Dog Breed DNA Testing

October 11, 2009

Volunteering for the Chihuahua and Small Dog Rescue has made it clear that sometimes it’s very difficult to determine what breeds have combined to make some dogs. Until recently, a guess was all that could be done.ChihuahuaBelle9Months

Dog Breed Testing kits are now readily available and are more affordable than ever before.

Why is it so important to know the breeds present in a dog? Dog Breed Testing can tell you how big or small your dog might be. It might help you determine grooming for your dog. It can even determine what illnesses and diseases your dog might be prone to, due to genetics.

The most important reason is to help you determine your dog’s potential temperament. Temperament is like the character of your dog. It’s what has been handed down from generation to generation to make a breed what it is.

Temperament is why Border Collies like to herd. Temperament is why Labradors like to retrieve. Temperament helps determine if a dog is going to be good with children, or if they are going to like to running with you. It can help you understand your dog and its behavior.

We have a little 5 pound dog named Leon. He is black and tan, similar to a Doberman. We were told when we got him at 7 weeks, that he was a Chihuahua and we had no reason to think otherwise.

As he grew, we noticed that his head wasn’t as round as a Chi’s and he was rather lanky to be a pure Chihuahua.

Temperament wise, he was mostly Chihuahua, although he seemed to tolerate strangers better and he learned things very quickly. It took him only five minutes to learn the command “sit” when he was only 9 weeks old.

We thought that this was due to the fact that we took him everywhere and that we used positive training methods. As an adult, he is a very well adjusted dog and he is even registered as a therapy animal.

Everywhere we went, people would always ask what he was, even though Chihuahua owners always knew he was a Chi. Most people focused on his coloring and guessed he was a Miniature Pinscher.

When we noticed an advertisement for a Dog Breed Testing Kit, just had to see for ourselves what genetics had made this wonderful dog.

The kit came in the mail and was self explanatory. There are levels to each breed present that make up Leon and they will be indicated in descending order. For instance, Level One is any breed that is 75% or more present in Leon, Level Two is any breed or breeds that is 37%-74% present in Leon all the way down to Level Four.

We were sure that he is mostly Chihuahua, but very curious to see what other breed or breeds could be in his ancestry.

We took the cotton swab and ran it inside his mouth for the determined amount of time and were careful not to contaminate the evidence as we shipped it back to the laboratory.

Two weeks later, we got a letter in the mail stating that there weren’t enough cells to test and they asked for another sample.

We thought that this was due to his small size and did another sample, but using his gums to get the sample, instead of the inside of his cheek.

Two weeks later, the packet came in the mail and it was proven that there were only two breeds present in his little lineage. He was Chihuahua in Level Two and he was poodle in Level Three.

We decided that this meant that one of Leon’s grandparents was a poodle and that one of his parents was half poodle, half Chihuahua.

After knowing what dog breeds make up little Leon, there are a few things about him that now make sense.

His large ears that stand straight up are clearly the end result of a poodle that has large ears that lay down and a Chihuahua that has smaller ears that stand up.

His small frame and skinny body are clearly that of a Poodle, while his coloring is obviously from the Chihuahua breed.

Understanding his temperament is the most valuable information stemming from the results of the Dog Breed Test.

Taking after his Chihuahua side, Leon is very entertaining and lively. He is very playful and has lots of energy. He has bonded closely with one of his owners and cries if she leaves. He very tough and is an excellent watch dog.

On the other hand, he loves to play with dogs of all different sized and shapes and he meets most strangers with a friendly wag of his tail. He is extremely intelligent and he is really easy to train. These are the traits of the Poodle Breed.

Having the Dog Breed Test done on Leon has helped us to understand is behavior better and helps us to keep him happy.

If you ever have a chance to use the Dog Breed Testing Kit, we don’t think you should hesitate one bit. It was an interesting and informative test that has brought us closer to our Leon.

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