How DNA Testing Can Save Your Dog
Do You Know About BSL?
Are you worried about Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)?
BSL picks out certain dogs that are considered dangerous by a legislature and discriminates against them.
Does your town want to institute BSL and take away any dog that looks like a Pit Bull? It has happened before, and it may happen again. (Other breeds are chosen at times, but Pit Bulls are usually the breed picked out by local officials.) It won´t matter how great your dog is, it will not matter that she can play with your kids or that she lets little dogs chase her around.
Your best friend may end up in a landfill if you cannot prove that she is not a member of a banned breed.
Will DNA Testing Prove What Breed She Is?
No, a DNA might not show what breed of dog you have.
Some DNA tests (like the Canine Heritage test and DNA My Dog) will provide you with a certificate showing you what dog breeds were most likely his ancestors.
If your dog looks anything like a Pit Bull, this will allow you to prove your dog is not a member of the “dangerous dog” family. (Of course, the test can also show up that proves he is a Pit Bull cross. Fortunately, some of the DNA services do not even include the Pit Bull on their list of breeds. They might come up with an AKC breed that is the same thing or similar, though, like the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Bulldog, or the Boxer.)
How Do I Collect The DNA?
A swab is submitted after being rubbed along the inner part of your dog´s cheek. After that all you have to do is mail it in.
What Other Methods Can I Use To Protect My Dog?
If the breeder or shelter from which you got your dog provides you a letter that states his breed or background, you can ask your veterinarian to add it to your dog´s medical file. This will provide you with another legal argument if your dog is accused of being from a banned breed.
I still recommend DNA testing. If you overwhelm the legal system with proof, your dog has a better chance of surviving.
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Is DNA Testing Right For All Dogs?
Would DNA testing have saved Lennox, the Lab/Bulldog mix that was killed by the Belfast City Council? Maybe not. They decided that he looked like a Pit Bull, one of the banned breeds in the United Kingdom, and thus had no right to continue on with his life. If the owner had been able to produce a certificate proving that Lennox was a Labrador Retriever, however, the case may have never progressed.
If you have a large dog with a square jaw, and he is not registered with a kennel club, you should spend the money to get him a certificate, now. You might not even be able to load your dog up in your car and drive to another area. A sympathetic animal control officer who sees the certificate, however, will be more likely to leave your dog in peace. Do not wait for the knock on your door.
© 2012 Dr Mark