This is a continuation of our previous blog about dog DNA testing. In this section we will provide a dog DNA test review of an actual dog in our household. We adopted Puddles from a local shelter and they told us three different stories about her breed composition.
She had a friendly personality and after introducing her to our other dog we decided to adopt her into our household. At the time we adopted her, she was nearly 60lbs and clearly still had some growing to do so we knew that we had a big girl on our hands. The DNA test was purchased by Barx Parx to ensure an unbiased summary of our experience.
Puddles loves the dog park and other park patrons frequently ask what breed mix she is. We've seen quite a few traits in her but had difficulty pinpointing too many specifics. Aside from her smaller stature, we thought she might have some Great Dane due to her Ectropion (drooping lower eyelids). She certainly has speed and agility on her side so we thought she might have some Greyhound. Her spots made us think that she might even have some Dalmatian. Her head has some characteristics of Staffordshire Terrier as well. As she got older, we saw some of those traits become more prominent we had some really good breed guesses. There is no question, Puddles was the perfect candidate for dog DNA testing!
DNA Test Review
We opted for the Embark test which offers the most accurate breed identification by testing over 200,000 genetic markers. Gathering the sample is simple, a quick swab of cheek/gum cells. Once the sample is captured, you mail it in their postage prepaid envelope and wait a couple weeks for their lab to analyze the sample.
Breed traits can be extremely difficult to differentiate, even for experts! As we discussed in our previous blog, DNA testing is really the only way to go. We wanted to quickly prove this point by doing a social media contest (Facebook / Instagram) to see what YOU could guess. The results were great. We had some great guesses Chihuahua, Jack Russell, Great Dane, Labrador, Xolo and even Whirling Dervish (thanks to @nannisixx). Many of you were able to identify breed traits of one or two breeds in her family tree. Two of you were even able to identify three breeds.
...and the winner is!
In the end our winner was @spontaneous_rainbow who correctly guessed 60% of puddles diverse family tree.
On to the DNA Results!
So it looks like puddles is 37.5% Staffordshire Terrier. Not much surprise there. We felt like we saw some American Pit Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Terrier in her. Probably wouldn't have guessed that high but we can see some Staffordshire Terrier traits in her.
This one threw us for a bit of a loop. We hadn't identified any German Shepherd traits in her but we can see it in her ears and elongated snout. She might get her bark from her German Shepherd lineage as well.
This one was unexpected as well, not quite sure which of her traits she got from the Boxer DNA although she is smart and responds well to treats and toys.
Greyhound didn't come as much of a surprise. Watching her overtake other dogs at the dog park, she is a speedy dog that loves to run and is extremely agile.
This one was a bit puzzling as well. Admittedly, I know very little about this breed so I decided to research the Treeing Walker Coonhound a bit. As you can probably gather from the name of the breed, they are a hound bred for tracking and hunting small animals including raccoons.
So this is Puddles. Our Pit Bull, German Shepherd, Boxer, Greyhound, Coonhound. Certainly an interesting mix that few would have guessed. This is really the extent of what we expected to see with the dog DNA test however they went on to show the entire family tree and genetic health markers.
At the end of the day, we have DNA proof that Puddles is a full fledged mutt! We love her even more despite (or perhaps because of) her crazy pedigree. Truly surprising that we can get all of this information from a simple swab of the cheek.
We highly recommend testing your dog's DNA test, we learned quite a bit about our family member that will assist in her training by understanding her breed-specific needs. For additional information about the benefits of Dog DNA Testing read our previous article on The ABC's of Dog DNA Testing. The results that we received were really quite interesting. If you've got the time, take a few minutes to read the full DNA test results (pdf).
If you are interested in testing your dog's DNA, click here for a special offer from Embark.
Have you done a DNA test on your dog? Did you get surprising results? Share your information with us on our contact us page. We would love to create another article about your dog! This stuff is really interesting to us.