. This is especially useful if you’ve got a mixed breed or a dog that is very similar to two or three kinds of breeds.  

With modern technology, genetic testing is not as clinical as you may imagine. You can quickly get a DNA test kit from your favorite online store and follow the instructions in the box. These kits are easy to use and non-invasive, so you won’t have to worry about putting your pup through unnecessary trauma.  

puppy licks woman why does my puppy lick me so much
puppy licks woman

Not only will you figure out what breed your dog belongs to, but you’ll also be able to learn more about their ancestry and genetic markers for common diseases. If swabbing your dog’s cheek is a bit too much for you, some labs are also willing to do this. All you have to do is a quick Google search in your area, and voila!

Final Say on Dog Breed Identification

There you have it – there are many ways to identify your dog. The most reliable would be to check with your vet, who usually knows what they’re talking about. If you would like to do your own research, check with various apps and be sure to keep an eye out for specific behaviors and physical features.  

No matter what your pup is, getting to know them and their personality is vital, so be sure to read up on everything you can about their breed to ensure the best care.

black puppy licks face

I covered all of the costs associated with writing this post on what breed is my puppy. However, it does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this article and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission. It won’t affect the price that you pay. Just wanted to let you know.

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