Meet Max


Written by Lara Portlock

Professional photography by Kym Clayton Photography

On a cold, rainy day in October 2017, while my husband, Simon, was doing a routine drop-off of rubbish at the Wellington municipal dump site, he spotted a timid little white-and-black dog scrounging around amongst the refuse. Known as Max by the local vagrants, this shy but friendly dog was grubby, underweight and had a bad skin condition.

Birthday surprise

Simon, who has a very big heart, knew he had to give Max a proper home; luckily for him, he had the perfect “excuse”: it just happened to be my birthday that day. He gathered little Max into the car and off he went to Wellington Animal Hospital for a full checkup.

The staff kindly washed Max for us (twice!), vaccinated, dewormed and treated him for fleas. He was given a vet check and placed on antibiotics for his skin infection. He was estimated to be around a year old.

Simon then brought him home to our smallholding where he was introduced to our large family (six dogs, three cats, two pot-bellied pigs and many chickens).

Max was a wonderful birthday “present” to say the least!

Max in the mix

Max was very submissive at first, but by that evening he was curled up in front of the fireplace, feeling right at home as if he’d spent his whole life with us.

Although we have six other dogs, Max has a clear favourite: his best friend, George the American-English-mix Staffordshire Terrier. These two are inseparable and play for hours on end. They love to sit out on the lawn watching over our beautiful property and enjoy going for long walks to the river.

I’d used MuttMix in the past for our dog Ozzie, who turned out to be Maltese mixed with a whole bunch of other breeds thrown in. And, after many guessing games with family and friends as to what Max really is, I decided to get him tested.

Max is a real “ratter” of a dog and loves to search (and dig) for innocent creatures in all sorts of hiding places, so we were convinced there would be some Jack Russell or Fox Terrier in him. He has these very cute front paws that face outwards just like a typical Dachshund and has a long torso, so we were expecting Dachshund, Basset or maybe even some Beagle.

And so it was quite funny (and rather surprising) when we received the results from MuttMix.

Max’s MuttMix Results:

Level 2       Bull Mastiff

Level 3       Maltese

Level 3       Dalmatian

Level 4       Pembroke Welsh Corgi

After we received the results we did a little research about the breeds, and although Max doesn’t look anything like a Bull Mastiff, he has definite Mastiff personality traits, such as being very protective, courageous and alert (making him an excellent watch dog); at the same time he’s gentle, loyal and really good with children, which James and Jade (my niece and nephew) will categorically tell you as he’s their firm favourite.

Now we can clearly see the Dalmatian (his beautiful spots) and the Welsh Corgi traits with his turned-out paws and long torso, along with his calm, affectionate demeanour coming from the Maltese in him. He’s truly unique!

I can’t imagine life without him. We just love our Max and I will be forever grateful for my unexpected birthday present just one year ago.

Dominique of MuttMix adds…

Max is a prime example of DNA from various breeds mixing together to create a fabulous, robust character with features or characteristics sneaking in from each breed!