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I see in this post that "What breed is this?" questions are not allowed, and I agree with the reasoning that they (or their answers) aren't useful to others. However, would it be acceptable to have one generic question per breed on how to identify it?

I'm in Facebook groups for specific cat breeds that are flooded with daily "Is my cat a [breed]?" questions. It would be useful to point all of them to a single well-written resource on how to identify that breed instead of people writing lower-quality, off-the-cuff answers over and over.

  • I have been thinking about this for a while. I am considering writing a single question per species (cat, dog, etc) "How do I tell what breed my cat is?" if I did so do you think you could write an answer? – James Jenkins Oct 10 at 12:35
  • @JamesJenkins I can try for cats, but it'll require some time to put together something comprehensive yet concise. Spoiler alert: if you didn't get it from a breeder or a breed rescue, it's probably mixed. – StephenS Oct 10 at 22:53
  • That is pretty much what I was thinking would be the answer, maybe a paragraph or two. You could probably take some words from the related meta posts on why it is so hard to tell by sight. – James Jenkins Oct 11 at 8:19
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In theory, one good answer to redirect everyone to is good. Much like the what gender is my kitten.

The problem is two fold,

One keeping the good answer(s) short.

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much. Source

Second, will redirecting them to an answer that ultimately says go look someplace else, really be helpful?

Lastly, you are suggesting one answer for each breed, but who decides what breed answer to send them to? If a person does not know the breed of their pet, it almost certainly a mixed breed. If the have good guess at the breed, google is going to be a much better resource then we could hope to be.

So you can't have one answer for dogs, that lists all breeds, that is book (and has other issues that are geographical) and you can't have one answer for each breed, as it puts us back in the argument Should we discourage pet breed / species identification questions?

  • The specific problem I have is that people get cats from a shelter or other questionable source, are told it looks like a Bengal, Savannah, etc., and then come to breed-specific groups to ask for confirmation. – StephenS Sep 28 at 18:21
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    @StephenS but Pets.se is not a breed specific group, and if we tried to make a list of all of them, it would be always be incorrect on some level. Breed standards very by country. It would be more complex then our answers at pets.stackexchange.com/q/18810/13 which is very incomplete. – James Jenkins Sep 28 at 21:41
  • My proposal might be unclear; I was intending one Q/A for each breed, e.g. "Is my cat a Bengal?", "Is my cat a Savannah?", etc. For each answer, i was planning to reference the relevant TICA breed standard, which is international. I could write one if an example would help, but I didn't want to spend the effort if it would just be deleted. – StephenS Sep 28 at 23:11
  • @StephenS you might want to edit that into the question, since that was not something I immediately understood from it. By the looks of it, James didn't get that either. It's a relevant distinction. – JAD Sep 30 at 10:59
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Answering based on this comment:

My proposal might be unclear; I was intending one Q/A for each breed, e.g. "Is my cat a Bengal?", "Is my cat a Savannah?", etc. For each answer, i was planning to reference the relevant TICA breed standard, which is international. I could write one if an example would help, but I didn't want to spend the effort if it would just be deleted.

This seems like a bad idea. There are a multitude of breeds, not just for dogs, but for cats, rabbits and so forth. Not to speak of the plethora of morphs snakes and other reptiles might have. Due to combinatorics, you could fill an entire stack just with questions describing each and every combination there is.

For each answer, i was planning to reference the relevant TICA breed standard, which is international.

This in particular screams to me that one generic question, like James commented on, might actually suffice. If for each and every breed the answer would point to one and the same resource, why not make it one singular question? "How can I identify my dog's breed and what resources can be used?" is an entirely different question in my opinion than "Here's a picture of my dog, what breed is it?"

  • So you would be okay with a single answer for all cats pointing people to the TICA breed standards? – StephenS Sep 30 at 14:34
  • @StephenS the problem becomes that TICA breed standards is not the single authoritative source. Why not a link to CFA or acfacat or Wikipedia or, I don't even know how many possible sources there might be, nor by how much they differ. – James Jenkins Oct 1 at 16:48

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