I know he’s a dog and he isn’t a purebred anything. Nonetheless, he screams “crossbreed” to me. Finally, after I don’t know how many questions about “what is he,” I went hunting for information. Remarkably, I think I’ve got it … or at least I’m close.

He’s got an Asian dog-face. Big round eyes, smiley mouth, and a curled-over-the-back tail. All of these point to one of the Tibetan, Chinese, or other Asian breeds. He’s got the energy of a Border Collie, but he doesn’t have the size, face, coat, or shape … which doesn’t mean he might not be gangbusters with his own sheep.

Nonetheless, we are not getting our own flock. I suggested we might have a whole new reason for living, but Garry has put his foot down:. “NO SHEEP!” he said. Very sternly, I might add. I suggested at least a few miniature goats, but he glared at me. So, Duke will not have a job anytime soon though I’m pretty sure he is a dog who needs a job.

After considerable research, I think he is aΒ BoShih, which would be a cross between a Boston Terrier and a Shih Tzu. Not only is he exactly the right size, coloring, and body type, but a lot of them even have his odd “one ear up, one ear down” face. Since I have no way of actually finding out, I’m going to go with “Duke is a BoShih.” He’s too big to be a Papillion or Cavalier cross. Too small (and the wrong everything else) to be a Border Collie mix.

He’s no less a wild and crazy dog than he was before, however. I think I detect a slight slowing down Β today. He’s not bouncing off the walls as much as he was a few days ago. He hasn’t done any more Superdog leaps across the room. I bought a bunch of Nylabones for him. I gave one to each dog, but Gibbs and Bonnie are not big chewers, so he has all three for himself and while he is still determinedly chewing up the toy basket, he is giving at least part of his gnawing time to one or another of the bones.

Garry said he didn’t think Duke is a straight out-and-out mutt because he looks too much like dogs you don’t meet on the street. The pushed in face and big round eyes are not western-style dogs. I wonder if he was intentionally crossed or was the accidental meeting of two enthusiastic dogs, producing the classic “Oops! Anyone need an interesting puppy?”

I will remind you all I have no way of getting a final answer to this question. I will never have “papers” to show where or who he came from, but I think this is a good guess. If you’ve got a better guess, bring it on. Speculation is fun.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

44 thoughts on “WHAT IS DUKE?”

    1. He is a terrific cutey pie. And he is beginning to calm down. He still gets into running and leaping and jumping, but between bouts of frenzy, he like to sack out on the sofa with us. He sure is wearing out the other dogs. Bonnie is only giving him half time on the fake battles, so today he’s take up with Gibbs and they are hanging out. But Gibbs is more the “Let me show you where the bones are hid” kind of guy.


        1. They are really hilarious today. Bonnie decided she was tired of the fake fights, so she retired to her sleeping sofa and Gibbs is now fake fighting with Duke. Last night, when Bonnie decided she was done, poor Duke was lost. Why didn’t the love of his life want him any more? He brought her each of his favorite toys and she turned her little black nose up at them. He came over, looked at us, and WHINED.

          He never whines. Garry looked at him and said “Buddy, I’ve been there. Sorry pal!”

          Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure they could do it and for all I know, out in the “purebred” world, someone requires it to prove the pedigree as “real.” I don’t know how dog genetics work and whether or not the specific little things that change a wolf to a dog are as clearly marked as the stuff in humans. It’s an interesting question, though. I know they do check horses DNA … so why NOT dogs?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, doggie DNA is a big thing. Especially for curious dog rescuers who want to know what their adopted furbabies technically “are” breed wise. I dunno how much it costs, but word around the dog park is that it will scratch that curiosity itch for ya.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This had me grinning! – especially Garry’s responses!

    You’re guess sounds pretty close but i googled Shih Tzu mix and there is nothing all that like Duke?

    My Guess? – with the longish hair and curly tail would be Boston Terrier/Aussie Sheepdog and it gives a nice Aussie US connection too! πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you are right Marilyn- he has that white stripe between the eyes that is Boston Terrier- I also saw a photo that had a mix of Jack Russel with Boston Terrier and Shih Tzu- that would explain the constant motion and need to be moving all the time!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a guessing game that can go on for a long time, but since we aren’t going to get an answer, why not? What he is, is very cute and funny and smart. I don’t know how anyone could think he was dumb. He’s a very smart dog.


  3. “I have no way of getting a final answer to this question.” Actually, I remember reading about a service that can take a sample of a dog’s DNA and tell you what breed (or breeds) it is. I don’t remember where I saw the article, but you can probably Google it. (I do recall that it was not cheap.)


    1. I’m sure it’s not. It isn’t all that cheap for a human — and I think the stuff they do for us is in some way subsidized. I haven’t been willing to do it for me or Garry, so i don’t think I’m going to spend the $$ on the dog. But being curious is entertaining.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. I suppose I would. What little money I’ve got tends to go to places that are trying to save the environment. I have SO little money, when I give I try to make it count. We did donate $20 to AARP to help try to save our health care. But that was pretty self-serving.


  4. We like guessing too. I mean the agencies we got our furbabies from made good guesses and everything but we still don’t know why Brandy (the cattle dog mix) has webbed feet. I’m fairly sure that cattle dogs don’t have webbed feet. We thought about doing the DNA thing, but we aren’t that curious. ^_^


  5. He’s lovely, who cares what his ‘roots’ are? I like the idea of a Boston Terrier/Shihtzu mix..the coloring, size and facial features support all that.. If you hadn’t known, I’d have suggested Pekinese or pug, because of the pushed in face. The Pug element might explain his over exuberant nature and his tendency to chew on things. Then again, his age might explain all that..


    1. We took away the toy basket and he hasn’t chewed on anything else. Apparently, it was that particular basket. Now ALL the toys are spread out all over the room. For now, we’ll just live with it.

      A lot of his energy and attitudes are entirely puppy-related. He’s a kid and he does the thing puppies do. He’ll settle down. Too soon, probably. However crazy they are as pups, they become settled dogs too early and old too soon after that.


  6. We had a wonderful dog called Kim. He looked sorta like a small red husky. Had a white breast and black muzzle – and his ears were floppy instead of pointy. Kim and I spent many a wonderful day exploring the badlands of the Drumheller valley. I’d search for dinosaur bones while Kim chased rabbits and got cactus in his paws.
    He was awesome.


  7. I’m pretty sure you’re right on the Shih Tzu part, because Duke’s face always reminds me of the Shih Tzu my Grandma had, Mac. Named in honor of Mark McGwire, who was kind of a big deal in town at the time she got him…


    1. And I have heard he is a famed swimmer, too. I have not wanted to test this as our rivers are big and have a lot of currents and falls and undercurrents. This is not a dog I want to be trying to extract from the Blackstone before he goes over the falls!

      My first Scottie was named Mac. Mac ADog. He was hilarious.


    1. He’s pretty big for that combo, though it must be something like that. He’s got that flatter face, but he’s long-legged and stands almost 17″ high. And his coat isn’t heavy, just a bit long around the edges. Unless it hasn’t come in yet. I hadn’t thought of that. Ouch.

      Meanwhile, he’s leggy … and none of the aforementioned dogs are leggy. They are all short-legged, squatty dogs. So where’s the one with the legs?

      Liked by 1 person

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