For dog breeders, DNA profiling and parentage analysis is a vital part of the business. There are two different kinds of tests; one will look for genetic markers that indicate disease, and the other is a way of providing an accurate and reliable record of the dog’s identity.
The latter form of genetic testing can be helpful to provide undisputable proof of the dog’s lineage and pedigree. If you are hoping to find out more about a dog’s predisposition for certain diseases, you will need to obtain specialist DNA testing in addition to profiling. In this case, having a DNA profile can be vital to ensuring the report matches the dog. When trying to breed healthy pups, this can be vital to ensure that the two dogs you are breeding aren’t predisposed to certain genetic disorders that might present problems for the animals.
DNA Profiling is also essential for identifying the breeds present in a crossbred dog by helping owners to correctly identify the parents. Since a dog inherits half of its DNA from the mother and the other half from the father, owners can confirm the lineage, provided they have access to the parents’ DNA profiles. Many responsible dog breeders will make this information readily available.
How does DNA profiling work?
When you receive a DNA profiling kit, you will need to use a cotton swab to collect loose cheek cells from the inside of your dog's mouth. This DNA sample will then be returned to a laboratory for testing and the results will be sent to you in the mail. A blood sample is not usually needed, as the full DNA profile will be visible from the cells in the cheek.
Why should I get a DNA profile for my dog?
As your dog’s genetic profile is unlikely to change throughout its life, it can be worth getting one done when they are young and keeping the DNA sample as an extra method of identification. DNA profiling shouldn’t be used as an alternative to dog microchipping, as the UK law now states that all dogs should be microchipped. Some owners may be concerned that a stolen dog could have its microchip removed, but the DNA profile provides an extra level of security.
How can I use this to confirm the breed of my dog?
If the parent’s DNA profiles are available, it is possible to use this information to confirm that the correct parents have been registered on the puppy’s pedigree papers.