Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Pets are family to many people, now a growing number of families are turning to science to find out what kind of doggie they adopted.
Michael Pippin of Columbia adopted Hugo when he was nine months old, he will be seven years old in December.
Pippin said, "As strange as it might seem, I really liked the name so it just fit with him." Pippin's dog Hugo is nothing like the hurricane though.
"He is extremely good with kids, he's a people kind of dog. He isn't quite as interested in other dogs," said Pippin. Even though Hugo may not be interested in other dogs, Pippin has been interested in knowing just what kind of dog Hugo is.
He said, "It's always been a mystery, some of the papers said collie mix, and some of the paperwork from the foster home or rescue said hound-lab mix."
Now many dog owners wondering about the bred of their own dogs have turned to DNA testing to find the answer.
"I think more than anything, it is a fun thing for owners to do, because they are surprised sometimes when they go, 'oh my dog is part Doberman or part German shepherd,' but you don't really see it in the physical traits of the dog," said Dr. Christie Griffin.
Griffin is the owner of Griffin Animal Hospital in Columbia.
She said, "Are they predisposed to any genetic diseases, physical traits that may cause some limitations, or things such as osteoarthritis? Which is more prone in larger dogs."
Two weeks after Hugo's mouth swab, the results from his DNA test were in, different than what Pippin expected.
Pippin said Hugo was, "Primarily, he is a St. Bernard and a Springer Spaniel mix." A stark contrast to what the adoption papers said, but that did not change a thing for Pippin.
"He's my best friend. I feel like everyone gets one dog in their lives that is just that really special one. He's that guy, just the best dog I have ever had, no doubt," said Pippin.
Mouth swab DNA tests can range from $60 to about $90 dollars.
The bloods tests can be over $150 dollars, but experts says there is no difference in the accuracy.