How to Tell What Large Dog Breed My Stray Dog Is?

A large mixed-breed stray suns himself.
dog image by martini from

DNA testing is the most accurate method of determining a dog's breed, or breeds. A veterinarian may also be able to help determine, however, determining a mixed breed's genetics by sight is often misleading and incorrect. DNA tests for dogs can be purchased online at various websites, and are also becoming available at veterinary clinics and humane shelters. Test kits generally cost just under $60.

Determining Breed

Step 1

Choose where you are going to puchase your test kit from. Several websites, including, and, have test kits for purchase. You can also contact the local humane shelter or a veterinary office to inquire whether test kits are available for purchase there.

Step 2

Read and follow all instructions when you receive your test. Dog DNA tests use a cheek-swab method, not blood. Follow the submission instructions so you may receive your results.

Step 3

Carefully read through your dog's data. Several breeds may show up on his report, and it will generally break them down into levels. The levels show how dominant each breed is, for example, using the test from, the breeds showing in level one are 75 percent of your dog's DNA; level two breeds are between 37 to 74 percent of your dog's DNA; level 3 breeds are between 20 to 36 percent of your dog's DNA; level 4 breeds are between 10 to 19 percent of your dog's DNA; level 5 breeds are less than 10 percent of your dog's DNA.


  • Different tests have different breeds in their database. Read through the websites of the test kits to find what breeds they encompass.

An Item You Will Need

  • DNA test for dogs