LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Apps have become a major part of everyday life for most people. With the ability to access all types of information, some pet owners are gaining the ability to learn more about their four-legged friends.
There are apps for just about everything, including those that track your dog’s health and wellness, monitor their training and even provide games.
Before the dawn of smartphones, apps and other websites, the only way to get the most accurate answer to what breeds make up a mutt was through expensive DNA testing.
Now, Little Rock veterinarian and mother of two, Dr. Lauren Schluterman has created an app called "What's My Mutt?" to determine what breeds could make up your adult mixed breed dog.
The idea behind the app stemmed from Dr. Schluterman’s clients asking her opinion on what breeds made up their mutts. She knew there had to be a cheaper, easier way to find out without the costly DNA tests.
After adopting her own mutt, Indy, from the Atlanta Humane Society, Dr. Schluterman spent hours online searching for images of mixed breed dogs trying to determine what breeds made up her dog.
Indy was listed as an Australian Cattle Dog mix on his adoption papers, but when he quickly surpassed 60 pounds, Dr. Schluterman guessed that due to his size and adult features he was made up of other mixes as well.
Within the app is an illustrated version of Indy, taking you through seven steps of highlighted individual characteristics. You then choose your dog’s features and receive three purebred results with short descriptions of each breed. Then, you can save and share your results along with a photo.
Work began on the app about three years ago. Over a two year period, Dr. Schluterman created an algorithm that took dominant features of 65 different dog breeds that create mutts.
“We tested the algorithm on about 1,000 dogs before the official launch. The goal of the app is for it to become a tool for animal rescue and shelter groups or people looking to adopt a dog with a certain size or personality. The more people that use it, the more data is collected,” said Dr. Schluterman.
Since the app was released on February 20, it has gotten around 3,000 downloads. Currently, it is only available for the iPhone and iPad, but Schluterman said she hopes to offer it for Android users in the near future.
“One of the great features about the app is that it has a social share feature, so you can add a picture of your dog and share your results on Facebook or Twitter,” said Dr. Schluterman.
The app is 99 cents in the iTunes Store. A portion of the proceeds go towards Last Hope K9 Rescue, an all-breed rescue dedicated to saving abandoned, neglected and abused dogs from high-kill shelters throughout the United States.
“There really isn’t anything like this on the market.”
The mission of the app is to help shelters and rescue groups classify their mixed breed dogs, and also help potential adopters understand more about the personality types of an adoptable mutt.