Most of us will outlive our dogs. At 49 years old, I’ve been fortunate enough to have lived with 5 of the beautiful creatures since childhood. In hindsight, my conscious brain only wants to remember the endless amounts of happy times. But in fact, if dog DNA technology was around all those years ago, some of the bad times may not have been so bad. It’s true.
Here’s the list of test types, and they are all very different: -
𝑭𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒍𝒆𝒕’𝒔 '𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒕', 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒈𝒍𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒉 𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒄𝒌𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒅 𝑰𝑫 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒆𝒅: -
When Genetics Labs extract dog DNA and take a shufty at it, any health check, disease or coat colour traits are binary answers. Meaning they get a conclusive Yes/No answer for what they are looking for. The dog owner can be informed with great certainty if their dog has any of the following disease results: -
Breed isn't that way. It's not a yes/no scenario. A lot of guesswork and algorithm tweaking is involved. Based on what the initial dogs' owner claim their dog was. They look at big blocks of data.
Right, are you sitting comfortably? Then let's go a bit deeper into this. If you do have any questions, roadblocks or concerns, please comment or message in. I'll be happy to help answer your questions. Here's a section on each of the 3 test types...
𝟏. 𝐃𝐍𝐀 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 – 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐌𝐎𝐓
Purchased by all reputable breeders and dog charities who breed their own dogs. If you were to ask any vet, they’ll recommend you order a DNA Health Check. They make their job a lot easier, and therefore help your bank balance and stress levels. Now in 2022, there are tests available for over 350+ breeds of dog, covering 250+ diseases and traits. They look at near enough every body part and system your dog has, from eyesight, to metabolism. From blood problems to a very serious drug resistance condition found in many dogs. The science has advanced tremendously well, and the people who have done this are my personal heroes. You should bear in mind that approx a third of all dogs carry genetic diseases that vets struggle to identify. Vets will often look at a sick dog and go through a process of elimination:-
𝟐. 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐈𝐃 𝐓𝐞𝐬𝐭
These are most purchased tests by consumers. Why - Human DNA tests are very popular. People spend a lot of money discovering if they are part-Neanderthal or not . I believe the human ones are quite accurate. As for canines the science is just not there yet. so don't bank on the results being accurate. I'm not against Breed ID testing, as it has it's uses. Just don't bank on the results. I’ve seen multiple cases of people getting different results for the same dog.
For example: -
I heard there is a dog with a public profile identified as Kronk2. The dog is 50% Pyr and 50% Anatolian. The provider reported the dog as 100% Pyr. He has a 100% Pyr dam and a 100% Anatolian sire, verified. The laboratory is clearly wrong, though I have not verified this personally.
𝑰𝒕 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒃𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒍𝒅𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒇𝒓𝒖𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒏 𝑨𝒑𝒑𝒍𝒆. 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒇𝒓𝒖𝒊𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒏 𝑨𝒑𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒂 𝑺𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒘𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒚
If you are in any of the social media dog groups, chances are you will have seen posts, where disgruntled owners of dogs have been less than impressed by Breed ID tests. Remember Facebook has a search function where you can enter keywords, to search back previous posts and discussions.
The most recent addition to the dog genetic world. It came about because of the huge rise of dog theft and puppy trafficking in 2021. Backed by Police CPI, Safehaus DNA keep a record of your dog's unique genes. So that if the worst was to happen, Police can (and do) swab recovered dog saliva. Then they ID and return your dog to you.
Lots of people forget to inform microchip providers of their new change of address. If Police find their dog, it just ends up in kennels.
It has been widely reported that dog thieves and puppy traffickers remove existing microchips. Then add an unregistered one before then cash in. This essentially steals your dog's ID forever. UK Law looks like it is changing to move away from microchips to the Dog DNA Register which is a very welcome step.
Please visit our website blog for more details. https://safehausdna.co.uk/blogs/news
So there you have it. From a personal perspective, when I was 7 years old (in 1980 lol), we had “Sheba” a beautiful black Border Collie puppy. I recall Sheba developing a bad skin disease which worsened quickly. My parents told me she’d gone away to live on a farm, which years later they had to come clean about.
Years later we were gifted a puppy which turned out to be a Jack Russell crossed with any number of other dogs. A "Heinz 57 Varieties" kinda thing. If we’d ran a breed test at the time, I don’t think it would have made much difference. He lived strong till I was well into my late teens before the big ‘c’ got him. That’s a different conversation altogether my friend.
Be sure to check out THIS other blog post that expands on the Dog DNA Register. https://safehausdna.co.uk/.../fixing-your-bad...
So over to you—which dog DNA test do you need?
I'd be delighted if you would share your thoughts and questions below.