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Any advise on identifying dog skull breed

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Jean-Christophe, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. We did a practical work to dissect and compare head muscles from a carnivore (dog) and an herbivore (sheep) from heads. I did get one of each for skulls.
    The dogs come from a veterinary school so they injected something to preserve tissues. They are from the same breed. The previous day we dissected rear legs from dogs (for the knee articulation). Assuming the head and legs belong the the same animal (not 100% sure but it would be logical), the legs were 30-40cm long (around 11 to 15 inches) ; seemed thick and quite muscular ; the hair still present on the feet were short, white and light brown.

    I started to clean the dog and was wondering the breed. I don't know well dog breeds but searching pointed toward medium to medium-large and strong dogs such as Staffordshire bull terrier ? Rottweiler (the SkullUnlimited specimen looks a lot like mine except the crest)? Dogo Argentino ? based on skull pictures.
    I also compared the size of the atlas and axis vertebrae with those from my European badger skeleton, this dog is really larger.

    Skull maximal length : 18cm (7 inches) and condylobasal length 16cm (6.3 inches).
    Skull width : 10 cm (3.9 inches).
    By the way we found that this dog should have had a bite strength of 848 N, so 86,4Kg-force. I'm not sure in which unite Americans usually have it but the converter said "86.4 kg = 190.479 lb". :)

    Anyone have any idea ? I know some of you have dog skulls collection or simply know dogs as much to get an opinion on it.

    Here is him as I got it for dissection
     

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  2. front view. See teeth enclosure and that the third top incisors point really outward.
     

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  3. 3/4
     

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  4. side
     

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  5. top view for the sagittal crest and skull shape
     

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  6. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    From the description of the legs and fur and the look of the skull, it sounds like it might be one of the bully type breeds. Staffordshire or pit bull terrier would be a good guess - it looks similar to the pit and pit mix skulls that I own.

    As far as breed identification goes, dog skulls make up the majority of my collection and I've found that even individuals within the same breed can look pretty different from each other, let alone all the mutts out there, so generally it's almost impossible to make an accurate guess.
     
  7. I would say a type of boxer
     
  8. Skullart01

    Skullart01 New Member

    Wel, as i m a vet student i can first say you that (here in belgium) all our dogs are coming from "la croix bleue" (a dog care centre organisation). Most of the breeds we see are crossing breeds and often Staffordshire or pitbull breed wich are the most abandoned dogs. May be your skull come from one of these places! Wich makes the identification mutch more difficult!
    I ve done a lot of skulls from the university and according to my "dog skull cleaning experience" your skull looks not large enough to be an american staff or some relative breeds. The sagittal crest looks also not developped enough because even on my female american staff skull, it is more prominent dan yours! But as Lizardguts says, i've also seen very different loking skull from the same breed!
    In the shape it looks quite familar to my golden retreiver skull wich is bigger but if you says that is was white and brown... it doesn't really help you :p
     
  9. RainWarrior

    RainWarrior Member

    Sadly we find a lot of pit bull skulls out in the desert here in idaho, people abandon them or worse. I'd say its a pit bull puppy as I have a few similar in my inventory. But I could be wrong, sorry I'm not much help good luck on figuring it out i'll be checking back on this post as i'm curious now.
     
  10. Skullart01

    Skullart01 New Member

    i think it isnt a puppy want bones are wel fused together and he got plaque on teeth!
     
  11. The size is too small for a rottie, even a female. If it was a boxer or American bulldog it should have an undershot jaw. Also too small to be a bullmastiff. I also have lots of dog skulls and a 7" skull (for an adult animal, which this clearly is) is in the size range for breeds like the Samoyed, Alaskan husky, chow,
    etc (though of course examples of those breeds can be larger than that)
    - so a dog that when alive would have been under 70lbs in weight, though due to the forehead and profile I'm sure your skull is not from any of those breeds. I'd also say it is a bully breed or mix of some sort, and sadly impossible to totally pin down unless you know for sure what kind of dog the skull came from. In fact, it's so hard to tell sometimes that even two very different breeds can look quite similar. I have a female Doberman skull that is difficult to distinguish from the skull (sex unknown) of a rough collie - they look like they could be the same breed. Another clue for a bully breed can be the "heft" of the skull - many of these breeds and their mixes have thick, heavy bone in the back of the cranium, and feel heavier and sturdier than a similar sized skull from another breed.
     
  12. Thanks a lot all for your tips with dogs !
    So yes, to small for a Rottweiler or a Pit bull (plus the crest not as much developed). But it confirm it as a "bully breed". I've noticed too that it may looks like a Golden retriever but to small again and I don't think someone would separate from this kind of dog, whereas "bully" are the most abandoned dogs as mentioned and assuming the legs belong to the the same dog, it would be consistent with bully.
    Fully adult/mature dog yes and the skull is relatively heavy and strong to me.

    Looking in my pictures collection again and again, I saw a couple very useful that I missed until now. I don't remember where I got them but if they are trustable, they would strongly support the European version of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (if I recognised it well on the pics).
    I've read that the American version is larger and stronger, but it fit well with the European version I think.
     

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  13. Update on my dog

    I finished to clean it, forced it to macerate and it only wanted to degrease in acetone, ammonia did almost nothing on him.
    I focused on the skull only because I'm not 100% sure if the leg belong to the same dog or not.
    I continued to search for an ID. I was told that it could possibly be a type of spaniel. Searched for it and I found a good candidate on a Dutch site.
    An English cocker spaniel skull that looks very similar in shape and size, except that mine have a thicker jaw and larger fang, that made me think of a bully first could just be a variation here. And it explain the crest few developed, the masseteric fossa not deep at all, stop well marked...

    By the way, an other thing that made me doubt of a bully now is that I had chance to get a full American staff that I'm currently cleaning (skull is impressive to me and so wide that it makes me think of a cross between hyena and marsupial lion :p ). I will show it too when done. I was thinking that it would be nice to do a thread specialized on dog skulls of breed know for sure to help ID skulls found or get without informations. What you think of it ?

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/galleriejc/14901154047/
     
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The skull came out very nicely for a preserved one. What was used to preserve it? Formaldehyde does not normally give such nice specimens.

    [​IMG]


    The problem with trying to identify dog skulls is that any breed types can be mixed together. Without seeing the live dog, it is almost impossible to tell unless someone can validate that the skull came from a purebred dog type that had no breeding with another type.
     
  15. akvz

    akvz New Member

    People even mistake live dog breeds all the time-- look at how many dogs are claimed to be wolfdogs without any wolf traits (narrow chest, large paws, small ears, long muzzle, no stop, tail gland, etc) even by so-called "professionals." Malamutes and huskies especially...

    A skull with a severe underbite or brachiocephaly can be more narrowed down between breeds, and even then, it will never be exact without seeing the living dog. This may be a bully-type mixed with lab, retriever, shepherd, cocker spaniel, anything... and there's no guarantee it's mixed with a bully breed, either. I've seen American bulldogs with dramatically shortened muzzles and ones with longer muzzles, I've seen retro-style pugs with longer muzzles and the classic torture-bred pugs... there's too much variance in dogs to accurately pen down a breed based solely on the skull. Even skinned, even with fur on... you can never tell accurately.
     
  16. I'm not sure what was used but the smell was really far from natural, I guess alcohol... It took 3 or 4 months to remove all the tissues, lots of hand cleaning and I forced it to macerate with water from a good maceration for weeks. Only a couple teeth steel have some tissues left in the alveolus but I think they are gone from anywhere else. Degreasing in dish soap then ammonia did nothing, only the acetone worked on him and it turned deep orange. Thanks.
    The classmate who got the other dog has a friend archaeologist specialised on dogs who thinks both dogs are the same and almost sure that they are braccoid dogs and he thought a type of spaniel. He said my guess of English cocker spaniel is possible but of course not possible to know for sure.

    I know people mistake live dog, searching for those skulls learned me about dogs.
    I couldn't be satisfied with just "I don't know" and not even try to find or be as close as possible. I will do comparison pics of my AmStaff with this one because it's nice to see they're about the same length but so differently built.
     
  17. Dogsteaks

    Dogsteaks New Member

    The really spread out/angled incisors make me think small dog breed or a bully breed.
    Staffordshire Bull Terrier, maybe a mix of a SBT, maybe a small dog mix breed, not really sure.
     
  18. Zombiegirl

    Zombiegirl Member

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    Living with 2 pitbulls, working in a veterinary clinic and seeing pitbulls, and having 2 pitbull skulls in my collection this looks like some sort of bully breed, with the short square snout and thicker/wider forhead...not a puppy, too much tartar on the teeth for that.
     
  19. Thanks for the input, I agree on those and that's exactly what maid me think bully first. Yes mature dog, no doubt about this.
    The general look makes it appear "round" on lateral view, although it's not wide enough for bully breed. But muscles insertions here are relatively weak, crest is not very developed and the the masseteric fossa is really nothing compare to that expected is any bully type dog. Coronoid process of the mandible is a lot smaller and weaker than what is seen on any bully. The articular condyle of the jaw is not large and the glenoid fossa really don't "lock" (as in some wild carnivores and my AmStaff) and is quite loose here. And as I could compare the muscles too, for a skull of the same length, the temporal and masseter muscles of my Amstaff really dwarfed those of this dog being 3 or 4 times thicker which is consistent with the great difference in muscular insertions between those skulls.
     
  20. zatoan

    zatoan New Member

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    If it was a boxer or American bulldog it should have an undershot jaw. Also too small to be a bullmastiff. I also have lots of dog skulls and a 7" skull (for an adult animal, which this clearly is) is in the size range for breeds like the Samoyed, Alaskan husky, chow,
    etc (though of course examples of those breeds can be larger than that) so a dog that when alive would have been under 70lbs in weight, though due to the forehead and profile I'm sure your skull is not from any of those breeds. I'd also say it is a bully breed or mix of some sort, and sadly impossible to totally pin down unless you know for sure what kind of dog the skull came from. In fact, it's so hard to tell sometimes that even two very different breeds can look quite similar.