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A Mutt by Any Other Name

At the Cochrane & Area Humane Society we specialize in mutts; dogs that do not belong to one officially recognized breed and are not the result of intentional breeding. There are an estimated 150 million mutts worldwide and many have no known purebred ancestors. This describes a large percentage of the dogs that come through our doors. In addition, many of our dogs arrive as strays, so even if they know their lineage, they're not talking. As a result, the majority of our adoptable canines are labeled as mixed breed since identifying a predominant breed or even a breed mix would be a guess and visual breed identification in dogs is unreliable. One person's Plott Hound is another person's Treeing Tennessee Brindle. For a small shelter in Western Canada, we have had an inordinate amount of Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dogs thanks to a spotted coat, Google and some staff creativity. In a recent study 87.5% of dogs ID’d by shelter staff as a certain breed didn’t actually hav…

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