I stumbled across this interesting project via the FACE Foundation’s blog, and invite my readers to participate if they’re interested (or to at least just read about it, even if they don’t want to take the survey/quiz).
From the “About the MuttMix Project” page of the International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants:
“The idea of breeds and pet dogs are intimately connected…”
“What does this mean for mixed breed dogs? Since these breed categories are so strongly ingrained in our notion of “dog,” naturally our brain tries to put any new dog we meet into one or more of these categories…”
“We take individual characteristics that match our notion of breeds and use those traits to build a box to mentally house our mutt. And, since we have notions about breeds and behavior, we now also have a mental box of behavior we expect from this dog, all based on appearance.”
“Are we actually any good at this? First of all, can we do a good job of judging the mix of breeds in a mutt by looking at them? Second, do our preconceived notions about behavior and physical traits hold true?
This experiment aims to answer the first question. Using genetic markers, and a panel of known pure-bred dogs, we can confidently determine the ancestral mix of breeds represented in an individual dog. All of the images you will be asked to judge in this experiment are of dogs that have been tested, so we know what mix of breeds they represent.
Now, we need your help in finding out how well people are able to guess these breed mixes based on appearance.”