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21 June 2010


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David S. Greene

Ya see, I like to mess with people. When they see two longhaired dachshunds, and just can't figure out what they are, I tell them "They're Irish Setters with their legs cut off". I'm a big ol' meanie that way.


Once upon a time, we were at a fair with our 10 week old doberman pinscher puppy. Noire had her tail docked, but has natural ears. Someone came over and was petting her and exclaimed happily what a beautiful lab she was.

I stared, then stared some more.

Courtney K

HA! I have a Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy. People *do* get the species right, but I've heard:

"Oh, she got to keep her tail!" by people who think she is a Pembroke corgi because she is red and white. I've gotten so many dog people, even, who think she's a Pem with a tail - even though they're totally different breeds.

"Do you know what kind of mix she is?"

"Is she a corgi mix?"

"Is your corgi a runt or something?" -and after I explained that no, she is a puppy, the person said "Oh, well she LOOKS full grown." Thanks for your obviously educated opinion!


My favorite is the time my stepmother called me all excited about the cute kitty cat that some celebrity had. Could I please find out what it was? Did a little Googling. It was,

drum roll, please,

a Pomeranian puppy.


Scotties--even in full coat--have been identified as "pot-bellied pigs." So humiliating!

Lisa in Cape May County, NJ

Gina Spadafori

Geez, and all I ever get is "nice setter mix" (for the flat-coated retrievers). And "cute mini collie" (for the Sheltie).


Cute goat!

When my rough collie is in full coat no one has a problem figuring out his breed. The foxtails are horrid this year so I clipped him with a buzz cut, a half inch all over.

To my eyes he looks like a smooth collie, but since most people don't know what that is, I've gotten creative guesses: greyhound/poodle (huh?), border collie/borzoi (not so far off), golden retriever/german shepherd, and kelpie/aussie.

Since the coat texture is so different near the skin, he has a fuzzy puppy look to him and looks 9 years younger!


People think my black schnauzers are scotties. Perfectly understandable. The fluffy corgis often get mistaken for shelties, and the havanese? People think he's some sort of poo. Everything from schnauzeipoo, maltipoo, and so on. Best misidentify on him was the gal at petco who seemed to think he was a guinea pig.

Phyllis DeGioia

uhm, wire haired poodle? Hipoodle?

Carrie Jo

Everyone thinks my Flat-coated Retriever is a lab mix, which is understandable.

What mystifies me is when I explain "No, she's a Flat-coated Retriever" and people say "What's that a mix of?"

elaine BHC

Among the visitors to our dachshund specialty show a couple years ago were two brothers, who looked to be about 7 and 5 years old. Evidently they had had some previous exposure to the breed, as they knew there was more than one kind of dachshund. The older boy told the younger when they walked by some longhairs, then some smooths. As they approached the grooming area, where several dogs were on tables being readied for the ring, the older boy pointed and exclaimed to his brother: "Look, Danny, there's some wild-haired dachshunds!"

David S. Greene

Wild-haired dachshunds!! I think that's what Cami actually thinks she is.

Deb Moulton

I have a blue and white pied IG who is just 3 months and 2 days old. In his short life, he's been referred to as a great dane puppy not once but twice! I have also been asked if he's a rat terrier. That person was sure he was a ratty and that I must be wrong. Since I've followed photos of the pup from birth, flew across the country to his breeders to bring him home, I am sure he's not a ratty! A terror yes, but a ratty no.

Frankly I am delighted that other people with less common breeds suffer the same misidentification syndrome that my dogs and I have put up with for years. "Ma'am, is that a whippet?" "Yah, I whipit good to make them that small."


I have 2 all-black, show-groomed Giant Schnauzers (who have never seen a show). At least once a week, someone asks if they're labradoodles or large poodles. No, people, neither of those have beards or looks like an overgrown terrier.

Real bonus points to the people that just confuse them with bouviers and BRTs. That I can understand.

E. Moon

The sheltie gets mini-collie a lot. The English shepherd -- being black and white -- is most often assumed to be a border collie. Except for the one man who was absolutely certain she is a cocker spaniel because she has freckles on her face.

I knew of the border collie slipped in several generations back, but by goodness I'm completely undone by the knowledge that I bought a sheepdog just to have it morph into a spaniel the moment we left the breeder's farm.


This post made me laugh.

I have had people mistake my dogs for all manner of interesting breeds. More often than not people just ask what they are.

The Australian Cattle Dog (Blue or Queensland Heeler) I had growing up was repeatedly accused of being a Pit Bull or Pit mix. Once, a woman saw him and began edging away. When she was on the other side of the street she said he was beautiful and asked if he was a wolf. Close, but wrong species!

My male dog is a Heeler/Pointer mix. He gets a lot of interesting guesses, but the one that leaves me scratching my head is: Great Dane. He's had three separate people say he looked like a Great Dane. Huh?

My female dog is a Heeler mix (probably predominantly Heeler/Border Collie). She has a Spitz or primitive look to her. Her most interesting guesses include Akita, Jindo and Canaan.


"Close, but wrong species!"

Er, that's what I get for typing quickly. I meant to say that the guess of wolf is a lot closer than goat, but still way off base.


My Flat-Coats are long-haired Labs, black Goldens, black Irish Setters, or really small Newfoundlands. Now I have a liver puppy; who knows what they'll think she is?


At our house, 3 black & tan herding dogs have tan shepherd spots above their eyes. So they are OBVIOUSLY Rottweiler mixes, right? Sparky generates the most exotic speculation (Hovawart? Tibetan Mastiff?). Opie has the most classic ES look, but "knowledgeable" dog people fixate on his double rear dewclaws and tell me he is most certainly a Beauceron. I'm told by those same people that Nicky is a sheltie...or possibly some strange cross between Cousin It and Walter Matthau.

Jet is a purebred Black Lab Mix and people get that one right every time.


I have a rough coated Jack Russell who is pretty fuzzy at the moment. People usually don't guess and just ask what mix she is. When I explain her breed, a lot of people do not believe me because they think Jack and think short legged and smooth. I think its funny that everyone meets our male and "knows" he is a Jack Russell (a mix at best), but not the well-bred, actually meets breed standard little female.


Kaylee occasionally gets Border collie with folks who think that collies only come in sable (and actually, she's gotten "BC/collie" a bunch of times too- the long pointy nose is a giveaway) but poor Lizardspitz is inevitably a Pomeranian (and to be fair, she IS smaller than some puppy mill and BYB poms at 15 pounds and 14.5") or SCHIPPERKE (despite the long coat and fabulous fluffy tail.)

I don't really expect people to guess her correctly, though, and it doesn't bother me at all, since it's a chance to educate. What DOES bug me is folks with rescue Poms insisting that their dogs ARE PUREBRED GERMAN SPITZ because they look JUST like the ones in the Bruce Fogle "Encyclopedia of the Dog" years before the first GS was imported in recent years to the US. The size difference and look are basically indistinguishable but the Spitz are a LOT more dog than the Poms as far as activity level and intensity and drive go!


All time favorite for my black-brindle, Irish spotted, APBT girl - Tasmanian Wolf Dog.

More frequently (and with less funnies) the above mentioned girl gets the understandable American Bulldog, and the plain-weird Doberman and "Rockwilder". I guess no one got the black & rust memo.

The smaller APBT (red with Irish spotting) is much less amusing - beagle, bulldog and boxer or some mix thereof aren't as far off the mark.

They both frequently moonlight as the super-special "blue noses" too. I threw in the towel on correcting that one.


People look at my powderpuff Chinese Crested and think she's a poodle (they didn't look at the ears), a papillon (they only looked at the ears), or a poodle/papillon mix or a poodle/Lhasa Apso mix (they tried to think rationally about what they were looking at.) Occasionally, someone will ask me if she's a Chinese Crested mix, because they see the Crested conformation, but have never seen or heard of Powderpuffs.


the best i've gotten for my frenchies are:

Pit bull

Bull Terrier

and Boxer


The all-time best guess for my salt-and-pepper schnauzer was "soft-coated wheaten terrier". Props for knowing that is a breed, but apparently, the guesser didn't get the whole "wheaten" part of the breed name :)


Our sphynx kitty is frequently identified as 'one of those weird dogs, you know, the ugly ones.'

Most of the time no-one takes our little dog Bertie for anything but what he is - a dachshund mix, most likely with chihuahua. But now and then we get a weirdo. My favorite so far is the chap who refused to believe he wasn't a Doberman - not, mind, a Doberman mix - because 'only Dobermans are that color' (black and tan).


Dogwood - a large male Scottish Deerhound.


dinosaur (as in, I thought the dinosaurs were extinct)

Llama - we were at a farmers' market so that might be forgiven

and goat, greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Schnauzer

Susan G.

I have 3 Chinese Crested Hairless dogs. Last year I adopted a 16 yr. old, very tiny Chinese Crested Powderpuff named Tyke. I have great fun in trying to explain that the 4 dogs are all the same breed. Most people have never heard of a Powderpuff, so they think Tyke is a Yorkie or a Pom. Some people just look at me like I am making it up or am nuts.


Seamus gets the standard 'Oh what a cute scottie!' Problem is that he is a Westie. At least they know he is a terriorist.



Greyhound: "Is that a deer?"

Woolly GSD with kind of a dishpan face: "Is that a bear?"

Original Lori

Dirty Irish Setters?

E. Williams

My Belgian Tervuren are frequently misidentified. They have been called "black collies" (wrong on both counts), German Shepherds, and once "an Irish Sheepdog". They have also been mistaken for wolves and coyotes.

If I want to have fun, I tell people they are "Swamp Collies" or "Black-breasted Crotch Sniffers".

Christie Keith


Christie Keith

Longhaired Black Labs.


Hmm. The majority of the clueless call me Frenchie and Boston pugs, and then ask whether they are brothers, even though they look nothing alike. My Boston is a puppy mill rescue, so he's not breed standard - he's a tall, leggy, big boy with ears at half-mast and a longer than average nose, but good Boston markings. OTOH, I know lots of Bostons who look like him; we've no papers, but he has the typical Boston personality. People still think he's a Boxer, a pit bull, a bulldog, a pug (!), a Frenchie, and all sorts of other stuff.


Aren't flat-coats just black golden retrievers?


Gina Spadafori

:::la la la la I can't hear you la la la ::::

H. Houlahan

I once heard a story from a man who went jogging with a mini-horse.

One neighbor family would stand and stare, slack-jawed, every time he ran past.

Finally one of the kids yelled out as he passed "Hey mister, what kind of dog is that?!"

Dee Dee

I've always had pugs. Twelve years ago, when I got my first (a black), the breed was less common and I was told MANY times that I was walking a "pitbull puppy." I've also had my girls referred to as Bostons, mastiff puppies, and (my all-time favorite) "short-haired Pekes."


So many responses, but I have to share. I found out a few weeks ago that my neighbor is a dog groomer. Along with the 2,487 reasons I wouldn't let her touch my dog. reason #2,488 is that she looked at my Belle and said, "Oh! That's a Lhasa Apso, right?"

Ok, so cairn terriers aren't ever anyone's first choice when they see Belle, but a Lhasa?? Aren't they one of the most often seen breeds in the parlor? LOL


My little red brindle prick-eared pit bull has gotten Boxer, which is understandable and in the right ball park, but she's also gotten Chocolate Lab, Vizsla, and Rottweiler.

My blue merle Border Collie constantly gets Aussie with a tail, but again, pretty understandable.


All my Cavaliers are approximately the same size and have the same features, but people are always surprised to learn that Twyla (black and tan) is a Cavalier.


Oh yeah. About swamp collies.

That's a term for a golden retriever.

I don't know where it comes from.

I happen to like it.

Amy Opoka

I have gotten "goat" with my deerhounds too! I guess they have roughly goat-like proportions, long-legged and about the size of a goat! Shortly after I had moved into my new house a few years back, I had a neighbor stop and tell me that he seriously thought I had moved in with goats at first! LOL.

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