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Mascot Mutt Mystery - Solved!

Thanks to everyone who entered our guess-the-mutt contest!  We had a lot of great guesses on what the mascot Nala could be.  Nobody got all 4 breeds exactly, but our winner, Tanya C. from New York, got 3 of the 4 breeds right.  Congratulations Tanya!

The correct mix of breeds is…

More Chow Chow than anything else, with some Bulldog, Boxer and Labrador Retriever mixed in.

nala full picture

I’ll admit, when the results came in I spent the first two hours thinking, “Chow?  Really?  Chow?”  I had never considered Chow as a possibility, much less the dominant breed in Nala.  After a quick Google image search for shaved Chows it became a bit more clear:  the wrinkles in her brow, square face and something in her profile, though I can’t quite pinpoint it.  (Can you?  I’d love to hear from a Chow lover what you see of Chow in her.)  Chow is probably where her protective watchdog nature comes from.  I can’t tell you how many hours a day she spends like this:

nala block watch


The bulldog was a little bit of a surprise at first but it makes sense now.  It explains the wrinkles, underbite, side-flopping ears and deep chest.  I think she looks more like an American Bulldog than an English Bulldog (the smaller, squatter version), but the Canine Heritage test doesn’t distinguish between the two. 

Boxer was a pretty obvious breed in her, and one that many of you guessed.  There’s the underbite again, but many behavioral traits too:  Nala uses her paws like no other dog I’ve ever had, and while playing uses her butt to bump whoever she’s playing with.  According to a Boxer rescue group I talked with, that butt bump is a signature Boxer trait.  Which is fantastic, because it’s one of her funniest. 

One of the big surprises to me was that she had no pit bull or Staffordshire Terrier in her.  Many of you guessed that she was part pit bull, and from the strangers who asked her mix the most common guess was pit bull.  Her stocky build, fondness for children and clown-like personality all suggested pit, but I think a lot of that comes from the Boxer in her.  Other frequently-guessed breeds in the contest were Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Shar Pei and Mastiffs.  All good guesses, but surprisingly none of them are in her.

No matter what the results were, nothing would have changed my mind that Nala is an incredible dog.  Smart, loving, great with kids, affectionate and goofy.  She’s the perfect example of how a mutt takes the best of all the breeds in the mix. 

Happy National Mutt Day to my favorite pound puppy.

nala and sonia hiking


Did you know December 2nd was National Mutt Day?  To stay on top of ways to celebrate your big dog, subscribe ot the PawPosse newsletter.  Enter your name and email in the green box on the right.


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