The brainchild of Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA senior vice president Scott Delucchi, the idea came as a way to make the dogs more unique. A Chihuahua-Australian shepherd-Jack Russell terrier-collie became a Kiwi collier, and a golden retriever-miniature pinscher-Chihuahua became a golden Chinscher.
Not only does DNA testing identify the different breeds that made up one dog, it also gives a glimpse into the personality specific traits a dog may exhibit. Some of the dogs who appeared to be part Chihuahua actually had no Chihuahua in them.
Chihuahua’s are the top breed in part due to Hollywood stars toting them around in purses, along with the Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie that came out in 2008. This has also upped the number of the breed abandoned to California shelters and Humane Societies.
Delucchi says it’s going to take more than a DNA gimmick to cut down on the alarming rate of Chihuahua’s coming into the shelter, stating
“Another part is making spay-neuter low-cost or free to the community. If you have a lot of one breed, you target that breed and those owners and make it easy for them to do the right thing and get them fixed.”
Delucchi also says the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA also work with states that need small dogs, including Florida and New York, and send as many dogs as possible to these areas.
While the DNA test does tell the genetic mix of a dog, it doesn’t reveal which is the mother and which is the father. The results are interesting, as the shelter has come across some never before seen combinations.