If you’ve ever considered getting your dog DNA tested, obvious questions arise: Is it accurate? What is the real purpose of it? Is it hard to do?
We spoke to Mindy from DNAMyDog.com She sent over a kit for my dog Charlie (pictured below) to try out. I got Charlie later on in his life, and my best guess was that he was a Jack Russell Shih Tzu mix.
We opened the envelope and took out the two swabs. One swab was for the left side of his mouth, the other was for the right. He doesn’t like stuff being poked in his mouth, so it took a bit of convincing. I had to make sure he hadn’t eaten in awhile since DNA from animal products can yield false results, such as, your dog is a cow and other fun stuff like that.
Once the swabbing was over, I put them in an envelope and let them sit for 20 minutes, per the instructions, before I was able to seal it. I popped the pre-mailed envelope into the mail box and a week later via online, I got his results. A week after that I got a beautiful certificate with his photo stating his genes. The results?
Predominantly Shih Tzu, with some Parson Terrier Russell, a small lineage to some Australian Cattle Dog. Who knew? All in all it was a very easy and interesting thing to do with my dog.
I spoke to Mindy from DNAMyDog.com and she filled me in on just why everyone should consider DNA testing their dog.
1. Satisfy your Curiosity
The #1 reason people DNA test their dogs is out of curiosity, Not knowing the breeds or always being asked “what kind of a dog is that?” and being able to finally know for sure is the main reason people test. When your dog has the face of a Saint Bernard, the tail of a Chow Chow and the body of a Dachshund people are very curious about what makes up their dog.
2. Learning the Health Benefits
Knowing the breeds in your dog can help people be more proactive with health related issues that are common in specific breeds.
3. Discovering Possible Personality Traits
Different breeds respond to different types of training and may be prone to certain behaviours. Knowing the breeds in a dog helps with training and can help to provide a better understanding of the dog’s motivations.
Sometimes people are told their dog was a certain breed and they think it may be something else. When they get a Chihuahua puppy and the dog starts to weigh 20 lbs at a few months old they are very curious to see what kind of dog they really have.
5. Faster Adoption
In shelters and rescues being able to show the breeds of a dog leads to much faster adoptions, People like to know the breeds of the dog they are considering adopting.