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Old 12-14-2012, 12:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Some brands specifically say they can't identify purebred dogs (for some convoluted reason ), which told me everything I need to know. You mean it doesn't work if you can prove the parentage?!

One of the problems is that only one dog breed has had its DNA fully sequenced (Boxers, if I remember right). Another problem is that many breeds share common DNA markers, because they're very closely related. In fact, a lot of scientific study into canine DNA winds up emphasizing how closely related seemingly diverse breeds are. So between a lack of complete understanding of each breed's genetic markers, and then a lot of shared genetic markers between breeds, it starts to become really clear why those tests aren't trustworthy in the least.

I agree they could be fun if they were cheaper. I've thought about getting one for one of my dogs who often gets called a coyote, just so I could have a piece of paper that says he's 100% domesticated. But then I don't really care enough to shell out the cash. It's kind of like psychic readings--good for fun and novelty only, and stands a good chance of telling the gullible what they want to hear!
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RowdyDogs View Post
Some brands specifically say they can't identify purebred dogs (for some convoluted reason ), which told me everything I need to know. You mean it doesn't work if you can prove the parentage?!

One of the problems is that only one dog breed has had its DNA fully sequenced (Boxers, if I remember right). Another problem is that many breeds share common DNA markers, because they're very closely related. In fact, a lot of scientific study into canine DNA winds up emphasizing how closely related seemingly diverse breeds are. So between a lack of complete understanding of each breed's genetic markers, and then a lot of shared genetic markers between breeds, it starts to become really clear why those tests aren't trustworthy in the least.

I agree they could be fun if they were cheaper. I've thought about getting one for one of my dogs who often gets called a coyote, just so I could have a piece of paper that says he's 100% domesticated. But then I don't really care enough to shell out the cash. It's kind of like psychic readings--good for fun and novelty only, and stands a good chance of telling the gullible what they want to hear!
I wanted to try it since apparently Remy is mixed with a malamute. But I don't think the shelter EVER saw the mom or dad considering she was from a "seized home" and when I think seized home, I think backyard breeding/puppy mill, etc... I'm just glad they got my baby and her litter out of whatever they were about to go through!!

However, I have had so many people say she looks full GSD. I just thought I could try it and see since she "may" be mixed with something and I would love to see the temperament of what she could be mixed with, but with all the responses and reviews I've read, I've decided not to. I don't care if she's purebred.. I love her all the same


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Old 12-14-2012, 01:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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DNA tests should never be taken seriously. They are for folks who have the money to spend and want a good laugh.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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They were offering DNA testing for free at the club where we train. It was not about breed identification though. They were studying genetic diseases in dogs.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Specific DNA tests for reasons like that, or to identify the individual animal (for example, I have an Arabian horse and registered Arabians are DNA-tested to verify the parentage, since both parents also have DNA on file if they're young enough), are valid. It's just the general "identify the breed" tests that are unreliable to the point of uselessness.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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They are fun, but don't put much stock into the results. I had one dog tested by the 3 companies and all 3 had something different!
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:39 AM   #17 (permalink)
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DNA tests should never be taken seriously. They are for folks who have the money to spend and want a good laugh.
I wish they weren't 80 bucks a pop! I'd love to see what kinda things would show up on Remington!

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They were offering DNA testing for free at the club where we train. It was not about breed identification though. They were studying genetic diseases in dogs.
Did you partake in it?

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Originally Posted by RowdyDogs View Post
Specific DNA tests for reasons like that, or to identify the individual animal (for example, I have an Arabian horse and registered Arabians are DNA-tested to verify the parentage, since both parents also have DNA on file if they're young enough), are valid. It's just the general "identify the breed" tests that are unreliable to the point of uselessness.
So, even if came back with some crazy animal mixture, it could be true then?

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They are fun, but don't put much stock into the results. I had one dog tested by the 3 companies and all 3 had something different!
Aww! What results did you get??
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:14 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Remy is a cutie but I see absolutely no malamute in her....GSD and something else maybe but she looks gsd to me.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I wish I could buy one just to see what it says. Cause I know my GSD is juts GSD
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:02 AM   #20 (permalink)
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So, even if came back with some crazy animal mixture, it could be true then?
I'm not sure what you mean here. For the example I used with the Arabian horses, what they do is match individual markers in the DNA by comparing the parent DNA with the offspring. DNA is like a fingerprint, unique to each individual, and some things are passed on from parents, so you can compare the samples and get a reasonable idea of parentage (obviously a huge oversimplification). So it doesn't tell you anything about what breed the animal is, just that this one horse is the offspring of these two particular horses. So since those two horses are purebred Arabians, so is the offspring. If one or both of the parents didn't match, it wouldn't tell you anything about who the actual parents were, just who they were not. The horse could be a purebred from two other Arabians, or it could be a Clydesdale for all the DNA test would tell you.

With DNA testing for genetic diseases, again, they're just looking at a specific part of the DNA. So let's take a common problem in GSDs, hip dysplasia.* They would take a DNA sample from a dog and look at the particular genetic markers they have identified as those that affect dysplasia. From this, they will be able to determine the likelihood of the dog passing it onto its offspring. However, it still doesn't tell you anything about what breed the dog is--hip dysplasia is found in all sorts of different breeds and the presence or absence of it doesn't tell you anything.

I guess a general way to explain it is that DNA testing (in this sense) is all about comparing samples to other samples. The problem with breed tests is that many of the markers they use aren't actually accurate (as in, they're shared by many breeds), and can vary between lines within a breed, etc. So while there's always a possibility that the test is accurate, in reality you're just as likely (and possibly more so) to be accurate by making a visual assessment and guessing based on that.

*I don't actually know that much about the state of genetic testing in dog breeds as I don't breed and have rescued all my dogs so never had to learn, but I didn't want to use another horse example. The process is the same, I just don't know exactly what conditions have a test.
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