9 questions about your dog that a DNA test could answer!


9 questions about your dog that a DNA test could answer!

9 questions about your dog that a DNA test could answer!

Have you ever wondered what makes your dog tick? Considered paying an expert to help you understand your pet’s behaviour? Fortunately, dog DNA testing provides a cost-effective alternative to professional consultation, and depending on the test you choose, the results can answer almost any question you might have about your dog!

To test your dog’s DNA, all you have to do is order a testing kit online and when it arrives, rub a swab against the inside of your dog’s cheek. The process is totally painless and after you return the sample to the lab, you’ll receive your dog’s results in an online account just a few weeks later.

If you’re already sold on the idea and you know what questions you want answered, take a look at our list of genetic pet testing companies to see what’s on offer!

If you’ve yet to make up your mind, here’s a list of 9 questions that a dog DNA test can answer…

1. What breed is my dog?

Wisdom Panel Certificate Rectangle

The approach of a fellow dog walker asking “What breed is your dog?” is an experience that I’m sure most dog owners are familiar with. For those with a purebred, this comes with a simple answer, but for many this can be a bit more complicated. “We think she’s some sort of terrier mix” I used to say, when the only evidence I had was that my dog slightly resembled a Jack Russell.

But why speculate when a DNA dog breed test can provide a conclusive answer? There are now a range of DNA dog tests available which can provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of the breeds that contribute to your pet’s DNA. Most companies that sell these genetic dog breed tests screen your dog’s DNA for markers associated with Kennel Club and/or American Kennel Club recognised breeds, which cover more than 200 types of dog. Not only do these provide (sometimes surprising) answers to those with mixed breed dogs, but they can also be used to confirm that purebreds are exclusively one breed.

Wisdom Panel and Embark are two of the most popular and comprehensive dog breed tests, though there are an increasing number available. Not only do dog breed tests provide you with details about the breed(s) of your dog, but they’ll sometimes include a family tree, showing information about your dog’s parents and grandparents (we’ll talk more about that in the next section). Genetic dog breed tests usually come with a certificate that details the breeds present in their DNA. So next time someone comes up to you asking “What breed is your dog?”, you can proudly reveal your answer.

2. Is my dog related to royalty?

Haplogroups

Okay, so you might not find out if your pet is related to the Queen’s dogs, but taking a genetic dog test can provide you with your canine’s family tree. This will include the likely breed(s) of your dog’s ancestors going back to their grandparents and great grandparents, meaning you’ll potentially see information about 14 of your dog’s predecessors. These family trees can be useful and interesting for owners of both purebred and mixed breed dogs, as they clearly show a dog’s origins and can be used to confirm their pedigree.

If you buy a genetic dog test from Embark, you’ll also receive information about your dog’s deeper ancestry. This comes in the form of their maternal and paternal (male dogs only) haplogroups and haplotypes, which are codes that describe a group of dogs who share the same ancestor on their mother’s (maternal) or father’s (paternal) side of the family. Haplogroups and haplotypes can be used to show how your dog’s ancestors migrated across great distances over tens of thousands of years.

3. Have I made my dog this crazy or was he/she just born this way?

Traits

Whether your dog is a fluffy ball of energy or is more docile and well behaved, each has its own unique personality, and you may wonder how and why they display the characteristics they do. Genetic dog tests are not only able to tell you which breed(s) your dog is composed of, but they can predict their personality traits according to the outcome. ‘DNA My Dog’ is a test sold by companies such as International Biosciences and Who’z the Daddy?, and is a popular means of analysing your dog’s DNA for this information.

I’m sure many of you will be able to recall moments when your dog seemed perfectly calm one second but was tearing around the house the next. This can be due to many things, but the mix of breeds in their DNA could be one reason. I found out that the reason my otherwise chronically lazy dog springs up as soon as the sun goes down is because she has ‘Lhasa Apso’ ancestors. Apparently, this type of dog was bred to alert Buddhist monks to intruders while they slept, so she must have inherited this trait! It was only by analysing my dog’s DNA that I discovered this breed was in her mix, it would have been impossible to deduce from her physical characteristics alone.

4. What would my dog’s puppies look like?

Physical Traits

It’s not only personality traits that can be revealed with a dog DNA kit. Some pet tests can give you an insight into the genetic variants responsible for the physical characteristics of your dog. If you have a mixed breed dog there may be several aspects of their appearance that you wonder about, and whether they’ll be passed on to your dog’s puppies.

If you have a purebred and you’re planning to cross it with another purebred, you may not think it worthwhile to test for the physical features their puppies may have. However, variations in features (e.g. coat colour) can occur even when two pedigree dogs are crossed, and the only real way to know which features the puppies are likely to have is to test the DNA of both dogs. DDC offer these sorts of tests, and you can choose what you need based on the trait you’re looking for, or based on your dogs’ breeds.

5. Is my dog healthy?

Sick dog

The answer to this might seem obvious, but this isn’t just about your dog’s present health. We all hope that our pet will be healthy for as long as possible, but at some point most dogs will suffer from some sort of health problem. It’s horrible to think of your happy and healthy companion suffering from a condition, which is why many of us don’t actively seek to discover what our dogs may suffer from in the future. However, a genetic pet test can provide you with information that can help you to take a proactive approach towards your dog’s health.

By testing for the conditions that your dog’s breed(s) are predisposed to, genetic dog tests can tell you what you should look out for. The results of these tests will often come with advice to help you reduce any risks that are discovered, and they’ll potentially help you to prevent the condition from developing in the first place.

As well as the benefits to your dog’s health, genetic pet tests may also save you time and money in vet visits. It’s worth bearing in mind that most vets will prefer a particular type of genetic pet test if you’re considering one for your dog, so make sure you ask for their opinion next time you visit.

While most testing companies will test for the conditions that your dog’s breed(s) are susceptible to, some will simply test for the diseases that are equally common in all breeds. If there’s a particular dog DNA test that you’re interested in, we recommend you ask whether it’s a breed-specific or generic test before buying.

Test results will often come in a format that you can pass straight to your vet, which means you’ll be able to discuss anything concerning. The Dog Inherited Disease Test from Genetic Testing Laboratories provides testing for a range of diseases, which will be recommended according to your dog’s breed(s).

6. How will my dog react to drugs?

Drugs dog

No, not on a big night out with their canine pals. We’re talking about the kind of drugs that are designed to make your dog better when they’re ill, but sometimes have the potential to make them much worse. For example, a fault in a gene known as multi-drug resistance 1 (MDR1) can cause dogs to react badly when treated with certain drugs.

Genetic dog tests for drug sensitivity can identify whether your dog has a fault in their drug resistance genes, allowing you and your vet to avoid any medicines that your pet might negatively react to. Drug sensitivity is tested for by both Wisdom Panel’s 2.0 test and Embark’s genetic dog test.

7. Is my dog a little on the heavy side?

Dog on scales

Even the strictest of owners will find themselves tempted to treat their dog from time to time. Whether it’s a chicken scrap from a roast dinner or an extra treat for learning something new, we all find ourselves wanting to give in to their pleading eyes. But what if you’re concerned that your dog’s becoming a little more portly than is healthy? How do you find out if your dog is at a healthy weight without constant visits to the vet?

Yes, you guessed it – with a genetic dog test. The information that a dog DNA kit can provide about the breed(s) of your dog can also be used to estimate their ideal weight as a fully grown adult. Your dog’s gender and whether or not they’ve been spayed will also factor into this prediction, and so the testing company you buy from may ask you this when you order.

Wisdom Panel provide this information as part of their dog breed DNA analysis, so this would be a good test to buy if you’re worried that you need to be stricter with the titbits!

8. Is my dog secretly a wolf?

Wolf

Wolves are well known for their disguises – Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma and sheep being two renowned examples – so perhaps your dog’s been posing as a wolf all these years?

Joking aside, many dogs have lupine ancestry and possess the wolfish traits of their forbears. If you’d like to know the extent to which your dog is related to this sub-species (dogs and wolves are actually the same species), then a dog DNA test can answer this question…

Embark include this analysis in their dog DNA kit, so they can reveal the percentage of your dog’s DNA that’s shared with wolves. Most dogs are up to 1% wolfish but if your pet is a Shih Tzu or a Chow Chow, then they’re much more likely to possess wolf DNA than average, even though it can be argued that German Shepherds and Huskies look much more wolf-like!

9. Who’s the puppy daddy?

Parentage

Has anyone ever claimed that your dog’s sired an unwanted puppy? Or perhaps you have doubts about the parentage of a dog that you’re buying or selling? These sorts of concerns can be super stressful, especially if you’re a breeder and your reputation depends on proof of parentage.

Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be the case. One of the simplest and most reliable types of pet DNA test are those that determine the parentage of your dog. So-called ‘dog paternity tests’ can be used to disprove parentage with 100% accuracy and to prove parentage with upwards of 99.99% accuracy. Depending on what you want to know, you’ll usually have the option to test the puppy and the alleged sire, or the puppy and both alleged parents.

This type of pet test is offered by many dog DNA testing companies, but Animal Genetics stands out as they include your dog’s DNA profile in the results. This means you can compare your dog’s profile with that of another dog in case of future parentage disputes, without having to swab your dog a second time.

Ashley Sager

27 May 2017

if you want to know dog breed you just need to take dogs blood sample and you can just test it through DNA Testing Kit. Few days back i was thinking to buy a dog's DNA kit, as i was searching, i got some important details. There are various options available to buy, which are Wisdom Panel, Mars Veterinary, Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed, Embark Dog & Canine Breed Identification Test kit to know which type of exact breed it is.
Caroline

31 May 2017

Hi I brought a Cockapoo and the seller told me mum was a show type cocker spaniel and dad was a toy poodle the pup has grown really big would a DNA test tell me if the dad was a toy poodle or standard poodle please.

    Hi Caroline,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    A dog DNA test on your dog may be able to detect whether the dad was a toy or standard poodle, but it will depend on the breeds detected in the particular test you use. We'd recommend contacting some of the providers on this page to see if any would be able to determine whether your dog's paternal DNA was inherited from a toy poodle or standard poodle: https://dnatestingchoice.com/pet-testing

    We'd suggest starting with three of the most popular providers, Wisdom Panel, Embark and DNA My Dog.

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

Helen

15 November 2017

Hello! We have two dogs, one who is a shih tzu and one we think may be a shih tzu or lhasa apso. Will the DNA test be able to tell what breed our dog is between these two when their ancestries are so close? Thanks!

    Hi Helen,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    We’d recommend visiting this page, which lists dog breed DNA test providers: https://dnatestingchoice.com/pet-testing. In particular, we'd recommend taking a look at Wisdom Panel, Embark and DNA My Dog.

    Many of these companies publish the breeds that can be identified using their test, but we'd suggest contacting them directly to make sure that they're able to distinguish between Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos specifically.

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

Cricket

30 November 2017

There is a question with my AKC registered schnauzer, Darts, maternal grandsire! It is one of two studs at the same kennel! I have had my dog DNA tested! One lady I talked to told me my dogs DNA would show his maternal grandsires markers. A different lady said no way! I no longer have my dogs mom and can't get her DNA, it is her litter that possibly had two sires! Is it true that Darts Grandsires markers would show up in his DNA? AKC has DNA on both of the possible sires! Can't they check for one or the other in Darts DNA! I'm in a pickle here! Dart has 6 litters of pups, that I sold in good faith his paperwork was correct! My pups aren't cheap either! HELP!

    Hi Cricket,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    The information that dog DNA tests provide depends on the company that you test with, as although they may offer similar services, the processes and analysis techniques they use often differ. We'd therefore recommend getting in touch with the company you used to test your dog's DNA, as they'll be able to provide you with the best explanation of your results.

    Sorry we can't be of further help!

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

Wendy S Hester

7 December 2017

We have a rescue Dogo Argentino. She came from a pack of 60 and we are in contact with several of the other Dogo Argentino familes. Can we test them and determine if they are siblings/parents/offspring?

    Hi Wendy,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    We'd recommend taking a look at dog parentage testing, a service that several of the providers listed on our pet testing page offer: https://dnatestingchoice.com/pet-testing

    We'd suggest contacting them directly to discuss the best options for testing several dogs.

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

Lisa

14 December 2017

I was wondering if allergies or etc would show on a DNA or what is causing my dogs cough that isn’t constant. Thxs

    Hi Lisa,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    I’m afraid that we don't know of any pet testing providers that offer testing for current health conditions. We'd recommend getting in contact with a veterinarian, who should be able to advise you on the most likely cause of your dog's cough.

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

Terri Raven

6 February 2018

Hi! My husband and I just rescued two 8 year old pekingese. We suspect they are from the same litter but are not sure. Would a DNA test be able to confirm this?

    Hi Terri,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    It may be possible for DNA testing to determine this, but I'm afraid we don't currently know of any tests that are able to establish biological relationships without involving the parents. We’d suggest contacting some of the providers on this page, to find out whether this is a service they could carry out: https://dnatestingchoice.com/en-us/pet-testing

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

Bethanie Tucker

19 February 2018

I have saved 2 dogs. They are 5 years apart but came from the same area. Is there a way to tell if they are related? I have no idea about there parents

    Hi Bethanie,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    It may be possible for DNA testing to determine this, but I'm afraid we don't currently know of any tests that are able to establish biological relationships without involving the parents. We’d suggest contacting some of the providers on this page, to find out whether this is a service they could carry out: https://dnatestingchoice.com/pet-testing

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

MARIN Eric

26 February 2018

good afternoon, I should want to know, how many of DNA of wolf in the german shepherd By advance, thank you Yours faithfully Eric MARIN

Brigitte Friel

28 February 2018

How can I find out what is my dogs mom and dad in the Dna results??

    Hi Brigitte,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    The format of the results you receive differs depending on which provider you use. We'd therefore recommend getting in touch with the company you used to test your dog's DNA, as they'll be able to provide you with the best explanation of your results.

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

KK

26 March 2018

Hi. I was wondering if a DNA tests done on 2 dogs could determine if they are siblings? Is that possible if we sent them in together?

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    It may be possible for DNA testing to determine this, but I'm afraid we don't currently know of any tests that are able to establish biological relationships without involving at least one parent. We’d suggest contacting some of the providers on this page, to find out whether this is a service they could carry out: https://dnatestingchoice.com/pet-testing.

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

JT

28 March 2018

Hello, I was wondering if this test would prove if my dog was a full blooded German Shepherd. He absolutely looks like one, and has every single characteristic of one. So much so that I don't doubt he is. The people we got him from even showed us pictures of his "supposed" parents and claim they couldn't sell the last 3 of the litter, so they were letting them go without papers. He is the smartest dog I have ever seen in my life. My son is still unsure because his ears are lazy. He has 1 that stands up and the other one doesn't stand up all the way, but he can stand them up if he wants to, especially when he listens, except the right is still a little lazy. Otherwise, he keeps them lazy about half stood. I told my son that not all Shepherds keep or have their ears all up and straight, so we are wondering about him being purebred. Although you could never tell by looking at him. However, I was told you need a blood test to prove this.

    Hi JT,

    Thank you for your recent comment.

    I’m afraid we're a comparison site for DNA tests, we don't sell or carry out any testing ourselves. We’d recommend visiting our Pet Testing page, which lists providers that sell the kind of test you are looking for: https://dnatestingchoice.com/pet-testing

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

RT

1 August 2018

Our bitch has just had a litter of puppies. She is a collie and the puppies are collie too. But we have two male collie dogs would a DNA be able to tell us watch collie is the father? Thanks

    Hi RT,

    Thank you for commenting!

    We do list providers for canine paternity testing. If you follow this link and then select "Paternity Testing for Dogs" from the menu on the left, you'll find a range of tests: https://dnatestingchoice.com/en-us/search/category/pet-testing

    Typically, a canine paternity test can confirm which dog is the father with 99.99% accuracy.

    I hope this is helpful!

    Kind regards,

    Harriet

    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

Rafael

22 November 2018

Hello there! I have two bullmastiff that came from the same breeder. However, I would like to know how close they (if any) since I am planning to have a litter. Could the test tell me if its safe to breed them? Thanks

    Hi Rafael,

    Thank you for commenting.

    I would definitely recommend testing your dogs before breeding them, as it is very likely they are related, even if they are not full siblings.

    Various providers offer dog parentage testing, including DDC, Easy DNA, International Biosciences, and Paw Print Genetics. As you don't know what the relationship between your two dogs might be, I'd recommend getting in touch with a lab directly, and let them know the situation.

    You can find a list of pet DNA testing providers here.

    I hope this is helpful!

    Kind regards,
    Harriet Seldon | Services Team

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