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I'm getting more and more curious what breeds make up our lovely little pooch. Right now we call her a "Heinz 57". As I understand it there are blood tests and cheek-cell swab tests. Anyone have any reviews regarding brands and types of test?
We want to find out A) for fun, B) so we can better understand her temperament and C) possibly gain some insight into potential hereditary diseases/problems.
Thanks a lot!
 

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I think its mostly a scam.

a clent at our boarding kennel got one done on his dog (he had to swab, and mail it in as well as a picture). the owners call him a "Doxador", b/c they think hes a doxie/lab mix, but we tend to think hes more doxie/jrt (long body, stuby legs, beautiful square lab-like head). the results of the blood test said that the main mix in this dog was a borzoi. there is no way this dog has any borzoi in him, and if he happened to have it in there, it would def. not be the primary mix.
 

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I agree with the OR--the tests are not reliable. They test for the DNA they have cataloged and not all possible breeds. I think of them as doggie horoscopes, for entertainment purposes only. Seriously, this is not "science." Use it for A only, just for fun.

If you were talking about a purebred dog with clear breeding lines, you might be able to say, oh, she's got X trait or behavioral characteristic. With mutts, this is a real stretch. As far as B goes, observing your dog will give you much more reliable insight as far as temperament and training. And C, again, with a true mixed mutt, diseases are anyone's guess.

Buyer beware! Do it for fun, but recognize your results will not tell you much about the dog's temperament, possible disease, or even truly which breed it is.
 

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I'm getting more and more curious what breeds make up our lovely little pooch. Right now we call her a "Heinz 57". As I understand it there are blood tests and cheek-cell swab tests. Anyone have any reviews regarding brands and types of test?
We want to find out A) for fun, B) so we can better understand her temperament and C) possibly gain some insight into potential hereditary diseases/problems.
Thanks a lot!
Looks a bit like German Shepherd Pit Bull mix from that pic, she's very cute!
 

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In addition, I believe all of them exclude Pitt, and that dog looks like a pitt cross to me. You're likely to get something goofy like Boston Terrier or Bulldog as matches.
 

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I agree that it is not a scam. And, although it does use valid science, you don't get the full selection of 400+ possible dogs. That may be OK, but you may want to know if your dog is Rottie or Dobie OR a Pit vs. another Bully breed and I don't believe that the tests are that sensitive.

I think that a good Vet with 25 years experience can look at your [beagle x Pit ?] hybrid dog, look at the conformance and estimate normal problems. With my unintentional designer dog [ Lab x GSD + ???], I've asked my Vet about things like Bloat, Dysplasia, arthritis, and cancer, and we watch for changes. So far, at 9 years, he is in excellent health.
 

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They do NOT need a picture. It is just a marketing thing. They will print a nice certificate and include a picture of your dog, if provided.

They'll get everything that they need for the DNA test from the sample that you send to them....
 

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I mentioned this when I posted my own results in the general forum, but I'm actually comforted by the fact that I disagree with the test results.

My mutt came back primarily as a Canaan Dog, which is the official name given to the native, feral dogs of Israel/Egypt/Jordan. In other words, they're mutts - ancient mutts, but mutts nonetheless. In the letter they sent me, they actually said that they initially could not match my dog's DNA to any particular breed. Reading between the lines, I interpret this to mean that I basically have a supermutt.

It's a little counterintuitive, but I think that this actually is a point in favor of the test's accuracy. It would have been easy for them to just randomly assign several breeds, but instead, they actually explained they initially could not match any breeds, and ended up with the one breed that basically means 'mutt'.

Nevertheless, I agree with the others who say that it's meant for fun only. There's nothing you can learn about training or health from a breed test that you can't learn much faster and easier from just plain-old observation. I'm glad I got my dog tested, but just remember it's more useful for entertainment rather than illumination.
 

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They aren't reliable. I have a friend who is a biotechnologist workign towards being a geneticist. The science is not there yet for identifying breeds. It's fine for linking parentage of specific dogs or identifiable genetic abnormalities for health issues. She's posted multiple times on the topic. This is one of hers.

I have been meaning to make a thread about this for a while now. And acutally I am glad I waited. We are now doing population genetics right now, so I actually have a better handle on why these are a waste of money.

Ok so first things first. One must always look at the source of the information. The companies performing these tests make incredible claims, but.. An example of one of the companies doing these.. Mars 'Wisdom Pannel' is one that taken by your vet and sent off to the company. This is the same company that brings us M&Ms pedigree dog food and Uncle Ben's instant rice. Intersting no?

Ok anyway off to the science...

When they take a sample of a dog, or a human, in order to run a profile, they only look at a small number of alleles (locations on genes) They look at non coding regions of the DNA. So the alleles they use as markers do not code for blue eyes, long hair, brown spots, etc etc.
CODIS for example uses 13 loci to profile people. In lab this year we are profiling ourselves (and I get to profile my son as I got a great DNA sample from a tooth the dentist extracted...) So once you have mapped your alleles at these 13 loci, then you compare them to a database.

This is where the problem arises. Your results are only as good as your database. This is also where it gets tricky with humans in the court system too.

How you 'determine' if your suspect/dog is from a subgroup/breed is to calculate the frequency of those alleles in different databases. So if your alleles are more common in African Americans, then they assume you are African American. (and that can be wrong too) But lets say you only have a good data base of Caucasians, African Americans, native Americans, and Hispanics. You get your allele frequencies back and you compare them and you have most in common with Hispanics...what if you are Polynesian? You can't show up as that, as there is no database (this is all fictional, I am sure there is a Polynesian database somewhere)

Now this issues with the dog DNA tests is that they are only comparing a small number of breeds and the DNA is almost all from US databases. So if your dog has any foreign ancestry that can mess up the results. If your dog has a breed that is not represented in the database then it will mess up the results. Also many breeds share common ancestry, this too can skew results.

When I was researching this on the net there was a news show that covered this. All the news anchors had their dog's DNA tested. It was interesting how the one anchor with a beautiful pure bred golden retrieve was told his dog's DNA showed he was a mix (forget what the mix was, but it was pretty funny) he was obviously upset.

The other main issue I have is that the general public puts so much 'faith' in DNA results (thanx CSI) but DNA results are not that cut and dry. Esp when we are talking DNA + statistics. I get very leery when people start acting like the DNA tests are accurate (this is not to bad on this board) As soon as this gets wide public acceptance, BSL will take on a whole new meaning. That is a scary scary thought.
Purebred AmStaff who got tested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a4CDvK868w

There is also the issue of foreign ancestry and the likely hood that the small databases these companies are using will likely be primarily north american lineage.
 

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It's not an email of someone who knows someone. It's a real life friend. We just happen to both post on forums. Can't say I have any faith whatsoever in someone who has posted all of three posts to a forum only to whine about dna testing.
 

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Sorry, Press. When your only three posts are to promote a particular commercial service or website, it's called spamming and it's a serious violation of forum rules.
 

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I am the friend of Mafia's who is a forensic biotechnologist.

I lurk here occasionally but am addicted to enough forums. I did join though to set this straight.

DNA dog tests are NOT that accurate. They can't be. That quoted text is from me. I personally know dogs who got ridiculous results.

As for Mars. This is from the same company that brings you uncle ben's rice and m&m's if memory serves as well as pedigree dog food. Ummm wow now there is a reputable company when it comes to biotech industries!

if anyone wants to ask me questions on feel free. I LOVE talking genetics (actually now doing a joint major in biochemistry and molecular biology)
 

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hi. i just joined this site b/c i was looking for posts about the mars veterinary dna tests. I just got my dog's test results back today and frankly, had a good laugh. I just dont beleive it to be accurate. I can post a picture later when i am on my other computer, but they told me he was 50% miniature poodle and 50% field spaniel. This dog is a terrier of some kind for sure. Havent met a person who didnt think so. He has short, straight hair - would that even be possible on a spaniel/poodle mix? he has ears like a greyhound/whippet or terrier. there is just no way i beleive this test result. i could guarantee if i sent in another one, id get a different result. I'm sorry i spent the money in the first place tho!
 
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