Guess the breeds, win a book

FINAL UPDATE: The contest will close Friday night December 17 at midnight EST. Winners will be sent their signed books next week.

UPDATE: Enough people I respect voiced skepticism about potentially wacky results of Django’s DNA test that I decided to go ahead and look at the results. They are indeed plausible and for the purposes of this contest, that’s all that matters. There will be multiple winners but I will leave the comments open for a few more days for more entrants.

Meet Django. He was taken in after standing in front of a drugstore for five days. We adopted him a few months after that in the summer of 2004. At the time we reckon he was about ten months old. He weighed 55 lbs then; today he weighs 93 lbs. He is about 41″ nose to butt; his tail adds another foot or so. He stands about 28″ from the ground to the top center of his back. He has a large head.

He will sit, lie down and come when called. That said, he’s unlikely to be confused with a Border Collie: he is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. His hearing seems to be his most acute sense: he walks by food all the time. He is a good eater and a world-class beggar.

His disposition is gentle, though he can play rough. He likes to chew on stuff, especially chew toys that make squeaky noises. He rarely barks except when startled or really into it with a group of other dogs. He is tormented by the mere sight of cats, rabbits and squirrels and will chase them given the opportunity. He is a big, solid dog obviously, but he can run like a gazelle. He can clear a four-foot-fence on the fly.

For the most part he is amicable though certain other dogs make him crazy for some reason and he wants to kill them (and if we let him he would). He is very attentive to humans and enjoys their attention, though he is not a licker. If he really likes you he will sit on you.

Your job: guess what breeds gave rise to Django. The breed criteria, per Wisdom Insights:

Significant Breed – At least 50% of your dog’s DNA comes from this breed, so you are likely to see some physical and behavioral traits from this breed represented unless some of the genes are recessive.
Intermediate Breed – At least 25% of your dog’s DNA comes from this breed, so you may see some physical and behavioral traits represented in your dog.
Minor Breed – At least 12.5% of your dog’s DNA comes from this breed, so it is unlikely that this breed’s physical traits are visually represented unless some of the genes are dominant.

So, contestants, I need three breeds and for each I need to know if you think it is Significant, Intermediate or Minor. You can parse them however you want: one Significant and two Minor, three Intermediates, etc. The first criterion will be: Did you get the breeds right? The second: Did you get the proportions right?

Winners will receive signed first editions of my book, Here is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics.

Make your guesses (one per person please) in the comments!

After the jump: more Django to study.

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47 Responses to Guess the breeds, win a book

  1. Okay, here goes. I want that book. Also, your dog is very cute.

    Significant breed: Chow
    Intermediate breed: Rhodesian Ridgeback
    Intermediate breed: German Shepherd

    May the dogs be with me. ;)

  2. And when I write Chow, I mean Chow Chow.

  3. Joanna Wolfe says:

    1) Chow
    2) Lab
    3) German Shepard

  4. Jim Hutchins says:

    1. Chow
    2. Akita
    3. Rottweiler

  5. Nicole says:

    Fun! Going to go out on a limb a bit here…

    Significant: Chow chow
    Intermediate: Chinook
    Minor: Staffordshire bull terrier

  6. Ed says:

    Significant: Chow
    Intermediate: Boxer
    Minor: Lab

  7. Paige says:

    1. Shiba inu
    2. Rhodesian Ridgeback
    3. Boxer

  8. Paige says:

    Oops, #1 (Shiba Inu) = Significant
    #2 and #3 (Rhodesian Ridgeback & Boxer) = Intermediate

  9. Nancy says:

    Significant: Pit Bull
    Intermediate: Chow Chow
    Minor: German Shepherd

  10. Heidi says:

    Significant: Chow
    Minor: Akita and Lab

  11. mangrist says:

    Great guesses, all–tell your friends to keep ‘em coming!

    Those of you who just gave numbers 1, 2 and 3, I will assume that “1″ is significant while “2″ and “3″ are intermediate and minor, respectively. You are welcome to refine your guesses.

    And Nancy, just an FYI: “Pit Bull” is actually not a breed but is a generic term that encompasses American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. For now I’m willing to give you a three-fer.

    http://www.pbrc.net/breedinfo.html

  12. Manjula Watson says:

    1. Scooby doo
    2. Marmaduke
    3. Old Yeller

    but mainly he is just adorable!!!

  13. pugetmarco says:

    1. rhodesian ridgeback
    2. chow
    3. shar-pei
    4. akita

  14. Omoonbeam says:

    1. Husky
    2. Lab
    3. Chow chow …. only because of the black tongue

  15. Sabrina says:

    So adorable Django!

    Maybe:
    Shar-pei (significant)
    Siberian husky (intermediate)
    Rotwailer (minor)

  16. Moreno says:

    1) Shar-pei (significant)
    2) Ainu (intermediate)
    3) Rottweiler (minor)

    Did Django sign informed consent to have his DNA analyzed? :-)

  17. Whit says:

    I’ll declare myself ineligible for a book – I just want to guess:

    1. Chow
    2. RR
    3. Basenji

  18. mangrist says:

    You’re still eligible, Whit–it makes a swell gift!

    Also, I assume RR is Rhodesian Ridgeback and not Roman Rottweiler…

  19. Erica says:

    1. Lab I saw this in his coat
    2. Chow tounge is a big give away but I saw it in his head and ears.
    3 husky saw this in his tail

  20. Diane Mundrick says:

    Significant – Chow
    Intermediate – Mastiff, German Shepherd

    Although I did the same test on one of my dogs and it came back with the most crazy whacked out answers I could never have imagined. I did a different brand test and had absolutely different but still insane answers. I did this second brand on one of my other dogs that I know the parentage of and the answers were way off and insane. When I questioned the company and told them what the second dog was, they retested her and still got it wrong! So knowing that, your answers might be:

    Significant – Parsons Russell Terrier
    Intermediate – Poodle, Newfoundland, Border Collie
    Minor – Rottweiler

    LOL

  21. Michelle H says:

    1. Akita
    2. Labrodor
    3. Shepard

  22. Michelle H says:

    2 should be Labrador .

  23. Jennie says:

    Is this how you’re going to figure out what Django is? Couldn’t you, I don’t know, test his DNA…?

  24. Amy B. says:

    Significant = Sharpei

    Intermediate = Labrador Retreiver

    Minor = Anatolian Shepherd Dog

  25. Tim Bianculli says:

    Significant – Chow Chow
    Intermediate- Greyhound
    Minor- Bullmastiff

  26. David Schlesinger says:

    Kind of hard to be original with so many good guesses.

    1. Chow – The shape and color of his snout.
    2. Boxer – The shape of his head and ears.
    3. Yellow Lab – The sheen of his coat.

  27. pugetmarco says:

    Significant = Rhodesian Ridgeback
    Intermediate = Shar-Pei
    Minor = Akita

  28. Jane says:

    Sig. breed: Chow Chow
    Inter. breed: Bullmastiff
    Minor: American Staffordshire Terrier

    Hmm, my post won’t show, I wanted to delete the one with my last name.

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  30. Significant Breed – Chow chow
    Intermediate – Pit bull
    Minor – Rottie

  31. I just read the note about Pit Bull. So I am changing to Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

  32. PanamaPhred says:

    I’d say first guess is Golden Retriver but I’m bent that way, next maybe a Lion
    Do cats and dogs cross breed in this day and age…..are we still in Aquarius
    I want more kibble

    Heeeeelp I can’t stop typing……

  33. PanamaPhred says:

    PS I already have the book, author, author

  34. Nigel Walker says:

    Hmmmh!! “Your job: guess what breeds gave rise to Django.”

    You did not actually ask about his genes…
    So as firm believer in environment over genetics, and nuture vs nature
    id have to say his an Angrist.

  35. Matt C. says:

    Significant – Mastif
    Intermediate – Chow
    Minor – German Shepard

    I guess this marks the beginning of the end of the “mutt”.

  36. Joseph says:

    Significant – Chow Chow
    Intermediate- Boxer
    Minor- Bullmastiff

  37. Suma Vupputuri says:

    1) Chow
    2) Lab
    3) Dingo (Django don’t take my baby)

  38. mangrist says:

    Thanks for the guesses, peeps! I’m inclined to leave the contest open until the end of the week.

    For the record, in case you didn’t read the previous post, I am asking you to guess what his DNA test will say regarding his breed mix.

    http://blogs.plos.org/genomeboy/2010/12/12/i-wanna-be-your-dog-part-ii-or-guess-the-breeds-win-a-book-the-preamble/

    I was expecting a plausible result but enough of you expressed skepticism that I decided to go ahead and look at his results. They are indeed plausible and we will have multiple winners.

  39. Susan Harry and Walker says:

    We claim that your “dog” is really a bear.

  40. Huck the Dog says:

    Three intermediate breeds, in no particular order:

    American Mastiff
    Chow Chow
    Labrador Retriever

  41. Sally Clark says:

    okay–

    50 % Chow (thanks for the tongue view)

    25% Mastiff

    25 % yellow lab

    fun exercise on a yucky day

  42. Sally Clark says:

    Oops–
    okay–
    Significant–Chow
    Intermediate–yellow lab
    Minor–mastiff

    Interesting—I didn’t look at others until I made my guess–more fun that way—so many of us have similar answers, although now I’m more inclined to give “bear” a heavier weight.

  43. Brian O'Grady says:

    Brian’s guess
    Intermediate: Chow Chow
    Intermediate: Rottweiler
    Intermediate: Golden Retriever

    Trygve’s guess
    Intermediate: Chow Chow
    Intermediate: English Mastiff
    Minor: Rottweiler

    Frances’ guess
    Significant: English Mastiff
    Intermediate: Chow Chow
    Minor: Rottweiler

    Julia’s guess
    Intermediate: Antipodean Opaleye (because he is beautiful)
    Intermediate: Chinese Fireball (because he likes people)
    Intermediate: Peruvian Vipertooth (because he’s fast)

  44. Ann says:

    We need a secondary prize for creativity. I’m going to think about that one.

  45. Erica says:

    Well??? What is he???
    It’s Sat 7:34 pm Est. Waiting on the results.

  46. Leigh Olsson says:

    1.Rhodesian Ridgeback
    2.Chow Chow
    3.Labrador

  47. Nancy says:

    what’s the answer?!?!!