Guess the breed! Everybody say "Awwwwwww"

I would like you to meet the newest (yes, it's never ending) member of the family.

This is Hugo!

Hugo is one of five puppies who, at the ripe old age of three weeks, were left out in a box presumably to die without Mum. I think the names given by the wonderful team at Phoenix who bottle fed them so successfully they all survived are superb - they were called the "Fragrant Vagrants" and we have Hugo, Boss, Coco, Chanel and Chloe. Fabulous.

But of course no-one's quite sure what they are! Obviously cross breeds, their colours included brindle, honey, black/white, a bit of everything.

It's been suggested that they are lab/staffie cross but what do you think? All I know is he'll probably end up the size of a small donkey. Here are some more photos to help you decide because, as usual, I'm clueless.

He's 3 months old but is already nearly the same size as Wisky who's a medium size lump

Awful photo but check out the "wrinkles" on his forehead

And the lanky legs and tail shape.


So I'm not wrong calling him the Donkey, lol! Honestly, he's like a flaming bulldozer and he's only 7 months. I'm wondering how much he will continue to morph the older he gets. I have to take him to the vet this afternoon to get his incision checked after they rip the plaster off (ouch) and will be popping into the insurance company en route to see if they'll provide dangerous dog cover so that I can declare him at the Mairie. What a palaver and he's such a sweetie.

Looks like a bit of Mastiff or Great Dane in the body to me but I'm no expert. His "show pose" photo reminds me of my first dog Major who was an English Mastiff. He was bigger than a Shetland Pony as I recall, (I was rather young but the old photos I have, show me sat next to him and I look very small!!!)

Absolutely hate the camera on the new phone - the Blackberry was so much easier so bad boy Hugo for eating it! I was trying to get a photo of at least his head but a combination of the cr*p phone and a disinterested pooch does not for good portraits make. Anyway, he's 7 months now (guesstimate) and changing a little. He's got quite a long snout and a longish body too as you can see so does that help any on the breed guess?

The bell hangs on the inside of the front door, but when my hound is outside, she's worked out how to pull on the handle to open it ..... and in she charges. Have to lock the door if I want her to stay outside. If I hung a bell there, the neighbours would probably complain about the noise. This wet weather isn't making life easier for any of us ...... housebound with a border wally who wants to play 24/7.

You'd laugh if you saw him, Eleanor - he hangs on the door handle to open it himself so we have to barricade it!! Such a shame that he can't run around the garden unless he's chained otherwise he could simply help himself. His only problem now seems to be if he's upstairs, that's where he'll pee. It doesn't occur to him to get his donkey of a body downstairs first.

So any ideas on what mix he might be? It's still very open to question.

Hang a bell on the door handle .... show him how to use it every time he wants to go outside; take him outside always touching the bell before opening the door ..... it's worked for my border wally, and she drives us nuts with her ringing the bell to go outside, or even not, just for attention. BUT no accidents indoors since she was a puppy. She's now 16 months old. When we go visiting with her, we take a bell with us, and it works a charm!

Try using those puppy nappy pads for overnight, if he can't make it through the night without doing his business. Why he still pees inside with the door open .... don't know, maybe the saying "you'll never pee alone when you have a dog", will have to add on the saying, "he'll never pee alone either" ... you'll have to make peeing outside a fun thing to do, you'll have to go with him and praise him .....or ... treats !

Good luck Valerie.

Absolutely not teaching granny - we love good advice on here (and welcome to the Dogs group as well!) In a way it's unfortunate we are fostering an old dog as, being 14 now, he does tend to have the occasional accident and so Hugo also thinks an 'occasional one' is okay.

Poor old Hugo now can't even have the run of the garden because he digs under or jumps over the nearest fence which, for him, is against the law so he when outside he is chained to an old tyre that he has to drag around behind him. Not very comfortable having a chain between his legs considering he only came back from the vet a week ago with rather sore regions...

He's a big boy now though and he's 7 months!

When puppies are very young they often need for you to go into the garden with them. After they’ve woken or 30 minutes after eating are good times. Take them to the same spot and ask them to “be clean” or whatever phrase you choose, when they have done what you want, say “good be clean” and make a big fuss of them, they’ll soon get the idea. I’m probably teaching granny to suck eggs here as you sound like a very experienced owner but just thought I’d say what has always worked for me.

Yes, I think it completely depends on the personality. I don't mind at all (seriously) cleaning up in the morning after he's been locked in all night - he's only a baby so can't be expected to hold it for that long - it's the walking past the open door to go upstairs to poo/pee that has me shrieking inside my head because I don't understand his logic. But early days... baby steps.

I think we tend to forget how long it can take puppies to "get the idea". I can remember my husband saying despairingly, 'Do you think he'll ever learn?' so seeing Flynn, aged 3 months, pee all the way down the stairs after he'd just come inside. He's 9 now and hasn't done anything inside for 8 3/4 years...

That said, Desi came to us aged 4 months and had lived in what her breeder called 'a bungalow' in the garden and assumed that the place to was was inside. After continuously using my daughter's bedside rug for poos I eventually smacked her bottom with an empty plastic Coke bottle (lots of noise, absolutely no damage to the puppy ) and she never did it again.

Hi Pamela, I just went and 'examined' him - he thought it was all a game. He's so silly. No, couldn't see any change of direction in the hair. It seems perfectly smooth and flat all over. His tail is quite long and thin with a slight bend. I did at one point wonder if there was a bit of shepherd in him because of the body shape but it's got to the stage the more I look the more confused I get! He's a little mystery...

the shape of the face and wrinkles reminds me of one of our former dogs, Sheba. She was a shepherd/ridgeback cross. Is there any sign of hair growing in the opposite direction on his back? Normally they have a line of 'opposite' hair, but sometimes they can be swirls, and also the tail is usually in a big swoop upwards.

We were thinking about homing a labradoodle from a litter that had been chucked out but, because they looked so cute and woolly, there was a lot of interest. This litter had very little interest and at only 3 months were the perfect age to learn to get along with the rest of the crew (the cats have only had to give the odd right hook here and there so he's getting on superbly with them).

Right, so you're definitely going for part staffie... but what's the rest of him?

Definitely a bit of staffie in there - congrats - best dogs ever! As for the rest.....!!

ps thought you were getting a something a doodle?

Oooh I can Victoria. It's just becoming a little frustrating. He sees me march in, hears "Nooooooo" and his tail and ears go down and he scuttles out the door so he obviously knows it's not right. I don't understand why he purposely comes up the stairs sometimes to pee in a bedroom. The journey would actually take him past the open door.

Anyway, so what do you think he's "made from"? That little wrinkled forehead, bandy legs, ears that are sometimes up and bent over, other times just flat. I should have renamed him "Oddjob".

You can't be cross with something that looks like that! OK, you can, but not very cross.

At the moment, I don't care what breed he is - he's just pooped and peed all over the lounge floor which is 10 feet away from the open kitchen door leading out to the garden. Grrrrrrrr. Can't seem to get it through to him that the bedrooms and front room are NOT for going pee pee. What am I going to do with him?

I'm actually now wondering if he's part hyena, scavenging little oik - I just saw him chomping his way through a maggot-ridden mouse in the garden. Completely grossed out.