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Tell me about Doggy DNA Ids

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  • Tell me about Doggy DNA Ids

    This came up a little bit in my stray thread but no one really spoke up about it much. How accurate are the labs about giving you an idea of what "flavor" your stray really is? Right now, I have SIX!!!! And I'd like to know what we are dealing with as far as breeds are concerned. TIA.

  • #2
    We had our dog DNA'ed and was pretty surprised by the results! With that said my little funny looking dog is 20% Great Dane 20% Irish Setter, 20% poodle 20% Shitzu and some Pomerainian in there as well.
    I can't see the Great Dane, but see every single other breed in him....


    • #3
      It's very accurate. People that don't know what they are talking about are willing to speak up and say that it's useless, but anyone that does know what they are talking about says it's accurate.

      Only a few genes on a few of the 78 chromosomes determine what size the dog is and what it looks like. Most of the other chromosomes just make it a dog.

      The majority of different breeds have evolved over a couple of hundred years at least, so even with one gene out of 40,000 mutating, breeds still end up with their own distinct DNA footprint.

      Some people who speak against the test say that the databases are not large enough. Actually, it doesn't take a very large database since breeds typically have only anywhere from 2.2 to 4.4 chromosomes available per location.

      Also, the people hired to do the initial research were hired by a philantropist, so the typical carismatic leader of a research team, whose most important job is raising money, was not needed. So the position of a spokesperson was not even thought of, and you ended up with a group of very good scientists who were not necessarily the best communicators.


      • #4
        My vet put several of her dogs in and she knew the breeding and they were all wrong.
        Even duct tape can't fix stupid


        • #5
          Interesting. Your vet's dogs' DNA matched current breed specific data bases, such as AKC's, and Mars found 0 out of 78 matching chromosomes?


          • #6
            A few years ago there was a thread on a dog forum I used to read about this. Apparently some people on that thread had sent in results of dogs they knew for a fact the breeding on, and they came back as weird mixes, not remotely similar to what the dog actually was. If I recall correctly, there were far more dissatisifed dog owners than satisfied ones. Maybe the tests have improved in recent years?


            • #7
              it depends

              There are various places to send your DNA for your dog, and varying degrees of capability in those places. I think there was an article in Whole Dog Journal about sending the same DNA to three different places and getting different results each time.


              • Original Poster

                well shoot......

                I was hoping the results would be reliable. So there is not 1 that is good? Does UC Davis have a dog ID lab?


                • #9
                  I got 2 kits for Xmas last year.

                  I have a purebred beagle and a beagle/Shepherd mix.

                  The results confirmed that.

                  The way the results came back could confuse people, though (at least with the company I used). They list the DNA results in order, and so it may come back that somewhere in your purebred doggie's DNA there is a smidgen of something else. Which isn't exactly surprising since many breeders crossbred at some point. The AKC hasn't been around forever.

                  I don't know what sort of quality control there is so I guess it is possible for customer samples to get mixed. It's also possible for a person to collect the sample improperly which will affect the results.

                  I thought it was a cool gift.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                  • #10
                    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                    -George Morris


                    • #11
                      A lady came into our Vet's to get puppy shots while we were there once. She had them in a covered box. The receptionist asked her what she had. I was assuming the question was about boys and girls. The lady said,"She had two Jack Russells, a Boston Terrier, and a Cocker Spaniel." I looked and sure enough that's what they looked like-all in the same litter.

                      There are more self proclaimed experts than people who know what they are talking about. AKC even says that their registry is "98 percent accurate". The only way you can tell for sure is if every mating dog has their DNA on record, and then check the offspring. AKC's database is not the largest one because they started keeping it only for frequently used Studs when it became obvious that some people were selling dogs as a particular breed because of the way they looked. Apparently there was a lot of selective breeding going on from different directions and puppy mills filling out paperwork to fit appearances.

                      A lot of the time people "know for a fact" that a dog is a particular breed because of the way it looks and what someone told them.


                      • #12
                        I just got my hound mix DNA tested. Didn't get anything really definitive back, which doesn't surprise us terribly. The company we used had "primary," "secondary" and "In the Mix" results. No primary for her, Border Collie as a secondary and Rottweiler and Italian Greyhound in the mix. The most guessed breeds for her are Blue Tick Hound and German Shorthaired Pointer and now we know she's neither of them. At this point, we figure she's a mix of breeds they don't have in their database, like Black Mouth Cur and Mountain Cur, which are my farrier's guesses.
                        Pam's Pony Place

                        Pam's Pony Ponderings


                        • #13
                          I've never done it so can't say anything for the accuracy, but do know one rescue group who had a vet go into an animal shelter and DNA test a dog because it was an owner turn in and as a side note the owner told them the dog was half wolf... which of course they can't adopt out. Rescue group leader really wanted to save the dog and could tell the dog wasn't half wolf, but had to get proof before they'd let her take the dog. Dog ended up coming back husky/malamute (which is apparently exactly what he looked like).

                          I could see how purebred dogs could come back as mixes though.. many breeds are often based on a couple of breeds. Based on how long the breed has been around some of the other breeds could possible pop up. I have a pembroke corgi... "Pembroke Welsh Corgis are thought to be descendents of: Swedish Vallhund Dogs, Schipperke, Pomeranian, and other Spitz-type dogs such as the German Shepard and Akita". Of which I'd own maybe one of those dogs, but I'd totally have a herd of corgis if hubby would let me
                          Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com


                          • Original Poster


                            That is priceless!!! Ok.....I'm done. I'm just gonna guess......it seems that is what they are doing!!!!

                            So....Mollie is a pitty, brown something that LOVES the pond.
                            Duece is a HUGE black pitty .....maybe something else ?????
                            Penny is a medium haired black dog with dalmatian legs (really!!!!)..... sweet baby!!!!
                            Dash is a medium haired black sausage doggy with a large dose of hound...oh yeah that noise is a hound!!!!
                            Tres is a 6 month old black bull dog, great dane, mastiff looking thing that showed up with a purebred Rhodie...yep a purebred Rhodie.
                            Chewy is a HUGE retreiver looking long haired bull dog mastiff thingy.

                            Please......... no more!!!


                            • #15
                              I consider them about as reliable as a pet psychic.
                              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                              ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                              • #16
                                My hubby just bought me a kit for a Christmas present.

                                Then I looked online and found some pretty terrible reviews so I am skeptical. The company also filed for Chap 11.

                                I'm not putting any hope in it, because on their website, none of the breeds that my dog is presumed to be, are on their list. Sigh.


                                • #17
                                  I guess at some point of mix, they can't figure it out, and at that point it doesn't really matter anyway, but as far as verifying parentage for some number of generations there is no reason the throw it all out.

                                  Also, if the mix looks like a cross between a Bassett and a Beagle and the test comes back Bassett, Beagle, with other stuff like Italian Greyhound, it doesn't mean the whole test is worthless.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                                    I consider them about as reliable as a pet psychic.

                                    Very true.

                                    One of my best friends has her DVM and a PhD in genetics; she laughs at those tests, especially the "cheek swab" ones. They're completely worthless.


                                    • #19
                                      Every DNA test I've ever seen for dogs was by cheek swab. We probably have one of the most tested packs of breeding dogs anywhere. They've been tested for all sorts of things including either the genes for curly coat and shorthair (which is actually controlled by a head furnishings gene).

                                      Am I now supposed to believe that no DNA cheek swab test is valid and all the results should be thrown out?

                                      AKC's parentage DNA testing is also done by cheek swab. I've never heard anyone who knew what they are talking about say that the tests are worthless simply because the sample was taken by cheek swab.

                                      Yes, I believe the line is not drawn at a good enough place to say that they just can't tell about breeds in a mix that are apparently a long way away from any kind of purebred, but to me it still doesn't mean that the tests are worthless.


                                      • #20
                                        If you have a mutt, why not love him for the personality he presents, the love he gives, the protection he does willingly? Why does one have to know the cross he is? Some of the best dogs I have had are crosses and mutts, I love them for what they give and don't worry about what they may be.

                                        Instead of spending money on a test that may or may not be accurate or satisfactory, why not spend it on a rescue group as a donation or to an animal shelter or have it go toward neutering and spaying??
                                        "Promise me you'll always remember: your braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." By Christopher Robins to Pooh