Make us your home page

Mojo the bichon frise also part Doberman, spaniel, terrier …



My wife and I often laugh about the deep, "big dog" growl that our sweet bichon frise summons up at playtime.

Maybe he gets it from his ancestry. Thanks to a DNA test, we now know that Mojo, 12 pounds of furry playfulness, has Doberman pinscher somewhere in his background. Also: Staffordshire bull terrier.

Talk about interesting liaisons among Mojo's ancestors.

Also in his heritage: clumber spaniel and Yorkshire terrier.

When an editor asked me if I wanted to have Mojo's DNA tested so I could write about the experience, I was intrigued. My wife and I bought Mo in 2004 from a bichon breeder, though we didn't bother with American Kennel Club registration papers. Now we were curious: What else might a DNA test show?

I took the test kit home that night, and my wife swabbed the inside of Mo's cheek and mailed the swab to the testing lab. Simple. A month later, the results came back.

As it turns out, bichon frise is not a breed the Canine Heritage Breed Test identifies yet, though the company is working on adding it.

In Mojo's test results, the "primary" breed is a blank. Staffordshire bull terrier shows up as a "secondary" breed, and the three other breeds show up under the "in the mix" category.

"If your pet's composition contains non-validated breed(s), the test may identify a breed earlier in your dog's ancestry," explains the site. "This may cause identification of apparent unlikely breeds for your animal's composition."

Mojo, my boy, you certainly look like a bichon, but we always knew you must have a little Doberman in you.

John Schlander is executive news editor for the Times. Contact him at

Editor's note: PETCO introduced the Canine Heritage Breed Test ($69.99 to $119.99) in its stores this summer. The tests are available in most Tampa Bay area stores as well as online at and

Mojo the bichon frise also part Doberman, spaniel, terrier … 10/06/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 10:22am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours