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Dog DNA testing
Who's your daddy?
The following cliche' happens more often than thought: a dog owner takes his dog the vet for the the first time. The dog was adopted by the shelter. The animal hospital receptionist types all the main characteristics of the dog so to make him recognizable. Sex, age, color and breed. But when the owner is asked about the dog's breeds, minutes of hesitation arise. The owner looks uncomfortable and appears not be able to make up his mind.
''He looks like he has the color of a black and tan Rottweiler, yet his eyes are blue like a Husky. The receptionist looks puzzled, should she put the dog in as a Rottweiler Mix or a Husky mix? Which breed is prevalent? Is the color of the eyes or the color of the coat more important? Confused the receptionist scrolls down to the very bottom of her breed choices and selects ''other'' a not so rarely used option made for such circumstances.
If this dog was a baby, the child could be simply asked ''whose your daddy?'', but in a dog world, where a farm dog from miles away can impregnate a dog in heat, often owners are left clueless without knowing what type of dog was the lucky one.
Things get even more complicated in shelter dogs which have a question mark history, where age is guessed and breed is often the last think thought of. However, today dog owners no longer need to live in the obscure, the breed of their mutt can be easily unveiled thanks to a sophisticated DNA test.
The test may be interesting for dog owners that want to understand better their dog's heritage. Certifications of such testing results may accompany puppies upon being sold by breeders for proof of DNA. Breeders will enjoy this test before breeding their specimens by checking for pureness of the bloodline. A DNA test may also rule out the chances of a multiple-sired litter.
How does this work?
Perhaps the best part of dog DNA testing is that it can be done from the comfort of the dog's home. The procedure is very easy, non invasive and a blood sample is not required.
Basically dog owners will collect a sample of the dog's cheek cells with a swab by rubbing it for about 20 seconds and then the sample is mailed in. After 4-6 weeks the results are mailed back in with a certificate identifying the dog's breed composition.
Knowing your dog's heritage can be much more than being able to say what kind of mix he or she belongs to. It may also help owners and veterinarians take notice of possible inherited diseases the dog may be prone to, often making screening for possible conditions much easier.
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Advances in DNA testing technology mean that it has become possible to identify the ancestry of any dog by performing a simple test using a cheek swab. The DNA required for the test to be run is isolated from cells that are trapped on the DNA ID Card. All cells carry the same genetic material, regardless of type or location in the animal. Taking a cheek swab is therefore the easiest way to obtain the samples needed for testing.