I got my dog’s DNA results back today.
Before I get to the big reveal, you’re probably wondering what could lead anyone to the excess of parsing pooch parentage, delineating doggy descent. A simple answer: I just wanted to know what was snoring on the couch next to me.
Millions of pet owners have wondered the same over the last decade or so, driving what has become big business in pet genotyping. The gnawing question: Who exactly is Fido?
Is he as purebred a cane corso as the breeder promised? Will the Westminster Dog Show see the true Welshness in this Sealyham?
There are no such lofty concerns where my new puppy is concerned. Ever since dogs arrived in America from Europe half a millennium ago (displacing indigenous dogs that had likely crossed a land bridge from Siberia thousands of years earlier) they haven’t shied from getting to know each other. Adjust for 500 years of interbreed frolicking and you’re getting close to the DNA results I got for my $124.99.
So what breed is he? “Total mutts,” guessed Miranda Barrett, who fostered my dog’s mom, Rosie, and cared for Rosie’s litter, including my pup. Probably some beagle, she said, a bit of terrier—the list went on.
The manager at the dog shelter, Dogs Deserve Better, figured Rosie had gotten frisky with Lewis, a 45-pound hound. She also saw some Chihuahua in the mix, suggesting a gymnastic provenance to this family.
Given this unclear lineage, I proposed to the home front that we name our new puppy Everything Beagle. This was rejected. He is Buddy.
So back to the question: What is Buddy?
When I stare into Buddy’s eyes wondering what breed will dominate and he stares back wondering what’s for dinner, I can’t help but recall that humans and dogs have a lot in common genome-wise. Among “the genomic DNA that dogs and humans received from their common ancestor, almost three-quarters has retained enough sequence similarity to be recognizable as such,” says Ewen Kirkness of the J. Craig Venter Institute, which studies the genome.
Then again, humans and bananas are roughly half similar. And let’s not forget that the Australian lungfish has a genome some 14 times as large as ours.
But that’s a different story.
The thing about DNA tests is that they sometimes reveal more than you’d like to know.
It turns out Buddy is first and foremost a scent dog, 34% beagle and 1% bluetick coonhound, according to the DNA scan. Beagles have more than 200 million receptors in their noses, which is why they are good at busting you at customs for sneaking that salami in from France. I will be training Buddy to find my car keys.
Next, Buddy is 26% American Staffordshire terrier. This can be the polite name, the politically correct name, the de-escalating, deflecting, non-dog-whistle name for…pit bull. It’s common, particularly in the southern U.S., to find at least some pit in shelter dogs, so prevalent are the breeds associated with the traits we call pit bull. Buddy is from Virginia.
So far, though, I see more chicken than pit bull in Buddy. If he’s in the yard and the dog next door barks, Buddy essentially vaporizes, reassembling himself nanoseconds later on the couch.
Maybe that is because the pit is diluted with a rainbow of other breeds. Buddy is also 19% Labrador retriever, 5% English cocker spaniel, 3% American hairless terrier, 3% Russell terrier and 1% whippet.
Then there is the last 8%. The thing about DNA tests is that they sometimes reveal more than you would like to know. The shelter manager was right: Buddy is fully 8% Chihuahua, a tiny breed which seems more appetizer than dog.
It is a fact I will break to Buddy gently, when he is older.
Among the breeds that make up Buddy’s family history are, clockwise from top left, beagle, American Staffordshire terrier, Labrador retriever, American hairless terrier, Chihuahua and English cocker spaniel.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO (6)
Two of the lead sled dogs in the pooch DNA-test Iditarod are:
Their services screen for more breeds, types and varieties than you will likely need (they say 350-plus). Prices currently range from $99.99 to $159.99 and vary for a number of reasons, including the depth and scope of their analysis, the degree to which the DNA is scanned for potential health risks, and whether you want to talk to one of their vets about your dog’s results.
Just want a basic read on which breeds are in your canine cocktail? The low end of the price range will answer that.
There are also cheaper services than Embark and Wisdom that provide their version of the basics. The business has gotten big. The internet is filled with reviews and ratings of which outfit is best for the degree to which you want to plumb the recesses of Fido’s genome (and pay for it).
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington listed our Clark as an "unspecified hound mix," that's close enough for me. The only way I would get a DNA analysis would be if our vet advised it for determining optimal treatment for a health issue. He looks like a dog, acts like a dog, and smells like a dog, as I said, close enough.
Part of me really wants to send in my German Shepherd Dogs DNA to see what they come back with, as the Germans do a pretty good job of tracking lineage, here is his father: Mamo Von Weltwitz
"Sometimes Magic sounds like Tape" -- The Amazing Johnathan
Same here, shelter had her listed as Border/Lab mix.
We think she's more likely Border/Dalmatian mix & that's good enough for us.
The Enemy's gate is down.
I like it when a dog show / agility show calls the mutts - "All-American Dogs". It has a nice ring to it.
My two boys are from the same parents, though different litters. One is about three years older than the other. They're a pit bull / bull mastiff mix. The older (bigger, got more of the mastiff genes) one thinks he's a little lap dog.
Kinda looks like both think they are lap dogs
My son's rescue dog.
24.4% pit bull terrier
14.7% labrador retriever
14.5% german shepard
traces of rottweiler, Collie and great pyranees
Calgary Shooting Centre
That's going to be a popular breeding line....
Yeah, but the big one likes to sit on my lap and then lay on me so his head is on my face. My breathing is only minorly impaired when he does that. The other dog is content to just lay across my lap. I normally only let them up one at a time though.
|Jack of All Trades, |
Master of Nothing
The vet that helps out with the rescue group I adopted Bandit from ran a doggie DNA test on him. I didn't see the actual report but was told 50% German Shepherd and 50% Karelian Bear Dog. Which makes sense since he looks like a German Shepherd trying to pass himself off as a Panda Bear for Halloween.
My daughter can deflate your daughter's soccer ball.
I speak jive.
Poor Buddy. Almost had an amazing name.
|Just because you can, |
doesn't mean you should
We did a DNA test on our last pound dog.
Her parents were pure breed on both sides.
Just happened to be different breeds. (Cattle dog & Beagle).
Avoid buying ChiCom/CCP products whenever possible.
I love my beagle/ something rescue. What is the need to find out? She's happy, I'm happy. Good enough!!
"Once abolish the God, and the Government becomes the God." --- G.K. Chesterton
|Waiting for Hachiko|
I've had Royal Canin DNA tests done on 2 of my dogs.
Koda: The shelter I adopted him from had his listed Akita/Husky. I've had many Siberians and Koda had no resemblance to a Siberian, all Akita.
But as stated the test came back 1/2 Akita 1/2 Siberian. And his great grandparents on the Siberian side were show doga.
And Jax, our Boston Terrier. Having many Boston Terriers in the past, we knew he wasn't fullBoston Terrier. He is a devil.
DNA came back Boston Terrier - Beagle (devil).
What I liked about the Royal Canin is it gives a health report for each dog.
THAT good sir is a GREAT photo !!! Yep, it's a lap dog alright ! Love that.
My old boss has a rescue dog that is part possum, it's the best we could figure.
Lover of the US Constitution
Wile E. Coyote School of Gunsmithing
|Gone to the Dogs|
These three all came from shelters as chihuahua mix mutts.
Now you have me wondering what else is in there!
Bingo. What's the point. He's a dog, and a hound. Beyond that, I couldn't care less, so long as he's happy and healthy.
Guns are awesome because they shoot solid lead freedom. Every man should have several guns. And several dogs, because a man with a cat is a woman. Kurt Schlichter
Great pic. And it's easy to see who the pack leader is !
Lover of the US Constitution
Wile E. Coyote School of Gunsmithing
|Do---or do not. |
There is no try.
Do dogs retain a percentage of the DNA of burglars they latch onto?
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