What breed of dog is this?
November 9, 2013 5:29 PM   Subscribe

We adopted a three-year-old special-needs pooch from the pound. We thought he was a rottweiler at the time, but now we don't know. We love him and want to know more about his provenance so we can train him better. (pics provided)

We adopted a big sweet three-year old dog with severe hip dysplasia in late summer. He has a rottweiler's markings, but he doesn't look like any rottweiler we ever encounter; he's much bigger and has a longer muzzle. He looks most like a rottweiler-doberman cross, but he's much bigger than it seems that breed could get. (He's 120 pounds, and his back end is wasted away from the hip dysplasia—if he was his full size he'd probably be 140 or so.)

Any ideas, dog mavens? He has an enormous burly chest and broad shoulders, a massive square head, lots of extra skin on his neck. He has the sweetest temperament and is kind and gentle and mild. He rarely makes a sound aside from snoring or, occasionally, a single big woof when he thinks a stranger is approaching the house at nighttime.

Pictures here.
posted by Clotilde to Pets & Animals (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some type of Mastiff would be the obvious choice.
posted by Sara C. at 5:42 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

He doesn't appear to be much bigger than a Rottweiler should be to me. Rottweiler standard is apparently about 50-60kg which sounds like it is his weight.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:43 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh my, he looks so much like a much beloved rescue I had. My guess is that one part of him is black and tan coonhound. See the "pencil markings" on his toes? As for other parts ... I don't know. Mine was black and tan coonhound and great dane; my guess is the other part of yours is a bulkier breed. Perhaps mastiff, but really, I have no clue. Black and tan coonhounds are smaller, but my guy had the markings of one with the size of a great dane.
posted by batikrose at 6:23 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

The 60kg max breed standard is 132 lbs, so he's well within range. He looks like a standard Rottie to me, though I grant you his profile is a little whack. It could either be cross-breeding (maybe he has some whatever in there) but it could also just be weak breeding; back yard breeders do not generally breed for standards conformity (or screen for hip dysplasia...)
posted by DarlingBri at 6:26 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh bless his sweet face, that is one cute dog. Oh oh oh! I think he's a Rott mixed with something else. His face sort of looks like a lab's or a golden retriever's would.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:31 PM on November 9, 2013 [5 favorites]

Maybe a Dobie-Lab cross?
posted by carmicha at 7:34 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

It sounds silly to some, but the Mars company offers a kind of DNA test to see what breeds are in your dog's genetic mix. It's just a couple of cheek swabs and they send you a really interesting breakdown of the family tree. I did one for my mutt and it shed much light on his lineage.
posted by buzzkillington at 11:42 PM on November 9, 2013 [5 favorites]

My registered Rottie weighs in at 120 lbs. with the "preferred" square head. Yours may be a mixture but there's a Rottie in the family tree somewhere. My Sasha is the best dog I have ever had - and I have had many in my 67 years.
posted by pamspanda at 3:48 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Bloodhound maybe? It wouldn't add much weight but a big bloodhound'll be in the same weight range as a big rottie. Another possibility would be a so-called "king" rottie, which are bred to be larger than breed standard and are reported to have a higher rate of hip dysplasia as a result and because the focus is on size and little else they are often non-conforming in other ways as well.
posted by drlith at 5:29 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, your description of his temperament sounds totally rottie to me. They are typically sweet and goofy and make mediocre guard dogs.
posted by drlith at 5:33 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Definitely big chunk of rottie (and he's absolutely gorgeous, could you give him a snuggle from me?)
posted by humph at 5:39 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

He looks just like my rescue: an incredibly sweet Rottweiler cross (but who, however, is a lot smaller - 38 kg). The SPCA people thought he was crossed with a German Shepherd or a lab, which has been pretty much the guess from everyone else. (He has terrible hips as well.) He is also fond of snoring and doesn't bark except when he he is at the dog park with barky dogs.

Good luck! I've had mine for 3 months and he has been a total delight.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:32 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody! I think we're going to try that DNA test, see what it turns up. After doing an image search for black-and-tan Coonhound, that breed also seems like it makes a lot of sense. Really appreciate the help!
posted by Clotilde at 8:36 AM on November 10, 2013

For what it's worth in terms of training, I have a dog that both looks and acts mostly like a particular breed of dog despite pretty clearly being some sort of mix. I have found that if I treat him mostly like that breed, but just accept that he has his quirks, it all works out.

Specifically, I have a lab mix. I work with him mostly as if he were a purebred lab, but I'm understanding of the fact that he hates water and fetching things. But I find that his intelligence level, motivations, temperament, and general needs are similar to that of other labs.
posted by Sara C. at 9:26 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

He looks like an indifferently-bred Rottie to me.
posted by biscotti at 1:12 PM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm agreeing with batikrose..... possible Coonie mix. That's what my Bosco is. Here is a link to The Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue site. If you go to "Happy Endings" you can read more about them and see pics. Seriously the sweetest, goofiest dogs around.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:15 PM on November 10, 2013

Please let us know what the results of the DNA test are.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:58 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

He looks like a Rottie with dog-knows-what thrown in. Train to the individual, not the breed. He is SO CUTE!!!!!
posted by walla at 8:35 PM on November 10, 2013

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