BY: Dan Krosse
We now have a glimpse inside the DNA makeup of “America’s Dog,” Caitlyn. Since being found last May in North Charleston with her muzzle taped shut, Caitlyn has fascinated and inspired millions of people around the globe with her story of survival. In December, People magazine named her the “Best Survival Story of 2015.” We wondered if her ancestry would give us clues as to why she is such a force to be reckoned with.
DNA testing revealed Caitlyn is a mix of American Staffordshire Terrier (one of the breeds that people sometimes refer to as a Pit Bull type dog), Border Collie, Boxer and German Shepherd.
Carolina Tails asked those who’ve spent the most time with her if they were surprised by the results:
Foster Mom: “Pretty cool with the DNA testing! I would say she likes to herd an animal, especially squirrels, like a Border Collie. She definitely has the loyalty and close bonding of the Staffordshire Terriers and wants to be with a person if at all possible and she loves to cuddle. She is so sweet natured like a typical Staffie and is wonderful with kids. I think they used to call them the ‘nanny dogs,’ and I can see why!“
Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Society Director of Anti-Cruelty & Outreach: “I thought the results were interesting. I had my suspicions before we tested her that she was not all American Staffordshire. Her gait just wasn't typical. Her bark was more high pitched than typical for the breed. Her tail had a slight curl which is also not typical. She did show what we typically see in American Staffordshire Terriers, loyalty and lots and lots of affection. But her intelligence reminded me of Border Collies.”
CC Bourgeois, Southpaw-Petcare Pet Trainer: “When I watched her play, I noted that her play style was very much like that of a Boxer. And she was so intelligent like a Border Collie because we would show her a trick or skill and she would have it down pat after one or two repetitions.”
Kay Hyman, Charleston Animal Society Director of Community Outreach: “It was such a delight to see the results. This mix shows she truly is ‘America’s Dog,’ a perfect blend of dogs we as Americans love. The combination of German Shepherd and Border Collie is obvious when she runs.”
If you would like to have your pet’s DNA tested, ask one of our associates in the Charleston Animal Society Retail Store.