What Makes a Mutt? DNA Tests Can Tell.

Dog DNA test kitDNA testing has come a long way from the days when tests were exorbitantly expensive and results could take months to get. Today, you can order an inexpensive DNA test that can tell you what your mixed breed dog’s heritage is.

In an AP article, Nate Jenkins tells of how one woman did just that. She wanted to know the origins of her dog, Rascal.

“Rascal’s mom looked like Lassie. His dad? Well, that’s a good question.

Rascal’s ears make it clear he was the product of something besides a Collie, but his owners couldn’t say exactly what. So Kathie Svoboda of Lincoln dabbed a swab in her pet’s mouth, mailed it to a lab and, a few weeks later, unlocked the mutt’s heritage.

Collie and Cocker Spaniel, as suspected, along with a twist — Shetland Sheepdog.”

Why would anyone spend the money? Aside from assuaging curiosity, knowing the breed origins of your dog could help to point to breed-specific health areas and behavioral tendencies that would be helpful to know.

I had Graidy’s DNA test done by Wisdom Panel. You can see his results here.

Here are two tests I can confidently recommend. Both are available on Amazon:

  • Wisdom Panel: Mouth Swab. Tests for 250 breeds. Costs $80-$100. Results in 2-3 weeks.
  • Embark Dog DNA Test: Mouth Swab. Tests for 175 breeds Cost $189. Results in 4-6 weeks.

The Dog Journal also has a list of popular DNA kits with reviews.

5 thoughts on “What Makes a Mutt? DNA Tests Can Tell.”

  1. I just read about this in Dog Fancy (I think) while I was at the vets office today… I find it fascinating.

  2. Simply Jenn, it is fascinating, isn’t it? And amazing what science can do now. Good to be seen. :) I wish it meant I was back. More, as Therese put it, I’m finding the time to do a few drive-bys.

    Caffienated Cowgirl, definitely for most people with mutts this would be a waste of time and money. There are instances where it could be life-saving. Take, for instance, a mutt with a serious, undetermined illness. Knowing the breeds involved could help point vets in the right diagnosis direction.

  3. Caffienated Cowgirl

    Isn’t the whole deal behind having a mutt is knowing that it’s a mutt?

    Are they going to do that for people to? So that us Americans can prove just how much of a mutt we are?? :o)

  4. Amazing! I wonder how they do that DNA testing? We do DNA testing and we can get to species, but definitely not breed. I’m really interested in how they do this.

    Good to see you. I hope this means you’re back from the writing!

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