Charlie on end of new gray sectional

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The time has finally come to find out more about Charlie. Here are her recent Wisdom Panel test results, and what it was like to do a dog DNA test!

Full disclosure: I was going to talk more about my plans for the guest bedroom today. But Charlie had an injury over the weekend*, and she’s been farting up a stinky storm today, so she’s more than a little on my mind. So, just for the heck of it, I decided to move this post up and share the results of her DNA testing.

Charlies DNA ancestry test results

*The Charlie Injury Story: Charlie hates her nails being trimmed. As in, FLIPS OUT if they are touched and therefore has a red flag on her file so vets/groomers won’t touch her. So, to help keep her nails in check, I have to use alternative natural ways, such as her nightly walks on asphalt in the neighborhood, letting her dig, and running around on a hard surface at doggie day camp. Unfortunately, Charlie still gets herself into trouble every now and then (like trying to climb my backyard fence) and split one of her nails on Saturday. Poor baby. It’s been treated and she’s on antibiotics and she’s back to her old self, so don’t worry! I’ve got a watchful eye on her until it’s fully healed.

Dog DNA Testing

Why Charlie Was Tested

It all started last fall, when I swabbed her gums using a kit one night. I was sorting through stuff to donate to Goodwill after the guest bedroom clean-out, and K brought the kit down in one of the boxes. In truth, I’d never really planned on getting her tested. At least, not with my own money; I thought it was kind of a waste. As long as she’s happy and healthy, why bother, right?

Note: contains affiliate links.

charlie - sleeping puppy

She is such a unique-looking animal that people seemed to love guessing at her breed. And since the actual truth made no difference to any of those things, I never considered it important.

Charlie in agility tubes

But, a few Christmases ago, my sister Emily (the owner of 3 mutts herself) decided my reasoning was lame and bought me (Charlie? us?) a DNA testing kit by Wisdom Panel.

dna panel dog testing kit

I forgot about it for a few years, which is how it popped back up on my radar as I was sorting through things from guest bedroom storage. So, basically, I finally buckled. I swabbed her cheek and gums (much to her reluctance, but it was a simple-step process to complete) and sent off the kit. A few weeks ago, I got back her results.

Charlie’s DNA Results

Charlie is…

drumroll please…



Charlie DNA ancestry chart breakdown

Charlie ancestry breed mix

I know… you’re shocked, right? ?

keanu reeves woah

Here’s the actual breakdown of Charlie’s ancestry chart, which I honestly DID find interesting:


Overall Thoughts on Her Results

I always suspected she might be a Boxer mix, especially because she’s so solid/muscular, loves to “box” people (gets on her hind legs and sort of paws/punches at you, right about crotch level), and “kidney beans” (shakes her tail from side to side that causes her whole body to twist like a kidney bean), all characteristics I’ve seen in other Boxer mixes in the past.

Charlie in the snow
Related: Charlie in the snow

The White Swiss Shepherd and Cattle Dog makes sense with her crazy ears. It also explains her high energy level (even though K’s dog, Stella, is around the same age, Charlie seems way more like a puppy in comparison). And the Chow part explains her tongue’s black splotches! As for the rest? Even the DNA company was like “shit if we know… your guess is as good as ours!” Roughly 37% of her test results came back inconclusive enough that there’s no one breed it points to.

Charlie exploring the beach
Related: Charlie’s first trip to the beach

So, there you have it! My precious girl has a little more known about her. Of course, I still think it really doesn’t make any difference, especially since I enjoy letting people speculate (and those of you who have emailed me photos of your own pups thinking they are the same breed or similar, I still welcome you to do so; I never get tired of puppy pics!). Mom and Em were happy to know the results, too. Were her results what you thought it would be??? Have you ever had your pup tested? What did you think?

P.S. Just so there’s no confusion, this was not sponsored.

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    1. I heard the term a long time ago from an ex-boyfriend who had a boxer-lab mix. I looked it up and learned that’s apparently what it’s called! I think it’s adorable. The Torque is too!

  1. Charlie looks a lot like Heather Armstrong’s dog, former dog, Chuck. And whatever you may think about Heather Armstrong and Dooce, her Chuck photos were always hysterical and her love of Chuck was always on point.

    But I do remember reading on her blog at some point how her vet said that Chuck was a blend of everydog.

    Also Alafair Burke’s dog Franny who she and her husband adopted from an island in the Caribbean is another one of those God knows what’s in them mutt dogs that look very much like your Charlie.

    Personally I think the little bit of everything dogs are the most awesome of all dogs. I hope you have many more years to spend with Charlie and that you love him dearly.

    1. Thanks Kara! I truly hope I have her stinky, breakfast-sneaking butt around for a long time!

  2. Charlie is a beautiful girl, Sarah! She’s just a a unique blend of all her ancestors. The ears, the long legs, the tongue, the muscled body and the lovely brown eyes and sweet face–all fine traits to have. I tend to think that mixed breeds are healthier than dogs from a long line of pure breeding. They have a lot of positive attributes from their ancestors and not so many negative traits from any one breed as do pure bred dogs. I could be wrong, but I think I’m pretty close to right.

    My hat is off to you for adopting Charlie from the Humane Society people. I don’t really believe in buying a pure-bred dog when there are so, so many strays or abandoned dogs needing a home. Why are we breeding so many more dogs–and cats–when there is an overabundance who have no homes except a cage at the animal shelter. Plus, there are very few, if any, regulations about how many dogs may be produced by breeders. I’m not saying pure-bred dogs shouldn’t exist, just that there are too many being produced compared to the number of abandoned dogs that need good homes. Let’s regulate the breeders.

  3. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing. You have wonderful ideas and I, of course, love animals. This was a really neat post to read about. We love our little stinkers no matter what. Take care.

  4. We have four mutts that I would love to get tested, but don’t want to spend the $$ lol. I never heard the term kidney bean, but my lab mix (we’re 99% sure mom was a yellow lab mixed with dumb blonde rofl) does exactly that!!! Charlie is such a cutie, I hope you have her for a very, very long time!

  5. Mutts are the best! Agree with Naomi (?) they are generally healthier than purebred. Mine was a mutt who looked like a purebred Gordon Setter … enough to fool the vet!

  6. I have two dogs that are exactly as freaked out as Charlie about people touching their nails. I started teaching them to scratch off their nails.. I used scrap wood and a super low grit sandpaper.
    Worth the ten minute DIY. and they’re happy because they get a ton of treats. It only works on the front nails, but the back ones seem to care of themselves pretty well.

  7. I bought a test for my sister this Christmas (her request) who thought she was getting a full-blood cocker spaniel, but as she got older we knew she was not a full blooded cocker. Her test results came back last week and she is half cocker, 3/4 lasao and 1/4 shis tshu. We figured out the lasao ahapso, but had no clue about the other. It was fun to find out everything I know the breeding of my dog as I met her parents she is a full-bred blue heeler. We tried to find a rescue place for heelers to adopt one, but there wasn’t any place near us, so we ended up buying her from a wonderful breeder. This is our first dog and she is spoiled rotten to the core (although she thinks I am something she can herd!) P.S. I apologize for my spelling, late nite and too tired to fix the errors, but I just had to comment because I love your blog and love when you write about charlie!

    1. Haha I’ll have a new post up for her soon too about her and little Stella’s playtimes (they are SO CUTE because Stella is so small and Charlie is so big and awkward but tries to be gentle). The only thing stopping it is getting good camera angles (BLUR CITY). It’s my new favorite thing.

  8. I’m planning on having a DNA test someday on one of my 5 dogs. Just out of curiousity! She’s a rescue that was listed as a poodle, but I can see she’s not all poodle, so am interested in finding out what she is. Your Charlie is one good looking dog, however she came to be.

    1. Haha I agree! I JUST got the chance to take more pictures of her today and I always love it (it’s so rare that she stays still long enough for me to photograph). I get your thinking on testing your dog, too. Charlie was listed as a retriever mix and there was NONE of that in her DNA profile that stood out (though I think that they list that when they have no idea). Good luck on your dog’s results!

  9. That’s hilarious! After 7 years of not caring, I also DNA tested my mutt (also received as a gift), and he is, unsurprisingly, 50% mutt! I have to admit, I was glad not to have spent my own money to find out what I already knew. My friend (who gifted me the test) put it best: “it looks like his dad is trying to deny paternity!” Glad to know that my dog’s not the only true mutt out there!

  10. I also plan on having a DNA test done for my dog. I sort of inherited him when he was 9 months old, as the lady that previously owned him passed away and the daughter and granddaughter could not keep him as they already had 3 labs each. He was originally sold to this lady as a pure bred Yorkie. But although he has the Yorkie markings his legs grew!! To me he also looks like a Schnauzer crossed with a Yorkie or Schnorkie as I call him and weighs about 15 -17 lbs. (he tends to put on a couple of lbs through the winter when we don’t go for walks as much) I plan to train him on the treadmill. He is my best companion and traveler when we go camping, and is a social Butterfly to whom ever we meet. Loves everyone and all dogs as well.

    1. Aw, he sounds like such a cutie! Stella (the other pup who is a full-bred long-haired dachshund) gains a few pounds in the winter too!