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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there!
My husband and I recently adopted a sort-of second-chance mixed/mutt/street dog. Her name is Lyra; her previous owners named after the little girl from The Golden Compass (which I love).
We really love Lyra, but we're not sure if she's going to work in our house now because we have two cats (and they are each so contrary that they don't even get along with each other) and Lyra seems to have a high prey drive. She grew up in a home with cats, but if the many stories we've read are any indication, that's no way to tell that a dog will work out in a new-cat home.
I think I need to start a new thread on a different forum to ask questions, so I'll get started on that.
Here are some pictures. We are fairly certain she's part Golden Chow, but she's only 2 feet tall at the shoulder and about 36 pounds, so we think she must have something smaller bred in there, too.

lyra outside.jpg lyra on couch.jpg lyra with govind holding.jpg
lyra turned sitting.jpg lyra sitting staring.jpg lyra side face.jpg
 

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My dog used to chase my inlaws cats (They have 4). For a couple months we kept her on a leash while she was in the main area of the house. She has a pretty strong prey drive, especially outside if she sees a small animal. It's been a couple years now and she leaves the cats alone. There's 2 older cats who are about 16 and they've realized if they don't run, she has no interest in them, so she'll just leave them be. Then there's two younger cats who sometimes mess with her and she'll chase them just enough to get them to run, then she loses interest. So, you could try keeping her on a leash for awhile and get her used to being around the cats. That's what we did, and it seemed to work!

EDIT: Also, make it a positive experience for both the cats, and the dog. Being together in the same house needs to be a good thing and praise and treat when she's leaving them alone!
 

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Hi and welcome, I have two cats and A Newfie and luckily the get on well, We had Zack before the cats so its opposite to you but its just patience and lots of praise and love. I hope it works out for you all, She's a little sweetie. Good Luck.
 

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I really, really, really want to say I think I see Husky in this dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the compliments!
We want to get a DNA test done. She's almost certainly part Chow Chow, and probably part Golden Retriever, but she's almost half the size of both of those breeds so we assume she must have something small mixed in there, too. She also has finer features than either of those breeds.
We agree that she is quite foxy!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Honestly, those DNA tests can be pretty inaccurate, and you're better off just relying on guesses from other people than spending the money on a test.
The Wisdom Panel was recommended by my vet. I don't really understand how it can be inaccurate. I've never heard of DNA lying. :p
 

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They have turned up with known purebreds as mixes, known direct mixes as purebreds and outlandish mixes, dogs you can look at and just... tell the breed/mix and they will come back as the rarest breeds ever.
If you've got the extra money, go for it but don't put much stock in it
 

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The Wisdom Panel was recommended by my vet. I don't really understand how it can be inaccurate. I've never heard of DNA lying. :p
No, DNA doesn't lie. But DNA is UNABLE to tell what breed a dog is. There is not a husky gene, and a lab gene, and a beagle gene, etc.

I'm sure I will mangle this explanation, but you can always Google if I make things more confusing. lol! How the DNA testing works, is that there are certain DNA markers or marker combinations found in varying breeds. Companies who do the testing create their OWN databases based on the commonality of various markers and what breeds THEY feel those markers best represent. It is not consistent between companies, and it is not completely reliable. You can send your DNA to three different companies and get three different results. I have actually heard that a full breed will NEVER have accurate DNA testing because of the way the combinations of markers are looked at. So it's really just a crapshoot! :)

But, with that being said, if I had a mix I would consider doing it. If nothing else, it would just be fun to see what it came back with! :) Just remember to take the results with a grain of salt.

Edit: Here's a link with a better description of the science behind it. Not much info on page 1, but the other pages go into the "mongrel dog" testing. http://thebark.com/content/can-dna-decipher-mix?page=4
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No, DNA doesn't lie. But DNA is UNABLE to tell what breed a dog is. There is not a husky gene, and a lab gene, and a beagle gene, etc.

I'm sure I will mangle this explanation, but you can always Google if I make things more confusing. lol! How the DNA testing works, is that there are certain DNA markers or marker combinations found in varying breeds. Companies who do the testing create their OWN databases based on the commonality of various markers and what breeds THEY feel those markers best represent. It is not consistent between companies, and it is not completely reliable. You can send your DNA to three different companies and get three different results. I have actually heard that a full breed will NEVER have accurate DNA testing because of the way the combinations of markers are looked at. So it's really just a crapshoot! :)

But, with that being said, if I had a mix I would consider doing it. If nothing else, it would just be fun to see what it came back with! :) Just remember to take the results with a grain of salt.

Edit: Here's a link with a better description of the science behind it. Not much info on page 1, but the other pages go into the "mongrel dog" testing. http://thebark.com/content/can-dna-decipher-mix?page=4
Thanks for clearing that up, MyCharlie. It makes me wonder about human DNA testing. There's a company that does mail-in DNA testing for genetic predispositions and heritage information, and I wonder if the human genome is so widely studied that this isn't an issue with it, or if each company is likewise forced to create its own database. That's something to think about before I buy one!

One reason we want to get the DNA test for Lyra is to understand her and her behavior more, but now that I know I will do as you say and "take it with a grain of salt". :)
 

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She is really pretty! :) I knew a dog named "Snookie" when I was a kid that looked very much like Lyra .... and she was a BC mix. I wonder if she could be Golden/BC mix?
 

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She is really pretty! :) I knew a dog named "Snookie" when I was a kid that looked very much like Lyra .... and she was a BC mix. I wonder if she could be Golden/BC mix?
Hi Abbylynn, thank you for the compliment! I had to Google what you meant by 'BC', lol, but I think it's possible she's part Border Collie. I think anything is really possible with her. When they found her, she was near a dumpster behind a store, with her mom and litter mates, who she supposedly doesn't resemble.

I'd like to be able to understand some of her behavior better, as well as just satisfy my own curiosity about her genetics. We're not very experienced dog owners, but she does seem quite unusual. She acts almost as though she is depressed, and if she's not sleeping with her eyes open then she's doing a lot of staring blankly into space. When she does perk up though, it's usually over a bunny she sees outside, and she wants to GO after it. Nothing else really 'gets' her like rabbits do, but I had never before heard of a dog bred to hunt rabbits. As much as we love Lyra, we definitely don't want her hunting and killing rabbits, especially since they're awfully similar to cats.
 

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Hi there,

I have a Husky that I rescued and he sort of chases cats also and has a high prey drive but I also think their energy has something to do with it.
I run my dogs, twice a day for an hour or at least until they all tire and they go home. I live out in the country so it does help but having cats around and having a high prey drive dog, you just got to be firm and make sure you catch them.
 
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