Pet Products

Reviewing Microsoft’s Dog Breed Recognition Website

February 24, 2022

Have you ever heard of the site  It’s a website created by Microsoft that uses object recognition to attempt to determine a dog’s breed from a picture.  I wrote a review for way back in 2016.  Since it’s been so long, I thought it might be fun to take another look at the site’s dog breed recognition capabilities.  Has it improved any in the past 6 years?  This post will be an update of my 2016 review!

The first thing I noticed is that the look, and display URL, of the website has changed. still directs to the dog breed recognition site, so that’s good.  It’s hard for me to remember exactly what the site looked like 6 years ago, outside of the screenshots I have saved, but from what I can tell it looks a bit more sophisticated now.  Change is good, right!?

I only have my own two dogs to test the software on, so take that as you will.  A super small sample size is never a great thing.  Oh well.  First up we have my papillon, Kitsune.  He is indeed a purebred papillon, but he doesn’t always look like one.  He’s oversized and I often cut his hair, which isn’t typical for the breed.  Back in 2016, I found that the breed recognition software recognized Kitsune as a papillon 75% of the time, seemingly depending on what picture I submitted.  Here’s my old screen shot from when I was testing out pictures of Kit…

Dog Breed Recognition review

Testing the software with pictures of Kitsune now, it does seem to be more accurate!  I didn’t try a ton of different pictures, but out of all the ones I tried, there was only one where it listed two breeds instead of one – King Charles spaniel, and papillon.  I even dug up that old picture of Kit in a bow tie that I tested back in 2016.  Back then, using that picture, the software thought Kitsune was a Tibetan Spaniel.  With that same photo now, it guessed papillon!

Fen was always going to be the real test, though.  In 2016, the Microsoft software didn’t guess his breed correctly a single time.  My theory was that maybe it didn’t have Alaskan Klee Kai in its breed database.  In 2016, depending on what photo I used, it seemed to think Fenrir was either a chihuahua or a Siberian husky.kkk

Will it do better in 2022?…..

Dog Breed Recognition review

Not really.  In all the newer photos I tried of Fen it mostly guessed him to be a Siberian Husky or a Canadian Eskimo dog.  One time it guessed him to be a malamute.  Based mostly off of Fen’s colors, it does make sense to guess those breeds.  But Fen is only 15 lbs, a fact I guess the software can’t really determine from photos.

The Microsoft dog breed recognition software does seem to be a bit better at determining when there is no dog in a photo.  Back in 2016 it seemed to recognize one of my 2lb house rabbits, Barnaby (RIP), as a chow chow!

Dog Breed Recognition review

This time I tried photos of cats, to see what dog breeds they most closely resembled, but the software just displayed a message saying it couldn’t find any results.  I’m not sure whether that was because it couldn’t detect a dog in the photo, or it was just a coincidence.  Because strangely, there were a couple of photos of Fen that I received the same error message with.

Overall I’d say that the Microsoft dog breed recognition software does seem to have improved somewhat.  Still, I feel like programs that predict your pet’s 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 this site, although I think the results can be interesting.  It’s also a fun website to play around with, if you have a bit of free time.

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

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  • Reply Paula February 25, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    I’ve never heard of this site so thank you for introducing me to it. I found your review to objective and honest. I will have to check it out and see how close it comes to guessing the hybrid mix of my dog.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack February 25, 2022 at 1:03 pm

      It’s been around for a while! It’s a fun site to play around with, but I wouldn’t rely on it when it comes to determining what breed(s) your dog is.

  • Reply Kamira G February 25, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve never tried photo app software for pets. This was an interesting and honest review. Based on this, if I had a pup, I’d take a hard pass on using this MS dog breed recognition site. But to each his own. As much as technology can be helpful, there are just some things humans are still good at deciphering much better.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack February 26, 2022 at 9:24 pm

      The cool thing is that this isn’t an app – It’s just a website. So you don’t have to download anything to use it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving the site a try. I wouldn’t rely on the results, but it’s still fun, and really easy to use! If you have a mixed breed, unless you’re doing a DNA test, even a human trying to figure out the breeds will still always be just a guess.

  • Reply Nikki February 26, 2022 at 9:48 am

    Haha! This website is very fun – but definitely not accurate. They placed my dog Ranger (who is 50 lbs) as a Chihuahua and Beagle. Though he is a mixed breed – I think he looks more like a German Shepherd… or maybe Australian Shepherd? It was a good laugh though. 🙂

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack February 26, 2022 at 9:28 pm

      It doesn’t seem to be very good at determining a dog’s size! That was my biggest issue with it too. It kept giving me large breed dogs when I used pictures of Fenrir, but he’s only 15 lbs! I guess that’s one thing they could do to improve it in the future if they wanted too – see if there’s a way to get it to be better at recognizing a dog’s size.

  • Reply Dorothy "FiveSibesMom" February 26, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    I had never heard of that site! How interesting. Maybe I’ll try uploading my pups just to see what they say! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack February 26, 2022 at 9:30 pm

      It’s fun to play around with, for sure! And easy to use, which is a plus. Maybe a fun way to pass some time if you’re ever bored?

  • Reply Terri February 26, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    This was fun!!! I just tried with a couple of photos of Henry. Both it said poodle, which he certainly has Poodle DNA. One said he is also Shih Tzu. While the other said he’s Portuguese Water Dog. The vet and groomer think he’s most likely Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. I kind of like that idea. Simply because when he’s bad I can say “you cock-a-freaking-poo”. Really fun read!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack February 26, 2022 at 9:35 pm

      It is fun! It’s interesting how it will sometimes give different results for different pictures of the same dog. Lol Henry! I could see him being a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. I’m kind of glad I know what my two are because I feel like if I didn’t, I’d really, really want to know. I guess that’s why there are a bunch of companies who offer DNA testing now.

  • Reply Ruth Epstein February 27, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    I have never heard of this software, interesting but as Layla is a mutt I am not sure it would recognize her as anything LOL, am totally intrigued now. I have done a DNA test on Layla so I know what she is mixed with. Great eye opener and post

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack February 27, 2022 at 2:52 pm

      It does give you answers for mutts – it’s not just for purebred dogs! 🙂 Although it sounds like you already know what mix Layla is, it might still be fun to play around with someday.

  • Reply Marjorie at Dash Kitten February 27, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    I reviewed some facial recognition software for pets, this however, is meant to match against other missing pets photos. This sounds fun but, like most technology not infallible! I wonder if it fares better with larger dogs?

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack February 27, 2022 at 4:36 pm

      Of course, technology is never infallible. I look at sites like this as being more for fun, though. It did pretty well with pictures of Kitsune, and he’s small, but it couldn’t seem to tell that Fen is small too! If I ever re-review it again, I’ll have to try it with some pictures of larger breed dogs to see how it works.

  • Reply jana rade February 27, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Not all of these apps are perfect. It does seem they’re on their way, though.

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