What Breed is my Dog?

I can't figure out what breed my dog is. The lady I got him from said he's boxer/german Shepard but my mother in law said he's not she said he's Pitt bull. Please help.

It can be difficult to determine what breed your dog is if he is a mix. The physical features of your dog can help narrow down the possibilities.  Using the internet to find good examples of the breeds can also be useful for comparison. It is a good idea to use the AKC’s website for these breed standard photos.  It can be even more difficult if one of the breeds is from the so-called “bully breed” family, such as American bulldogs, pit bulls, boxers and Staffordshire terriers. Many of these dogs have similar facial features, such as strong, square jaws and a medium to short-length nose. Their eyes are typically set high on their forehead and can sometimes seem to “bulge” out a little bit.  These “bull breeds” are always very short haired, with hairs that are straight and somewhat sharp. The ears are naturally floppy and a bit wide. Even with mixed breeds, some “bully breed” owners will have their veterinarian cut the ears to be short or erect (standing up).  Body weight can vary but most are around 40-60 pounds. Their tails are typically long and tapering but very narrow, almost ‘whip-like.’

Most of the large herding breeds such as German Shepherd Dogs and Border Collies have long, wavy hair and can be quite tall. German Shepherds often weigh more than 50 pounds. Their coloring is very standard, either a black and brown coat, or solid black or solid white being common variations. Their noses are much longer and narrower than those of the ‘bully breeds.’  Their ears are always erect as adults. Their tails are full, long and very fluffy. 

There could be a great number of possibilities for your dog’s heritage. If he has long hair, he is not full-blooded pit bull or 100% ‘bully breed.’ Other breeds could be in the mix, which have similar characteristics. In recent years, DNA tests have become popular for owners of mixed breed dogs.  There are a variety of tests on the market, some require a blood sample from your veterinarian while others only require a ‘swab’ of skin cells from the dog’s mouth. Many veterinarians consider the ‘Wisdom’ test to be one of the more accurate ones to determine breed heritage in mixed breed dogs.  Keep in mind that none of these tests are 100% accurate and many breeds were developed from older breeds, which may show up on the test results. Talk to your local veterinarian about having a test performed to satisfy your curiosity.