Archives for March 2014

Breed of the Week: Greyhound

Breed of the Week: Greyhound

Another of the ancient breeds, the greyhound has long been associated with nobility and depicted hunting with them in artwork, as well as described in official records. The greyhound, with its long, lean body and legs, has the ability to accelerate quickly and maintain some of the fastest sprinting speeds of any land mammal on the planet. While their original use was for hunting, in more modern times they’ve been used for lure chasing and other forms of racing. With the rise of adoption centers, many retired racing greyhounds are now finding popularity as pets in the home.

Records of greyhounds date to the Celtics in Europe, although some contend that they originated in ancient Egypt, with modern lines tracing first to private 18th Century studbooks and then public kennel club records in the 19th Century. They arrived in America with Spanish explorers in the 1500s.

With incredible sprinting speeds, strength and acceleration, greyhounds can chase down just about anything that runs. Throughout history they’ve been used to hunt a wide variety of game, from deer, foxes, rabbits and hares to antelope, gazelles and wolves. In America today, they’re still used for small-game hunting of rabbits, as well as coyote ...

Double J Dog Ranch - A special place for special dogs

Double J Dog Ranch - A special place for special dogs

At Paw Print Genetics we are passionate about prevention of inherited diseases of dogs. Through modern technologies, there are over 150 inherited diseases that can now be prevented through genetic testing of breeding dams and sires. Through use of the information gained from testing, informed decisions can be made for choosing breeding pairs to avoid producing pups afflicted with certain inherited diseases. Unfortunately however, not everyone that currently breeds dogs is aware of genetic testing availability or the importance of these genetic technologies in the overall well-being of their favorite breed. As a result, thousands of dogs are born every year with diseases that can now be prevented.

While the ability to prevent inherited diseases brings happy thoughts, the outcomes of dogs bred without the use of genetic technologies can be much less joyous. Historically, many dogs born with inherited disease were either euthanized or died due to complications of their condition. However, Paw Print Genetics was recently invited to visit a sanctuary for dogs called Double J Dog Ranch, where dogs with special needs find compassion, training, and eventually their forever home, through adoptions to families prepared for the unique opportunity of owning a special needs dog. Many of ...

What Your Dog and the NFL Draft Have in Common

What Your Dog and the NFL Draft Have in Common

A yearly NFL tradition is about to take place: the draft. Professional football is big business, with big money involved. In 2013, the NFL topped $9 billion in revenue, and commissioner Roger Goodell has a goal of annual revenue surpassing $25 billion by 2027.

Who a team selects with specific draft picks represents an investment of millions of dollars and can affect their on-field success for years to come. A bona fide star can spur a team to victory, packing a stadium, which increases concession sales, parking revenue and more. When merchandising is considered, a $20-million investment in a player can pay off.

Conversely, when a team selects the wrong player, it can cost them dearly. Not only do they miss out on a game- and franchise-changing personality, the investment in time and money the team makes on the wrong player is lost as well. Reaching for and overpaying a player can continue to impact a team years after the player washes out of the league.

When millions of dollars are involved, nothing is left to chance. College players hoping to break into the professional ranks undergo profiling that would make the NSA proud. The dossier a team collects on ...

I've heard about cystinuria in Labradors. Should I be concerned?

I've heard about cystinuria in Labradors. Should I be concerned?

It is a very exciting time in canine genetics. Every month, new discoveries are making their way out of the laboratory and into scientific journals, thus disseminating new information to the scientific community. Some of these discoveries are newly identified, disease associated genetic mutations. Knowledge of a specific mutation and the way a condition is inherited allows for diagnostic laboratories such as Paw Print Genetics to develop new genetic tests for a particular disease. It has been the goal of Paw Print Genetics to offer a comprehensive menu of tests for our clients. This helps our client breeders improve their bloodlines and also assists prospective puppy buyers in purchasing a dog free of known inherited diseases. Therefore, Paw Print Genetics makes every effort to stay current with new mutation discoveries and medical updates in order to offer testing that will help improve overall canine health.

One such test that has recently been added to our expansive menu of test offerings is for a condition in Labrador retrievers known as cystinuria. Cystinuria in the Labrador is a condition caused by a mutation of the SLC3A1 gene. This gene functions as a blueprint for a protein that allows the kidneys to transport ...

Breed of the Week: Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Breed of the Week: Cardigan Welsh Corgi

An old breed, with records of the Celtics using them dating to 1200 BC, which makes it one of the earliest-known herding dogs, the Cardigan Welsh corgi is one of two corgi breeds – the other being the Pembroke Welsh corgi. The short legs and long, low-slung body of the corgi, along with ample energy, drive and endurance, has served it well in roles as a farm-guard dog, cattle driver and herder, and now commonly as companion animal.

Its small size allowed it to nip the heels of cattle and to drive them further out to pasture, while also keeping it out of harm’s way of kicking bovine. Today, their small size still serves them if employed for farm work, but it also makes them good candidates to live in apartments or houses with small yards. They readily bark at approaching strangers, so make good guard dogs; training can help reduce the barking in apartments where strange noises and passing people are regular occurrences. Because of their working background, they do require daily exercise, and many owners enter their dogs in trials that include sheepdog, agility, obedience and rally obedience, as well as herding events, flyball, tracking and, of course ...

Who’s on First: Congenital, Adult-Onset, and Progressive Conditions

Who’s on First:  Congenital, Adult-Onset, and Progressive Conditions

When it comes to diagnosing genetic conditions in dogs (or in humans), doctors use a variety of clues.  One of those clues may not necessarily be what the physical symptoms are, but when did the physical symptoms start happening.  Today’s blog focuses on the when, not the what, of genetic diseases.  Although the when of genetic disease does not exclude the importance of what; when will be today’s topic.  Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you and you may be thinking about the old slapstick comedy routine “Who’s on First” by Abbot and Costello, let’s get started. 

“Congenital” is a term that often floats around the medical community when discussing disease symptoms.  It simply means “present at birth”.  This complicated word comes from the Latin root “congenitus”, which literally means “born together with”.  Con – with; genitus – to bear, or beget.  If a symptom or group of symptoms is seen right when a pup is born, it is congenital.  When making a diagnosis of an inherited genetic condition, knowing the symptoms are congenital can shorten the list of what genetic condition may be the cause.  Only recently has canine ...

Ten of the Biggest Breeds – and the Diseases that Afflict Them

Ten of the Biggest Breeds – and the Diseases that Afflict Them

If you look at the largest dogs around, they all have some things in common. They were usually bred for work – protecting their master and their property, guarding and working livestock, hunting big game and dangerous game and, often, to fight either in battle or for entertainment.

They also share many of the same genetic diseases, which can be a clue to their often intertwined histories and evolutions. Big dogs also have special developmental needs, from feeding to exercising.

If you’re in the market for one of the largest dogs known to man, make sure you select it from genetically tested stock to help ensure that your pup enjoy as healthy of a life as possible.

Here’s a look at the largest dogs alive, their histories and which genetic mutations plague them.

Dogue de Bordeaux

Made famous in America alongside Tom Hanks in “Turner and Hooch,” the dogue de Bordeaux (above) is a mastiff-type dog with a massive head and stocky body that has been used to guard, hunt and fight both wild animals and those it was forced to square off against in a pit. While they possess a guarding instinct, they aren’t vicious and make great ...

Breed of the Week: Boxer

Breed of the Week: Boxer

Athletic and intelligent, the boxer has perhaps one of the most malleable of personalities and range of inherent traits, allowing it to perform in a wide array of roles. From companion and competitor to guard and war dog, the boxer is as fierce and intimidating as he is lovable and laughable.

Good with children, being both affectionate and patient, boxers do best when companions are near – be them human or canine. They enjoy a group setting, and will engage in cuddling, playing or working. They have a protective streak, which in combination with their affectionate nature makes them a popular choice among families. The breed holds strong in the top ten of breeds registered with the AKC, typically averaging as the seventh-most registered dog.

The boxer can trace its origin to 1890s Germany and the now extinct Bullenbeisser dog – a mixture of mastiff and bulldog. Directly descended from these dogs, which were used for fighting and hunting, the boxer was at first employed in a similar manner but performed the duties with more athleticism. While at first used as catch dogs on the hunt, boxers were later used as military dogs during World War I – performing as ...

Breed of the Week: Mastiff

Breed of the Week: Mastiff

Large and imposing, the mastiff is a docile giant, despite its use throughout history in warfare, bear baiting and utilization as a guard dog. It’s also an ancient breed that has been a part of the foundation for several breeds of dog.

One of the largest dogs registered by the AKC, the mastiff should stand at least 30-inches tall at the shoulder (females at least 27-½ inches) and can weigh up to 250 pounds without being overweight. The one-time world record for heaviest dog belonged to a mastiff named Zorba, who weighed a massive 343 pounds and stood 35-inches tall.

Large mastiff-like dogs appear in artwork dating to 6th Century BC (and perhaps even earlier), and throughout history the large dogs have been used for fighting and guarding. From lions, tigers, bears and gladiators to use in war by the Britons and Romans, mastiffs fought ferociously. However, as vicious as they were in battle, they were just as gentle with and protective of their owners. It’s been noted that in battle, mastiffs would fight the enemy, but seemingly knew for which side they fought – and when the battle was over, they would return to a docile state. If ...

Are You Ready for a Puppy?

Are You Ready for a Puppy?

The kids might be whining for a puppy, and you might actually be considering bringing one into your home.

But are you actually ready for a puppy?

Let’s see.

It’s not the kids’ dog

You can tell your spouse, co-workers, friends, the kids and even yourself, that the new puppy belongs to the kids and they are responsible for it. But that’s a lie.

This is your puppy, and soon-to-be adult dog. Don’t try to fool everyone else or yourself. After about two weeks, the kids’ attention will shift to something else – school, sports, cartoons, sitting on the couch. If the kids have soccer practice, homework, slumber parties or whatever else, the feeding, exercising, potty-break and clean-up responsibilities fall to you – more than likely that will happen even if they don’t have something going on.

Even if your kids do consistently take responsibility for the dog, you’re probably going to have to remind them to do it. In essence, you’re taking on another child for the next 10 to 15 years. Are you ready for that?


Before you bring a puppy into the home, you’ll need a few basics: food and water bowls, a crate and blanket ...