Siri Can Tell You What Kind Of Dog You Have With Surprising Accuracy
To help you learn more about your pup 💛
One of the many fun parts of adopting a rescue dog is figuring out what breed or mix of breeds your pet is descended from. Is your dog part pittie or terrier, or another combination? Sometimes, a physical trait can provide a clue, like your dog having the long body of a dachshund or the distinctive V-shaped ears of a retriever, and, other times, a dog’s background may be a complete (albeit adorable) mystery.
Luckily, finding out your dog’s background is now as easy as using your phone, thanks to Siri Knowledge’s Visual Look Up feature. It’s available on Apple’s iOS 15 and later, and to use it, all you need is a photo of your pet, something that every dog parent likely has a ton of on their phone already. Plus, unlike a pet DNA test, the Siri results are instant and completely free! No uncomfortable swabbing of your dog’s mouth required.
I recently tried the Visual Look Up on my own rescue dogs to test its accuracy. Having purchased a DNA test soon after adopting each of my dogs, I already knew that they were both chiweenies, i.e., a mix of Chihuahua and dachshund, a not uncommon combination for small rescue dogs where I live in Southern California. (My girl dog is supposedly a smidge cocker spaniel, too.) So, I was curious: Would Siri be able to tell my dogs were chiweenies? Or can the technology only recognize purebred dogs?
How to use Siri Knowledge to identify a dog’s breed on an iPhone
To use Siri Knowledge’s Visual Look Up feature, all you have to do is open up the Photos app on your iPhone and navigate to a photo of your pet. For best results, you’ll want to pick a photo in which your dog is facing the camera without being too far away. Then, swipe up. Just underneath the “Add a Caption” field is an icon of an animal paw print and the words next to it are “Look Up — Dog.” Once you tap that, you’ll see your results. Siri Knowledge will give you its two best guesses at your dog’s breed along with images of similar-looking dogs from around the web.
I tried it on multiple photos of my dogs, and to my pleasant surprise, Siri generally came to the same conclusion as the DNA tests we took: chiweenies!
The technology is not flawless, however. When I tried the Visual Look Up feature on photos of my dogs in which they were facing away from or to the side of the camera, or ones where I had photographed them at a distance or in low lighting, the results were much less accurate. Siri sometimes mistook them for other breeds, like miniature pinschers, or even a much bigger dog, like a black and tan coonhound. So, choosing the right photo to use is key!
Here’s an example of a winning photo where Siri was able to identify both of my pets correctly. Note, if you have multiple pets like I do, you’ll need to tap on each of the paw prints to get the individual results.
And here’s a less-great candid photo from a stroll down the San Antonio Riverwalk where my dogs’ features are much less visible because they’re standing with their profiles to the camera. This is one where Siri got it wrong!
Siri Knowledge’s Visual Look Up feature is also available for cats, so, in addition to your own pet, you can snap a pic of any friendly dog or cat you meet and use the tool to find out a little more about their lineage.
But the real fun comes from using Siri to identify your own rescue pup’s background — because when you love a dog, you want to know everything you can about him.