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WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Three years ago, I walked into Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League to shoot "Peggy's Picks", a weekly segment Fox 29 airs introducing viewers to a dog or cat up for adoption at the shelter. That day ended up being very special because an adorable dog was the "Star Pet of the Day", and I knew he was coming home with me.
Now, Willie and I return to the place where we met to learn what breeds make him up. "Most dogs we adopt out from Peggy Adams are a mix breed, and we make our best guest as to what they're made of," said Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League's CEO and Executive Director Rich Anderson. "But this DNA test that we offer here is just a real fun, easy way to really find out what's in their heritage."
In the past, learning a dog's DNA was a bit invasive. Now, thanks to these kits, you can skip the blood work and do it yourself. "We sell the kits here. Take it home, and it's just a swab to the inside of their cheek. Swab it. You send it to the company by mail, and in three weeks, you get a full history of what the parents, the grandparents and the great-grandparents were."
It's also good to know what breed(s) make up your dog in case it's prone to health issues such as hip dysplasia. "Certain breeds have certain characteristics and health issues that can be common. You might also want to find out what's driving some of their behavior that doesn't seem to match what they look like. Maybe it's a herding dog or it's a digger, but you don't see that type of a dog by the looks of it. Then, you do the DNA test, and you'll find out, 'Oh yeah, it's defiantly a herding dog. It doesn't look like an Australian shepherd but sure enough.'"
In a few weeks, Willie's results were in. He's is a Cockapoo, a Cocker Spaniel mixed with a Poodle.
Both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are known to be friendly and playful. Cocker Spaniels tend to retrieve and play with inappropriate items which is maybe why Willie is always pulling items out of the trash to play with. While Poodle tends to have some aggressive tendencies which explains why Willie sometimes goes after his puppy brothers.