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Reviewing #WhatDogRobot

66The other day Kitsune made a new dog friend at the park.  The other dog's owner was swearing up and down that her dog was a purebred Maltese, despite not looking much like one.  I'm not one to judge.  After all, my Papillon doesn't look much like your typical Papillon, and often gets mistaken for other breeds.  Since the owner was so adamant that her dog was purebred, I asked if she got him from a breeder.  She told me no, she bought the dog from someone off Craigslist, but "knew it was full Maltese" because apparently an app on her phone told her so.

I'm not a big phone person.  I use a couple of apps once in awhile, but my phone isn't top of the line, and is starting to get slower.  I try not to overload it too much with unnecessary apps.  Apparently, there are at least a handful of phone apps you can download, the ones I found being free, that will use a picture of your dog to attempt to identify his/her breed.

Not really wanting to download any of the apps, I didn't think much more on the subject.  Until, that is, I came across the website  It's a website created by Microsoft that uses object recognition to attempt to determine a dog's breed from a picture.  Microsoft offers the software as a free app, but you can also run it just by going to the What-Dog website.

Having a bit of (rare) free time on my hands, I decided to give the website a go.  I started off with pictures of Kitsune, my (albeit unusual) Papillon.  I tried a couple of different pictures of him.  The app displayed his breed correctly with about 75% of the pictures I tried.

ppNot too bad right?  Fenrir was another story.  It didn't display his breed correctly a single time, despite trying multiple images.  The results I got for him most included Chihuahua and Siberian Husky, depending on what photo I used.  Alaskan Klee Kai are still a pretty rare breed, so maybe the program isn't familiar with them yet.

kkkThe most interesting results I got were when I used photos of my sister's dog, Kanan.  Kanan was from an oops litter, and is supposedly a Pit Bull, Boxer, Rottweiler mix.  But no matter what photo I used of her on the What-Dog website, everything from current pics to pics of her as a puppy, the results said that she's a Labrador.

llKanan's results really made me think, because I've wondered before if she could actually be a lab mix.  However, when I told my sister about the results I got she tried the website for herself and got different results using different pictures.  Namely she got Stafford Bull Terrier, and apparently Papillon.  Knowing what little history we do about Kanan, the Stafford Bull Terrier result made some sense, but Papillon is completely off the mark.  Although we have been joking ever since about both having Papillons.

My sister adopted Kanan when she was a pup, so I guess we'll never know for sure what breed mix she is.  I don't think the results from these types of apps should be taken too seriously.   After all, What-Dog told me that my 2 lb rabbit is a Chow Chow...


It apparently can't detect when the picture uploaded doesn't actually feature a dog.

Microsoft says on the What-Dog website that the results are continuously improving.  It will be interesting to go back to the site in a couple of months to see if the results I get are any different.  Still, I feel like programs that predict your pets breed from a photo are more of a novelty than something you should 100% rely on.  I wouldn't base my dog's breed solely on the results from one of these apps, although I think the results can be interesting and as far as entertainment goes, I had fun messing around on the What-Dog site.

Have you ever used the What-Dog website or a similar photo app?  How accurate was it for your pet?


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