Have You DNA Tested Your Dog?

November 11, 2011  

It’s normal to wonder about the history of our dogs. So we asked our Facebook fans, ‘Have you DNA tested your dogs? What were the results and were they what you expected?’ Many were surprised at the results and many were not. Mostly it was done out of fun and curiosity.

We loved the first response … absolutely definitive.

(Photos by Melissa Lipani)

We haven’t had any tests done, but we’re pretty sure she’s a dog. We open the door for her, we make food for her, we clean up after her and in return she snuggles with us. Yup, that’s a dog!

~ Cathy Becker Gonzalez

We tested one of our rescues, who we thought was a pit bull/American Bulldog mix. She came back 75% boxer and 25% English Bulldog… never would have guessed, but I see it now!

~ Kelly Gaus

I think it’s imprecise and a complete waste of money, although it could be the company I used. They test for a rather limited number of breeds, it turns out, and I was quite dubious of the results.

~ Rhonda Shore

I have thought about it, but haven’t yet.

~ Debra Lewis Caruso

We DNA tested the one dog we knew was a mix. She was adopted from an organization that knew mom was an APBT. Her 13 pups were brought to the rescue and dad was thought to be a Chow/Border Collie. After a Wisdom Panel DNA test, the results were: Shar Pei and Cocker Spaniel as the two primary breeds, with additional DNA found of: Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Rottweiler, American Water Spaniel, Norwegian Elkhound and English Setter. So absolutely nothing she was suppose to be! She is routinely assumed to be a Lab mix.

~ Adam Ricci

I tested my rescue dog a few months ago after debating it for three years. I was thinking Lab/Mastiff mix, as he’s 110 lbs., but it came back 90% Lab and the rest they say is incidental.

~ Carole Waytula Johnson

I don’t ever plan on DNA testing my dog, or future dogs, because it’s not important to me. Anyway, from what I can gather the DNA tests aren’t very accurate. They don’t know enough about the canine genome to decode it correctly.

~ Sarah Larson

We tested our dog Gunnar who was labeled by the shelter as a Vizsla mix when he was a pup, but we always thought there was a Lab or Ridgeback in there somewhere. Well, he is 25% AmStaff, 25% German Shepherd, 25% Sealyham terrier, and 25% mixed breed. We did ours in 2009, so the mixed breed is not broken out as it would be on newer tests. Maybe it’s just the power of suggestion, but I definitely see the AmStaff and GSD in him now both physically and in his temperament.

~ Christina Acquistapace Kilmer

We had Mocha tested by the vet because the rescue called her a “terrier mix”, but she obviously had some sort of pit bull in her. Well, it came back that they could not find a major breed because she is more than 3 generations mutt! They did find American Staffordshire terrier, Rhodesian Ridgeback and Boston terrier among the minor breeds. What the test didn’t show is that she is 100% loved!

~ Dustin May

We got both our “pit bull mixes” DNA tested. The results were surprising, interesting and for the most part believable. I understand that when done right (and when the dogs not mixed breed multi-generations back), they can be fairly accurate.

~ Micaela Myers

We tested our dog who was listed as a Boxer/pit mix. It came back a Staff and to our complete shock, no Boxer but Black and Tan Coonhound. I still think she is boxer/pit, but we did it more for fun.

~ Michelle Merletto Cilurso

We did the Mars Wisdom Panel because they have the biggest base of possible breeds. We got our dog from the humane society, and although he was labeled as a black Lab mix, he is too big to be a Lab (he is about 95 pounds, long and tall at about 31″). His face and ears resembled a Lab somewhat, but his head is also big in proportion to his body and he just didn’t look quite Lab to me. The results came back as 50% Catahoula Leopard Dog, 25% Bouvier de Flanders and 25% Heinz 57 (unknown). When I researched his primary breed, I found pictures of solid black Catahoula Leopard Dogs, and they looked an awful lot like him. I know there is a margin of error with the DNA testing, but his results actually made a lot of sense to me. I love him no matter what he is, but I got the test out of sheer curiosity.

~ Jaime Schlusser

I have, My Tucker Roo McPimpenstein is exactly half Staffordshire terrier and half Bulldog. And since he is the prettiest and most loved piddie on the planet, the results were what I expected!

~ Trish Jordan

DNA test said they were mine! No mistake made…a mom knows her kids when she sees them! ~ Robin Gonzalez

We’ve tested all of our dogs. We tested our Staffy twice with two different labs. One test said AmStaff/Bull Terrier/Golden Retriever/GSD. The other said AmStaff/Bull Terrier/German Wire Haired Pointer. You probably wouldn’t guess anything but AmStaff by the look of him. We received some interesting results from one of our other dogs. He’s a 70 lb. GSD/chow mix. The test said he’s also at least 20% Chihuahua! While the accuracy of the tests may be questionable, they are fun.

~ Greg Saven

Yep, we used Wisdom Panel — I thought she was boxer/pittie — she’s 90% AmStaff and 10% Bull Terrier.

~ Dianna Preat Matteson

There was actually a study done in 2009 by Dr. Voith that supports that very point. It was only a small sample, but it turned out that 87% of the cases showed discrepancies between what the shelter and adoption agencies thought the breed of dog was, and what the DNA test results concluded the dog to be. This shows support for the point that a lot of times, best guesses and appearances can be deceiving. The study also concluded that the DNA testing is not 100% accurate, therefore not a completely subjective way to label a pit bull. This puts lots of holes in BSL, since it is difficult to establish a completely subjective and systematic way to prove that a dog is a pit bull. Too much opinion, not enough facts on the subject! Anyway, the study is in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science and is called “Comparison of Adoption Agency Breed Identification and DNA Breed Identification of Dogs”. It’s an interesting read!

~ Jaime Schlusser

We did actually- but we did it as part of an elementary class science project. The dog in my photo left is Staffordshire, Boxer and Basset Hound- at least according to the DNA test. I don’t know if it’s completely accurate, but the kids thought it was a cool experiment.

~ Tess Purvis

We did the Wisdom panel through our vet. Our beagle-looking dog is….you guessed it! Mostly Beagle with Italian Greyhound. Haven’t tested our other mutt yet. It was fun, but not sure I’d spend the money at the vet’s office again. If you visit the Mars Veterinary site you can buy a cheek swab test for much cheaper.

~ Erin Trone Hanson

We had our 85 lb., white with black spots “pit mix” tested by one lab that has no markers for Am Staff or pit bull. They assured us if he had any “bully” breeds in him it would show up as mastiff, bulldog, boxer or something along those lines. He came back as Basset Hound, Jack Russell, Irish Setter, Yorkie and Keeshond. Yeah, right. Now we are doing the MARS test. It isn’t very expensive. There is a $10 off coupon online. We paid about $60. We’ll let you know what happens when his results come back this time.

~ Susan Tyler McPhee

We haven’t yet, but want to, if we can determine which test is most highly recommended. We do a lot of traveling and worry about him being taken from us due to BSL. Regardless of the test results, we love him more than words can express.

~ Kathy Langan Wehmeyer

Yes, we did the Mars Wisdom Panel on Chilly. Our “Lab mix” is actually a Dalmatian/Boxer cross, mixed with a Husky/Australian Shepherd! Definitely not what we would have guessed, but we can see some of those breed traits in him.

~ Kristen Levine

Not yet, but thinking about it! ~ The Plaid Turtle

I did do it, just for fun. I do agree it doesn’t matter, they are all wonderful! But I was surprised by a few things: for example, my LuLu is mostly AmStaff, but she’s also 6% dachshund and St. Bernard! Also, my little Miss Piggy (who I thought was a bulldog mix) is actually one-third AmStaff, one-third Staffy-Bull, and one-third toy fox terrier! So she is now referred to as the “foxy little bully”. Another surprise was my little Priscilla, who I always suspected was a rat terrier mix, as she’s only 20 lbs. It turns out she’s a bully! She’s exactly half American Bulldog and half Chihuahua!

~ Tami DErrico

I took in a puppy a few years back, everyone told me “she looks like a pit bull” which she did, but when I looked at her, I saw some thing else but couldn’t figure out what it was. I did the DNA test and she was listed as American Staffordshire, Husky, and a tiny smudge of Pug and Westie. Sussudio is now 3 years old and she is beautiful. As she grew older, more of the Husky has come out. You can definitely see both breeds in her so, I would say they do a good job.

~ Sharon Wolfe

We are trying to get a grant to test some of our shelter dogs. The reason? To simply show you can’t always judge a book by its cover and to help with those who may have BSL or other issues with the breeds. Also it’s to help educate our shelter staff by showing them that they sometimes jump to conclusions about a dog based on looks.

~ Tina MacNaughton

Yes I have, and while the results were different than I would have guessed, it was plausible.

~ Kimberly Otto-Biebuyck

I tested my boy Murphy, who has a Golden retriever-like coat and the body of a Border Collie. There were so many mixes in him that only traces of some could be identified, they were Labrador retriever, Chow and Shih Tzu! He does stand on his hind legs and waves his paws together like little dogs do when he wants something, so it’s possible.

~ Ingrid Fromm

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6 Responses to “Have You DNA Tested Your Dog?”
  1. laurapmooney says:

    We’ve tested 2 out of 4 of our rescues. Our girl, Missy, just out of curiosity. We were always asked “what the heck is that?” We thought GSD, with maybe greyhound or whippet–since she has the body type, she’s very fast and and brindled. She came back with some GSD, some cattle dog and a whole bunch they couldn’t ID 🙂 Our second one was more sucessful, Buddy, who we thought was APBT and ? came back 50% Lab and 50% American Bulldog. Both the tests were interesting, and certainly explained some of their traits. Missy is somewhat skeptical around strangers, but very loyal and obsessed with tennis balls. Buddy is goofy, very friendly, very smart and both ends of him are dangerous–you might get licked to death or bruised from his ever- wagging tail and whole hind end. We used the Mars Wisdom panel swab test–I ordered it from Amazon.

    • SixDegreesPGH says:

      Sounds just like an APBT or Americal Bulldog to me! Both ends are dangerous for getting licked to death or bruised from the tail! @laurapmooney

  2. PamilaSchwartz says:

    My vet and I decided to test BabySnaps as he SWEARS she is greyhound….. SOOOO DNA testing was done.. We know her mother… but the daddy was a traveling man…. She is mostly American Staffordshire Terrier, (pittie), then Dalmation, Pekinese and West Highland White Terrier!!! She has very long legs for a pittie and is a silver brindle that most people say is BEAUTIFUL….. I am her “mom”… She has a beautiful heart, soul and is my baby…She is my little love and she is loyal and truthful! She IS NOT a ball dog… tells everyone that is the case and DOES NOT wear cloths, ie. sweaters, coats etc…..She is her own person and I am really grateful she is mine and I am hers!!!!

  3. SixDegreesPGH says:

    The shelter I volunteer at had a wolf hybrid surrendered because she was living in the basement at her owner’s that came up 70% husky/boxer/dachshund and 30% unknown (or maybe the other way around)…right. We know she was a hybrid because they’re legal in CA where her owner moved from, but it was enough that the shelter could still adopt her out rather than sending her to a wolf/wildlife rescue. She was one of the sweetest dogs you’ll meet. LOVED to run. If she got out it took 2 to 3 hours to catch her and she could clear a 6 foot fence like it was nothing.

  4. MartinBentsen says:

    I always adopt, because if you don’t, all those dogs get killed! 🙁

    I’m actually looking for people to donate to a film I am making about a dog and it being rescued. We must show the world how truly important dogs are!

    If you’d like to learn more and check it out, please visit the website. The film is called “Dakota”