What Kind of Dog Is This?

Photo: Russell McLendon/MNN.

Otis was labeled a "husky mix" at the animal shelter, which seemed plausible at the time. He clearly wasn't a purebred — and we were in the market for a mutt, anyway — but his thick fur, sturdy frame and bushy tail gave us little cause for skepticism.

That was two years ago, and while Otis has turned out to be a steal, his husky heritage has also grown increasingly dubious. Not only is he knee-high, brown-eyed and broad-chested, but he seems to have maxed out at about 45 pounds. None of this necessarily means he doesn't have Siberian blood, but it has raised questions.

So we did what any reasonable dog owners would do: We shelled out $80 for a dog-breed DNA test, swabbed Otis' cheeks against his will, and mailed off his skin cells to a laboratory 600 miles away. This was partly for practical reasons — to help us figure out how much exercise he needs, for example, and to anticipate any breed-specific health problems — but it was mainly just to satisfy our curiosity.

I'll share the test results in an another post, but in the meantime, any guesses? Keep scrolling to see a few more photos of Otis: