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DNA testing for dogs

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    DNA testing for dogs

    I'd like to do testing for my rescue dog, just out of curiosity. Anybody have experience with the companies out there as far as reliability?

    I use Embark. They have a battery of 160 inheritable diseases tested for. I can't speak about the accuracy of their breed testing though. My dogs are Turkish landrace.I think if you have an American mixed breed, Embark with be fine.
    Caring for Clifford, my big red dog and assorted monkeys, I mean goats. Protected by a few loyal Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Kangals.


      According to my dog forum, Embark is the gold standard for DNA for dogs. It's a little more expensive than others but it

      is also done in conjunction with research with Cornell so I think it's more legit.

      I've been considering doing it on my rescue also as I'm pretty sure she's a mix, but of what, I can't figure.
      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


        Just had this conversation with another person; these tests will identify some congenital issues but not necessarily the ones most likely to affect your dog - e.g. hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, etc. depending on its breed.

        They are not cheap either. So if you think the dog is a mix of breeds that tend to have genetic issues that can be identified by DNA, it may be worth it. But it may not be.

        I don't think any of them are that reliable with regard to identifying "breed."


          I did Wisdom Panel 3 (?) ; only DNA, did not want any health info. It was interesting. Most of my rescues have been pretty clear - ie likely only two breeds or 2 dominant breeds - but current girl was a mystery beyond probably a shepherd mix. She's got a lot going on in that body, but I can see, some chow like independence, some boxer athleticism, marking, color and some goofiness that could be lab or boxer.


            I did the Wisdom Panel 3 also. It was right on the mark for my 2 mixed breed dogs.


              I used Wisdom Panel. It was easy, pretty fast turnaround, and the results seemed reasonable. Does anyone else have a border collie / beagle mix.
              It's 2020. Do you know where your old horse is?


                I did the vet blood draw for Royal Canin. My daughter was studying dog breeds as a school research project. Turns out our 12yo mutt is 1/2 lab x (1/4 St. Bernard x( 1/8 cocker spaniel x 1/8 too mixed up to determine))

                Our vet friend laughed and laughed at her results. Then we googled St. Bernard Cocker Spaniel crosses.

                She looks like a slightly chunky, fluffy silver lab.

                Explains the drool.


                  Has anyone done these tests with a dog that they know the breeding of? I know way back when a client of mine did one for her dog. Purebred, papered, etc and it was way off.
                  Don't try this at home.


                    I did Wisdom Panel for my rescue - just for breed. How can I know if it is correct? but it sure made sense in many ways. I did it for own interest, understanding that it may not be totally accurate.


                      Original Poster

                      So, I asked our vet about it and she said the tests are not accurate.


                        On my dog forum, which has many experienced breeders and competitive dog people, they ONLY recommend EMBARK.
                        This is the one affiliated with Cornell University and also provides the list of potential diseases tested dog could be susceptible to based on breeds in lineage.

                        I plan to do it on my rescue but will only use Embark. Their reviews are excellent, BTW.
                        "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                          Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                          On my dog forum, which has many experienced breeders and competitive dog people, they ONLY recommend EMBARK.
                          This is the one affiliated with Cornell University and also provides the list of potential diseases tested dog could be susceptible to based on breeds in lineage.

                          I plan to do it on my rescue but will only use Embark. Their reviews are excellent, BTW.
                          But there are two parts to all the DNA testing.

                          1) looking for genetic conditions that have been identified by DNA markers
                          2) identifying "breed" by DNA

                          Most people agree that the genetic conditions are accurate. Most people believe that the breed identification is a "best guess." There is no absolute DNA marker for breed. Lots of parents clubs would love to have these because we often see dogs that are claimed to be purebred but don't appear to be - and there is no way to prove/disprove this. We might be able to prove parentage if the dam/sire DNA is on file, but if it's not, there isn't any other way.

                          It's also important to understand that many of the most significant issues that affect dogs are not predictable by DNA yet. So if you get a puppy from a breeder and they tell you that they used this test on the puppy and/or the parents to provide "health clearances" - it is likely not enough.

                          In my breed, none of the most likely health issues are identified by DNA -- hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, heart conditions, thyroid conditions, cataracts. Maybe some day - but not yet.