April 23, 2024 2:04 pm
The popularity of Dog DNA tests is increasing, but can they be trusted?

The concept of breed in dogs is more complex than many people realize, as Halie Rando, an assistant professor of computer science at Smith College, explains. While a dog’s genetics may align with a specific breed, widely accepted breed definitions were established before the advent of DNA analysis. This can sometimes lead genetic testing results to contradict a pet owner’s assumptions about their dog’s breed.

In a recent study of 459 shelter dogs in Arizona and California, DNA analysis revealed 125 distinct breeds, with only 5% being purebred. Surprisingly, neither the scientists nor experienced shelter workers were able to accurately identify mixed-breed dogs, which made up the majority of the dogs in the study. Mixed breeds can be particularly challenging when it comes to DNA testing, as the accuracy of test results relies on the genetic information available for identifiable breeds.

When choosing a DNA testing company for your dog, it is important for consumers to research them thoroughly. The accuracy of test results can vary depending on the diversity of a company’s genetic panel. Even if you do receive information about your dog’s breed through genetic testing, it may not have a significant impact on their behavior. A recent study found that behavior is more closely linked to individual dogs rather than their breed and emphasizes that breed is not a reliable predictor of behavior.

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