Your phone can instantly identify any dog or cat — here's how

Woman and dog sitting on a rug looking at a smartphone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Smartphones are going to the dogs. Literally.

There's an innovation hiding in plain sight within our smartphones and tablets — the ability to identify the breed of any dog or cat from its photo. This is the pinnacle of technology for humankind.

But seriously, this is a cool feature within the Google search app that tells you a dog or cat's breed either by taking a photo of it, or by using a photo from your gallery. This could be handy if you've snapped a pic of a cute dog in the park but aren't sure what breed it is, or perhaps if you've adopted one of your own and you're unsure of its heritage.

Whatever the reason, using your phone to identify a dog's breed is really straightforward, as we cover in the guide below.

How to identify any dog or cat breed on your phone

1. Open the Google app, which should already be installed on your device if you have an Android phone or tablet. If it's not, you can download it from Google Play.

Samsung app drawer with Google highlighted

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Tap the camera icon to the right of the search bar — you may need to accept some permissions that appear on-screen.

Google search app home page

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. To identify a breed using a photo already on your device, simply scroll through the images within the app and tap the image you want to identify. Results should appear after a second or two.

Google search app with photo in focus

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. To identify a breed by taking a photo of a dog, tap Search with your camera then tap the magnifying glass icon once said pooch's snap is ready to be taken. Results should appear within a second or two.

Google search app with camera search option

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

And that's all there is to it. Granted, Google doesn't always get it right — it's identified my Chihuahua as a Burmese cat on more than one occasion, though I suppose that's fair — but it's still a cool and fun feature that (mostly) works well.

To get even more out of your Android device, you might also want to check out the best Google Assistant commands, how to identify landmarks on Android, how to connect USB storage devices to your Android phone, or how to take a screenshot on Android.

Dale Fox
Freelance Journalist

Dale Fox is a freelance journalist based in the UK. He's been a tech nerd ever since childhood, when he used the money from his first job as a paperboy to buy a subscription to GamesMaster magazine. Dale was previously a presenter and editor in China, where he also worked as a copywriter for OnePlus at its Shenzhen HQ.