A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a random lady at the dog park. We were talking about our rescue mixes. She told me she had recently tested her dog to find out what he was mixed with breed-wise using the Wisdom Panel. I hadn’t heard of such a thing! Previously, I thought the only way to test my pup’s heritage would be via an expensive blood test.

Turns out, there are DNA swab kits for dogs that apparently do the trick! I literally ran home and ordered a Wisdom Panel Kit ($75.88, Amazon) that day. The results of the lady I met at the park seemed pretty spot on – she was told her dog was a black lab and pit bull mix and he pretty much looked and acted like both of those breeds.

So to give you some background, here’s Maisie today {5 months old}:

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.23.21 AM
If you know anything about breeds of dogs, you will automatically think Border Collie, right? In fact, her mother and 2 sibilings were all up for adoption at the time that we adopted Maisie and all were listed as Border Collie Mixes. My vet has said she only sees Border Collie when she looks at her.

Here’s a random picture of a full Border Collie:

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 5.09.36 PM

For comparison, I quickly snapped screenshots of Maisie’s two brothers just so I would have them and these were her two littermates at 8 weeks old:
Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 2.34.20 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 2.34.31 PM
I actually met the first pup’s adoptive family – they have since named him Westy and clearly he’s not only Border Collie, which is why I was so curious about Maisie’s heritage.

The second photo is Maisie’s other brother and obviously looks very similar to her!

My kit came in 2 days (gotta love Amazon Prime!) and I used two long swabs to take a sample from the inside of her mouth. Note – I did this right as she was going to sleep and very sleepy. You have to be swabbing for something like 60 seconds so getting a pup to stay still for that is no easy feat! Maisie was pretty tolerant of me getting the sample but I think it was only because she was so tired.

The kit itself is a return box with postage paid – so you literally just swab your dog, put the samples back in the box and ship them off and wait. I got an email that they had received my kit and that it would be 2-3 weeks before we heard back.

It was just about two weeks. I literally could not click open the email fast enough when I received the note saying they had attached her results!

Here they are – this snapshot came from a PDF that the folks at Wisdom Panel emailed me:

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 12.27.05 PM

Whoa! Not what I expected. Although if there is even some truth to it, I’m thrilled as all three of those breeds are fabulous breeds for family dogs. But I do believe that she has a significant amount of Border Collie in her so that makes me question the test results. But maybe I’m wrong? Maybe she’s just a black & white Border Collie look-a-like who has not enough Border Collie in her to show up on the test results?

The way the results get explained is that they gave me the top 3 breeds they could identify in Maisie but that much of her heritage was so mixed, it was not possible to identify the rest.

I may go again with another brand or even try a second round with Wisdom Panel to see if we get the same results. Not sure. Curious if anyone out there has used another or if you have used Wisdom Panel and what your results were?

One of the things that’s so cool about testing your mixed breed dogs DNA beyond just simple curiosity, is that it’s very helpful to know the background of your dog for health and training purposes. Knowing what your dog is made up of can help you understand their habits and hopefully help to educate you on ways to train and keep them healthy long term. Wisdom Panel gives you a break down of each breed identified in your puppy and talks about their traditional strengths and weaknesses.

It was definitely an interesting experiment. Get theWisdom Panel Kitfor $75.88 on Amazon.


  1. One of Maisie’s littermates looks like a Beagle. Anyway, the best dogs are the Heinz 57 varieties!!!
    Maisie has a wonderful heritage!!!

  2. My dog also looks like a border collie lab mix and that was the vets guess too…did Wisdom Panel DNA and she turned out to be lab, golden retriever, boxer, German shepherd and staffordshire terrier!

Speak Your Mind