Say what? I didn't see that coming.
But, but, where did his crazy color come from? This can't be right. It doesn't fit any of my preconceived notions of what kind of dog he is. OK, I guess the GSD isn't all that surprising. It was where I was leaning until my GSD loving friends convinced me it couldn't be so. Turns out they just didn't want to claim him, go figure.
Here comes the fun part. It's that sneaky snake mixed breed Grandparent. The Wisdom guys are completely upfront about dogs this mixed. They can make an educated guess, but that's all.
So they sent me a list of maybes and admitted it's pretty much a crap shoot.
What I love about this is how carefully they state that one or more of these breeds MAY have contributed to the mix, but then again, maybe not. They definitely don't think all those breeds are in there, but probably, some of them are.
It would have been easy to be dismissive. Except for one tiny thing. In order for Brockle's color to make it past all those dark colored dogs, the mixed breed grandparent had to be homozygous (I think). Each of the listed breeds (except for the Lapphund) potentially carries the double recessive genes needed to create a homozygous color pattern that could fight it's way down to my boy.
Since the Wisdom Panel folks didn't know about his color, I found their maybes extremely thought provoking.
I had to look up Keeshonds. I have seen them, known one, and that's about it. The one I knew looked like a giant Pomeranian and barked. A lot.
I have to admit, it explains the hair. They are a Spitz type, were called Dutch Barge Dogs, even though they are a German breed and are considered "Alarm" dogs, i.e. yappy barkers.
They are gentle, sensitive and intuitive. Tikva, a Keeshond therapy dog, and her handler, Cindy Ehlers, were honored at the 911 Remembrance Ceremony for the two weeks they spent giving comfort to rescue workers after 911.
They are slow to bite, high energy, intelligent and manipulative. They are velcro dogs and then some, and often suffer from extreme separation anxiety.
A little bit of Keeshond explains an awful lot of Brockle. I'm grateful he decided to leave the yappiness behind him.
I recently read an incredible book, Lend Me An Ear: Temperament, Selection and Training of the Hearing Dog, by Martha Hoffman.
She trains dogs for the hearing impaired. Instead of working with kennels breeding for the traits she looks for in a potential hearing dog, or even favoring certain breeds over the other, Hoffman looks for a certain type of dog. She finds many of her candidates at area shelters.
Hoffman noted that when she has a group of her hearing dogs together, even though they are different breeds and mixes, they still seem the same, because they are the same type.
She has done some intensive dog behavior studies, not according to breed, but to type. I found her analysis both fascinating and logical.
The GSD in Brockle makes complete sense. He guards boundaries, but doesn't herd. He is strong, athletic and thrives on both intellectual and physical exercise. He's loyal, versatile and a bad ass when needed. He has that weird humpy back.
The Keeshond explains why he will never set the Shutzhund world on fire. He doesn't bite for fun. He bites when he thinks I'm being threatened. He looks to me before deciding to go at someone and a simple,"Leave it," calms him.
It also sheds light on his playful dorkiness, another reason the GSD people hate to claim him. He doesn't have the dignity and fire of the protection dog set.
As to the mega-mix mutt that is anybody's guess, I'm leaning toward some Rough Collie, some Akita, and who knows.
It's all fun. I've learned a bunch, and I truly don't feel like I wasted my money.
As for the prize winner? I'm still sifting through your guesses...the Keeshond sure caught us all, didn't it?
OK. I quit moderating comments. If everybody behaves it will stay that way. Let's play nice boys and girls.