Pet Testing Reviews for DNA My Dog

From £54.85 Converted from $68.99

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
4 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
4 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
3 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary

Overall, I was really impressed with the DNA My Dog report. I loved the certificate, which I can’t wait to share with my dog walking friends, and the breed breakdown report was both informative and interesting. Some of the breeds that were identified in Peggy’s DNA were unexpected, but the character descriptions accompanying the results definitely convinced me that the assessment was correct.

I found the level system a bit confusing and would have understood the results quicker had they been explained or even not included at all. That said, the rest of the report was clear, concise and nicely organised, making the information easy to understand and digest. I’d definitely recommend this test to anyone interested in finding out more about the breeds that their dog is made up of, even if you think you already know!

Full Review

The Canadian-based company, DNA My Dog, offers several dog DNA tests, all based on breed identification. Over the years, they have built on their ‘DNA My Dog’ breed identification test, to offer a breed analysis test for deceased dogs (using toys or other items they might have chewed) and now even offer a test that identifies the percentage of wolf or coyote DNA present in your dog’s genome. As well as offering tests to consumers, the company has worked with several dog shelters. The DNA My Dog North American Shelter program gives these facilities the chance to increase funding. DNA My Dog provides them with free kits to sell, for the profit of the shelter. Their tests have also provided these organisations the opportunity to more quickly and easily identify the breeds present in the dogs they take in. Set up in 2008, DNA My Dog is one of the most well established pet DNA testing companies around and has tested more than 100,000 dogs, so we thought it was about time we tried it out!

Product Expectations

There was a lot of information on the DNA My Dog website about what to expect from the test. I learned that as well as the breeds that my dog (Peggy) was made up of, I’d find out about the history of these breeds as well as the impact they’d likely have on her personality and exercise level. The 84 breeds in the DNA My Dog certified database, which would be used in the analysis of my dog’s DNA were listed in a table. I was glad this was included, as I was able to check that the breed I believed Peggy was would be detected by the test before purchasing.

There was also a section which more explicitly explained what to expect from the test, entitled ‘Your results will include…’. There was extra information about what I’d receive, such as a custom breed breakdown certificate and information about any health issues that dogs of the breed(s) identified would be more likely to face.

I was glad to see that the DNA My Dog website also included sample results. Unfortunately, these only showed the certificate, not the full report, but they provided a good preview of the results.

The terms and conditions were short and simple, and contained nothing that seemed out of the ordinary.

Ordering Experience

To order the test, I was taken to a separate ‘Shop’ part of the website. Here I had the option to buy the original breed identification ‘DNA My Dog’ test, a package that included this test, but also wolf/coyote detection, or the Deceased Dog Breed Testing. I chose the first option and added it to my cart. Those that bought two or more tests could purchase them at a slightly reduced price, which I imagine is helpful for those at shelters or with several dogs. I also noticed that each product was advertised as having free shipping, which I was impressed to see still applied when I put in my UK address, despite the company being based in Canada.

When adding the rest of my shipping and billing details, I saw that there was a ‘Comments’ section that allowed me to provide any other information that might be useful for the order. I wasn’t sure what sort of thing might be included in this section but thought it was a useful feature to have.

I had the option to pay by credit card on the site, or to use PayPal. I chose the former, and it all went through fine, which was confirmed by an email that provided me with the details of my order. This told me that my kit should be delivered in a maximum of eight days and that the return postage was also included in the price.

Once I’d received my kit, the activation process was slightly unusual. I had to enter my email address, but not to create an account and I didn’t receive a confirmation email once I’d activated my kit. However, I was able to use my customer ID to check the status of my test, via the DNA My Dog website, and to upload the picture of Peggy that I wanted to appear on her certificate.

The Results

I received Peggy’s results about 2 weeks after sending off the samples, which was impressive considering they’d been sent to Canada. I received an email that informed me the results were ready and contained two PDFs: Peggy’s ‘Canine Breed Composition Analysis Certificate’ and her full ‘Canine Breed Determination Report’.

Results Section: Canine Breed Composition Analysis Certificate

I chose to look at Peggy’s certificate first, as, from the samples given on the DNA My Dog website and the name of the certificate, I guessed that this was likely to give me an overview of her breed breakdown. Peggy’s certificate is shown below

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Peggy’s Canine Breed Composition Analysis Certificate.

Peggy’s Canine Breed Composition Analysis Certificate.

I was really happy with how this certificate looked. I loved that the picture was included and that it had been customised with her name. It looked quite official and was something I was definitely excited to share with my dog-walking friends. In terms of the breed breakdown itself, I was unsurprised to see that Lhasa Apso was included, as well as Parson Russell Terrier, though had not expected to see Shih Tzu in the mix. I’d previously thought that Peggy’s parents were a pure bred Lhasa Apso and Parson Russell Terrier, so was intrigued to see what the different levels meant in the full report.

Results Section: Canine Breed Determination Report

Moving on to the full report, I was interested to see what Peggy’s unexpected Shih Tzu DNA had contributed to her behaviour and character. I was also keen to see what percentage of DNA was attributed to each of the breeds in her breakdown.

The report was personalised with her picture and name, as the certificate had been (shown below).

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The top of Peggy’s Canine Breed Determination report, customised with her name and photo.

The top of Peggy’s Canine Breed Determination report, customised with her name and photo.

This was a fun, colourful start to the report, and provided a great reference from which to compare Peggy’s physical appearance to the descriptions that followed. To start with, the image was useful to compare to three drawings, below this title banner, of the breeds that were identified in Peggy’s DNA (shown below).

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The breeds present in Peggy’s DNA.

The breeds present in Peggy’s DNA.

Whilst these images didn’t provide any further information about how much of Peggy’s DNA was associated with each breed, it was really interesting to see how similar Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu’s looked, and I could definitely see aspects of Peggy’s physical features in all three breeds. Her face is very much Lhasa Apso, but her tail looks a lot more like the Shih Tzu one. She also has quite long legs for a small dog, which I could now attribute to the Parson Russell Terrier contribution to her DNA.

Results Section: Lhasa Apso

The next section went into more detail about each of the breeds in turn, the first of which was Lhasa Apso. The top of the result included the picture and level again, but also gave a percentage (75-100%). I assumed that somewhere within this range was the percentage of Peggy’s DNA that originated from the Lhasa Apso breed, but this wasn’t explained and unfortunately neither was its relationship to the level given.

This section went on to describe the history, personality and behavioural traits associated with the breed. I was interested to learn that they were one of the oldest breeds, and were originally domesticated small Tibetan mountain wolves – one of the last things I’d relate Peggy to! I was unsurprised to learn that they had been bred as guard dogs, as I’d read something about this before and although she is chronically lazy, sleeping for most of the day, Peggy will often spring awake at night to sit staring out of the window for hours on end.

I was relieved to read that this breed is generally healthy, except for the likelihood of skin parasites in their fur. As Peggy’s fur is rougher than most Lhasa Apso dogs I’ve come across, I’m hoping that this won’t be a huge issue for her.

In terms of other traits, I’d say that she definitely displays the independence and strong-will of the Lhasa Apso, but it seems that I’ve been really lucky as she hasn’t inherited the ‘loud, persistent bark’ that was described. I was interested to read about the other two breeds to see if they would explain the rest of her character traits

Results Section: Shih Tzu

I was particularly interested in reading about the Shih Tzu aspects of Peggy’s DNA, as this was the result that I hadn’t expected at all. The percentage estimate was much lower for this breed, predicted to make up 10-20% of her overall DNA.

I was slightly sceptical about this result, as we had seen her father when buying her as a puppy, and he had looked very much like a Parson Russell Terrier. However, once I’d read the description, I noticed several Shih Tzu character traits and behaviours that matched up closely with Peggy’s. Her Shih Tzu result is shown below.

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Peggy’s Shih Tzu result and accompanying breed description.

Peggy’s Shih Tzu result and accompanying breed description.

Most notably, she definitely displays the affection and love for meeting new people described, and it was interesting to read that they are generally good with children, which Lhasa Apso’s aren’t. Peggy is very patient with any small children, so this explains why! Not all of the features matched Peggy, which makes sense as this breed only makes up 10-20% of her DNA. I have to admit, I’m glad that she doesn’t have the characteristic ‘undershot bite’ that was described!

Results Section: Parson Russell Terrier

The final part of the report was dedicated to the breed that made up the smallest proportion of Peggy’s DNA, the Parson Russell Terrier. As I previously mentioned, I had thought that Peggy was a Lhasa Apso, Parson Russell Terrier cross, so was surprised to see that this breed only made up between 1-9% of her overall DNA.

Reading the description of the Parson Russell Terrier, I became further convinced by this result, however. The destructive and extremely lively behaviour described is almost the exact opposite of Peggy’s temperament. There were aspects, such as the fact they were bred to hunt foxes, that I could link to her behaviour, but chasing other animals is something common to most dogs, so it may not be due to her Parson Russell Terrier DNA.

Summary

Overall, I was really impressed with the DNA My Dog report. I loved the certificate, which I can’t wait to share with my dog walking friends, and the breed breakdown report was both informative and interesting. Some of the breeds that were identified in Peggy’s DNA were unexpected, but the character descriptions accompanying the results definitely convinced me that the assessment was correct.

I found the level system a bit confusing and would have understood the results quicker had they been explained or even not included at all. That said, the rest of the report was clear, concise and nicely organised, making the information easy to understand and digest. I’d definitely recommend this test to anyone interested in finding out more about the breeds that their dog is made up of, even if you think you already know!

See a description of this DNA test from DNA My Dog >