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What Is Gambit?

Y'all know about Gambit, the rescue dog we adopted last year.  The one that looks a bit like a hyena, but with a smaller head.  With a head that is not only smaller than a hyena's, but a bit smaller than would be proportional to his hyena body.  And a tongue that will, after Bit has sprinted to his heart's content, hang out the side of his mouth at a freakish length.


We've been trying to figure out his breeds for that entire year.

The vet who performed preliminary care for his injuries guessed he was a Boxer/Aussie Shepherd mix.  I could see the Boxer in his body but, other than a little bit of flagging on his back legs, couldn't figure out where the Aussie was supposed to be.  And his head didn't really look Boxer or Aussie.

A couple weeks after we adopted him, a man with a great deal of diverse dog experience took one look at him and declared Gambit was a Boxer/Plott Hound mix.  After searching some pictures online, I agreed.  There were pics that looked exactly like Gambit!  Well...almost.  It certainly seemed more plausible than the Aussie.

Then, at this year's state fair dog show, a girl walked past with a dog that also looked like Gambit, only the tail hadn't been docked.  That dog was a Catahoula Leopard Hound, and had been found wandering the backroads in the same county in which Gambit was rescued.  Maybe we had a Catahoula, except...the ears are all wrong.  Maybe a Catahoula/Boxer mix...?

I was curious beyond measure, so I splurged on a doggy DNA test.  I knew better than to expect precision.  I am, after all, simply mailing in cheek swabs of a mutt.  And the tests aren't looking for a "breed gene," but for collections of genetic markers shared by individual breeds.  There are some breeds that have similar sets of markers, but really divergent appearances, so there is always the chance of false-positives.  The hope was I'd get at least a little general information.

Results came in yesterday.

On one side of his "family tree," Boxer is clear, as is visibly obvious from deep and narrow chest, but the genetic markers aligned most closely with Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  The other side of the tree shows Rottweiler--which I never would have thought of, but see clearly in his black muzzle-- and a bit of Shar-Pei.  He has no Shar-Pei traits that I can see.

That took care of about 75% of Gambit.  The remaining 25% was identified as a sample platter: Elkhound, Bloodhound, Dachshund, Collie, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

So there you have it.  We have a genuine mutt who cuddles like a cat.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2012 02:58 pm (UTC)
I love his coloring!
Oct. 12th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
It's it cool that we can do things like that nowadays?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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