Dog DNA Tests: How to discover what your dog’s true breed is?


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – German Shepherd, Poodle, Doberman are common dog breeds that many of us can identify by simply looking at a dog.

However, identifying a dog’s breed may not be as easy as we think.

“Some studies in the past have indicated that we aren’t very good at knowing what breeds make a dog up by just looking at them. We have no better chance of guessing than flipping a coin.”

Dr. Lucy Fuller, Charleston Animal Society

Dr. Lucy Fuller, a veterinarian at Charleston Animal Society, explains that dog DNA tests can give a deeper look into all of the breeds that make up a dog.

There are various different types of dog DNA kits but the process is similar in most of them and the process is pretty simple.

Chelsea Rene used a DNA test on three of her dogs that came from three different backgrounds and sent us the results.

See her results below:

You take a swab that comes with the kit and then swab your dog’s cheeks to get some cells. Once you get the cells, you send the swab to a lab where they can collect the cells and break them apart then sequence the genome, which will lead to the results.

The dog DNA tests can be used for more than just discovering a dog’s breed, it can also help keep them healthy.

Some of these kits allow you to look for certain gene deficiencies…there’s one called the MDR1 Gene that certain breeds of dogs lack and when you lack that gene, you can’t process certain types of drugs properly, so you have to be careful of what drugs you give…”

Dr. Lucy Fuller, Charleston Animal Society

The Charleston Animal Society used a dog DNA test on a dog that got a lot of attention a few years ago.

Caitlyn was the dog that was found with her mouth muzzle taped shut in May 2015.

She got so much attention that Charleston Animal Society decided to get a DNA test on her and the results can be seen below:

Cynthia Ohn adopted her dog, Addison, from Charleston Animal Society and received the results of a DNA test that was done by Addison’s previous owner.

Although, Ohn said that she probably wouldn’t have thought about doing the DNA test herself, it was fun to see the results.

Addison’s results can be seen below:

“My dog looks like a Yellow Lab and Shar-Pei mix, but it turns out that he’s pretty much… every dog species known to man.”

Cynthia Ohn, Dog Owner

There are some people who end up being surprised by the results of their dog’s test but the surprising result may come down to simple dog genetics.

“Dogs can mix genes even more than people can within a litter”…”It’s possible for them to have more than one father for a litter…so you might get, even amongst a litter of dogs, you might get more genetic diversity than you would in twins.”

Dr. Lucy Fuller, Charleston Animal Society

Although results may not be 100% accurate, dog DNA kits can be a fun way to see what exactly your dog is made of.

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