When I finally caved and agreed TW and Elly could have a dog for their birthday last year what it really meant was they could have a dog that I liked as much, if not more, than they did and I have a thing for beagles. So while I might have agreed to another dog, (and I would have), I was leaning heavily toward something that was "beagle-like" -- and that's how we ended up with Skeeter Bess.
The first time I saw her at the Wright-Way Rescue, I barely glanced at her or her sister -- she was too tall and too thin to be a beagle puppy. I was looking for something more traditionally beagle -- and she was not it. The beagle puppies that the kids and I fell in love with at another shelter were more to my liking. Or the older lemon beagle from yet another shelter would have been fabulous. But no -- TW didn't like any of those. On our second trip to Wright-Way, I was just not loving any dog in there and I was a little afraid that we were going to find ourselves with a Saint Bernard mix of some sort so I stood in front of the kennel where these two "beagle/hound" mix puppies were play fighting with each other and I decided that I could live with that one -- that one whose name was Scotty.
I brought TW over. She cocked her head and looked at her. She called the girls over and they cocked their heads at her. TW looked at me and said ... "Maybe?" And, that's how we ended up with what we were told was a beagle/hound mix named Skeeter Bess.
From day one, we were pretty sure of the "hound" part. We did a lot of research on various hounds and Treeing Walker Coonhound made a lot of sense -- so did American Foxhound. This dog is FAST and she's got a lot of energy. She doesn't seem to "tree" like I'd expect her to but what do I know about treeing dogs, anyway? And her braying isn't as loud/strong/coonhound-like as the videos of dogs of those breeds.
I decided it would be fun to have her dog DNA tested, even though I've read a lot of articles about inaccuracies and how hard it is to tell much about mixed breed dogs. I ordered a Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA test for TW for Christmas. TW was amused and game to give it a try. Skeeter was less amused by the swabbing of the cheek, but she was a good sport and managed to not eat the little swap envelope thingies before we could get them sent off.
The DNA test came back and... the results are in. Skeeter, the beagle/hound mix is.... a Treeing Walker Coonhound/Miniature Poodle Mix.
Uh huh. Go ahead and laugh. We have a poodle. It's funny though Skeeter does seem a little embarrassed about this.
One of her parents is purebred Treeing Walker Coonhound but the other parent.... well, he/she has been around the block a few times, as has his/her parents. Here's the full breakout, so you can see what I mean:
One parent: Full-blooded Treeing Coonhound
One parent: Miniature Poodle Mix
- Redbone Coonhound (11.26%)
- Dachshund (9.00%)
- Australian Shepherd (8.62%)
- Border Collie (5.08%)
- Tibetan Spaniel (4.18%)
It's interesting, right? Particularly if you've spent any time with our dog and spent time thinking about all of the various breeds that make up her ancestry.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound and the Redbone Coonhound are most obvious -- she's got a whole lot of their traits. But what about the traits of the miniature poodle? Or the Dachshund, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Tibetan Spaniel?
Skeeter is smart. She can do a puzzle in minutes the first time it's presented to her and the second time you show her the puzzle, she'll have it done before you step away from her.
She also follows her person around, though she's equally happy laying in her person's bed if it's cold/rainy out and she's comfortable where she is.
She doesn't like her feet muddy, but she is more than happy to get them wet in puddles, lakes, rivers or snowbanks.
Her nails seem to grow really quickly, a poodle trait, and are constantly clacking on the floor -- not something that happens often with the ShihTzu or our old cockers.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are supposed to be barkers -- Skeeter is not a big barker. If the ShihTzu barks, she'll join in. If she sees a racoon on the front porch, she'll definitely bark. If the neighbors are outside late at night, she'll bark. If she thinks Johnny Mac Pippin is stuck in a well and nobody is rescuing him, she'll bark -- or more likely she'll come grab your hand and cry and then run to where she wants you to go, and then bark if you aren't following her.
I wasn't sure what we were going to learn from having our dog's DNA tested -- but I'm glad we did it. It's been interesting to think about and I think we've learned a little bit more about her than we knew before we had her tested.
Have you sent in your dog's DNA for testing? Did you learn anything interesting? Did the results help you better understand your dog?
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