Friday, December 14, 2012

Who's Your Daddy? Part two.

Remember when I wrote about Oscar's DNA tests?

No? You can go read about it here:
and here:

I realized the other day that it had been WAY over 21 days and I hadn't heard back from the lab. So I wrote them an email and they got back to me the very next day. It turns out they had my phone number incorrect...and someone else with a very similar phone number as mine got the "results" phone call. They must have been so confused! :)

But last night my phone rang, and it was the geneticist from Mars Laboratories, and she was very excited to finally talk to me! You see, she had a very interesting time with Oscar's DNA. Because from the pictures I sent, he was clearly not an American Eskimo.

She also asked me if he was in my wedding, because one of the pictures I sent was from our wedding. And he was, he was the Best Dog. :)

Anyway, back to my story. The geneticist told me all about how they ran the tests and how they come up with the results. The computer came up with 11 potential family trees for Oscar and they all concluded with 100% American Eskimo.  Huh? How?

Well, did you know that the American Eskimo was originally the German Spitz? Yep, back in the 1940's the name was changed to American Eskimo when no one wanted dogs (or anything) called German-something.  But the breed is exactly the same...with the "new" American variety favoring white colors. German Spitz come in all different sizes and colors which is our best guess as to why Oscar looks the way he does. Somewhere in his history is the genetic makeup that made him black and white. But according to the DNA tests, he is still 100% American Eskimo or German Spitz on both sides going back three generations.  The geneticist said that if they were going to really try and pull another breed out of his DNA, they might be able to say Mini Schnauzer or Pomeranian. (which again, are both German dogs) But the problem with that is that she said she couldn't really count those findings. Every dog from the Great Dane to the Chihuahua came from the same original DNA, which is why even amongst "purebreeds" you will see some differences. She said something like 945 markers for American Eskimo and 9 for Pomeranian and 4 for Mini Schnauzer.

The geneticist said she feels confident, even with his black and white markings, to call him a purebreed American Eskimo dog. How cool is that? :)

Now when all of this got started, I did contact a breeder to ask if it was possible that he could be a purebreed and she said no way. She actually had a lot of pretty smart things to say about DNA testing and how it just wasn't possible.  However...when I contacted the place where I got Oscar, they told me that his mom was a purebreed and the dad was a mixed breed American Eskimo. SO...I'm guessing that Dad was a German Spitz with color...and Mom was American genetically speaking and with DNA testing..that would make them the same breed.  I bet the owner of Oscar's dad doesn't actually know what he is. :)

And no offense to the breeder (she had a PhD after her name, but no idea for what...) I think I am going to go with the scientist on this one. I had a second breeder say no way he was American Eskimo and that he must be part Border Collie.  I think they were both wrong.

And I am surprised that neither one mentioned the German Spitz after seeing his pictures.

You can read more about the German Spitz here:
And more about American Eskimo dogs here:

So long story short...Oscar is a purebreed American Eskimo, otherwise known as a German Spitz!
How crazy is that? He isn't a mixed breed after all!  Now you might come no one has ever suggested that he might be German Spitz? Because you don't really see them here in the USA. I'm sure if we had traveled to Europe with him, that no one would bat an eye at his unusual color and size and shape. :)  Because he isn't that unique...keep reading. :)

Want a reminder of what he looks like?

I decided to do a little research on the German Spitz myself...and look what I found:
Don't these two look like they could be cousins? I found them on this website:

And this one here...this could be his mom...really, the resemblance is amazing:

What I do that Oscar is one of the best dogs I have ever met in my entire life. He has brought me so much happiness. I never really cared what kind of dog he was, I was simply curious, and now I know!

I think I might say American Eskimo, with a touch of German Spitz.  Maybe. It might be more fun to say he's purebreed and then get the funny looks. :)

So if you got a mixed breed American Eskimo dog in Massachusetts, specifically near Ware, MA or Palmer, MA sometime in 2006...your mixed breed might be pure...and a sibling of mine. I would love to find his siblings or his parents. :)

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