Cute pup pup!
March 29, 2012 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Dog Breed Filter: What do you think this cute dog is a mix of?

He was spotted on the subway and seems to be mostly American Eskimo. His coloring makes him very unique! I want to say he almost looks like he has light eyes too, like a Huskie. It would be nice to seek out this cute blend! So, any ideas? Picture of the pup!

(The bearded train man owner was in deep conversation with another passenger and could not be reached for comment.)
posted by c to Pets & Animals (18 answers total)
The snout, ears and hair make me think Sheltie.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:50 AM on March 29, 2012

I'm going to say Papillon and a red or blue merle Australian Shepherd (I can't tell if the coloration of the pup in question is primarily brownish or greyish).
posted by Rock Steady at 6:51 AM on March 29, 2012

I think that's a really poorly bred sheltie, with double-merle blue eyes (which also accounts for the white coat.) Breeders do breed these in mini and toy versions because people want them - I used to know one named Max.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:05 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Looks like a straight-up merle sheltie to me, too.
posted by drlith at 7:14 AM on March 29, 2012

It looks like a Papillon + blue merle border collie to me. Those ears seem so signature Papillon, I'd commit on that piece and then figure out the merle donor from whatever guesswork feels right.

Here are a few dogs with blue merle colouration to help:
Shetland Sheepdog - could be the merle donor, really, but I don't think it's pure sheltie because there's no earflop or chest ruff and the nose seems more pointy, but that's just my inexpert opinion.
Border Collie - I lean towards this because BCs seem to have that type of merle more often than any others.
Australian Shepherd - maybe, but Aussies generally push that tan in addition to the merle, and no other features seem to be present.

...and I think those are your best three donor choices, but interested in seeing what other folks come up with.
posted by batmonkey at 7:28 AM on March 29, 2012

Looks very sheltie to me. As it grows things like pointy ears may descend.

We recently acquired a mongrel pup! She's part husky, but her other features continue to keep us guessing (Collie? Terrier? German Shepherd? perhaps).

I've found conversations surrounding its breed fascinating. If you have a mongrel pup, especially a rescue dog (like ours) then the heritage is very likely to be hybrid all the way down. The mother of our puppy might have been 5/6 husky (one cross-breed in the last 6 generations) and the father may have been half of this and two quarters of two others. We'll never know, and perhaps it makes no sense to categorise a single species in terms of such clear breed distinctions. The natural wolf and every class of human bred dog are a single species regardless of the way their ears point.

A better classification method would be based on a pure taxonomy of features. So, instead of sheltie breed, you might say sheltie under-carriage hair, shepherd nose, terrier jaw. Etc. Or at least, something more scientific than this.

Anyway. I'm just waxing off about a subject I only recently became interested in. Good look classifying your pup!
posted by 0bvious at 7:41 AM on March 29, 2012

I would say mostly-Sheltie - Sheltie is what it most looks like (although not a great example of the breed if it is all Sheltie). The "earflop" (which is actually called an "ear tip") is not natural, it's added by massaging the ear leather over a period of time, pet Shelties often do not have it unless the owner did it, the presence or absence of ear tip is not defining of breed. I say "mostly" Sheltie, because this dog appears to be a red merle, and Shelties do not generally come in red merle, only blue merle. Aussies come in red merle very commonly, Border Collies less commonly, but the gene that causes merling is weird.
posted by biscotti at 7:50 AM on March 29, 2012

I'm only seeing blue, not red/rust there - how odd that we're all seeing it so differently!
posted by batmonkey at 8:14 AM on March 29, 2012

That looks like a Sheltie-Aussie mix, mostly Sheltie. The face, especially the eyes and nose, and the coat color make me think there's Aussie in there.

However, I feel compelled to point out that many, many Shelties have naturally tipped ears. I know any number of them myself, and in fact just two weeks ago was being swarmed by an entire litter of naturally tip-eared Shelties.

--HotToddy, Sheltie Person
posted by HotToddy at 8:35 AM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

i vote mini Australian shepherd.
posted by virginia_clemm at 8:47 AM on March 29, 2012 friend has a dog with a very similar face but with an orange/red coat. His dog is not a pure bred but apparently she has a significant amount of Nova Scotian duck tolling retriever in her. You might want to explore that possibility.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 9:07 AM on March 29, 2012

am i the only one that sees american eskimo in there? fuzzy pointed ears, pointy snout, dark nose, puff body with stick legs, flopped over fluff tail? im glad to know a term for the blue kind of coloring he is possessing now though... but for some reason i am getting no sheltie vibes at all. their faces seem to be pointed in a much more extreme angle.
posted by c at 9:19 AM on March 29, 2012

Smooth-faced Berger de Pyrenees?
Border collie mix?
posted by LittleMy at 9:43 AM on March 29, 2012

Pomeranian/sheltie was the first thing that sprang to mind for me. Perhaps because poms and pom mixes are much more common where I live than Papillons.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:50 AM on March 29, 2012

The American Eskimo thing doesn't ring for me because of AEs have that curve between forehead and snout and around the face that your subway pup doesn't seem to have.

But I wasn't there and am just a canine fan, not any kind of expert :)
posted by batmonkey at 10:50 AM on March 29, 2012

I have a sheskie - sheltie/american eskimo mix... and my vote is this is a mix of eskimo and australian shepherd.
posted by prettymightyflighty at 4:42 PM on March 29, 2012

Wait, is it a Spitz?
posted by DarlingBri at 4:45 PM on March 29, 2012

thanks for the tips! we may never know the true mix but at least we have some clues. the viewer of the pup wanted to stress how much he looked like a little fox.
posted by c at 6:12 AM on March 30, 2012

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