We’ve been having a lot of fun with Tegan, the new puppy. We play with her constantly. And between ourselves, we try to guess what breeds of dogs her parents were.
She is long and low. The gene for short-leggedness in dogs is their version of dwarfism. It is found in only a few breeds, yet oddly, it is the dominant gene.
Viva the Great Dane plays with Tegan. You can really see how short Tegan’s legs are here.
Long and low breeds: dachshund, either Cardigan or Pembroke Welsh corgi, Swedish valhund, basset hound.
Her coat is black, with “pumpkin seeds” above her eyes.
I’ve always heard the orange marks above her eyes called “pumpkin seeds”, but the American Kennel Club seems to call them “kiss marks”.
Black dogs with pumpkin seeds: Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers.
But her muzzle and paws are speckled, brindled or “merled”.
The speckles on her paws are called “merle” or “brindle”. Not many dogs have merling or brindling.
Dogs that are brindled or merled: Greyhounds, pit bulls, boxers, dachsund, Cardigan Welsh corgi, Australian shepherds, cattle dogs, collies, including border collies. The gene for merling is incompletely dominant, which means it is dominant except when it’s not. Helpful? Not so much for me, either.
She has no undercoat — soft fine hairs that provide insulation.
Dogs without an undercoat: greyhounds, pit bulls, Doberman pinshers, Rottweilers.
Her coat is stiff and wavy.
Every zig-zag in her coat is a natural wave in her fur. When you run your hand over them, they are hard ridges.
Rottweilers, Chesapeake Bay retrievers.
Her paws occasionally point out.
Dogs with bow-legs, or “knuckled-over”: bassets, pit bulls (this is a flaw in either breed that can become severe). Hers isn’t bad, and we hope she’ll eventually outgrow it.
Her ears are thin and erect…
Coconut courtesy of the State of Florida.
Erect ears: lots of dogs have erect ears, but for our purposes I’ll limit the choices to others we’ve talked about — corgis, cattle dogs, border collies.
Rottweilers and Doberman pinscher ears are actually droopy — when you see these dogs with erect ears, it’s because they’ve been cropped so they stand upright.
…except when her ears curl back, which is called a “rose” ear.
Tegan chewing on a coconut I brought back from Florida years ago. They ought to sell these as chew toys.
Ears that curl back: greyhounds, pit bulls.
She is the friendliest, cuddliest dog I’ve ever had.
Tegan when she was very young, cuddling with Darwin. He is not a naturally cuddly dog.
Cuddly dogs: Everybody has their favorites, but the breed that has been the most consistently cuddly for me has been pit bulls. Yes, pit bulls. The ones I have known have been crawl-in-you-lap-and-hug-you friendly.
I’m sure I’ve missed some breed with these characteristics, but I think I got the main ones.
So what do you think? What breeds went into Tegan?