Archives for May 2014

Does Paw Print Genetics perform disease testing on basenjis?

Does Paw Print Genetics perform disease testing on basenjis?

Basenjis are an ancient, charming and unique breed originating in Africa. According to the Basenji Club of America, dogs resembling basenjis have been found in African cave paintings and Egyptian art dating back to between 1000 and 6000 BC. In the late 1800’s, the German botanist and ethnologist, Georg Schweinfurth described a domesticated dog closely resembling the Basenji belonging to native people of central Africa that he had encountered on his trips to the region. Shortly after this description was published, dogs resembling Basenjis were exported from Africa and displayed in Great Britain and Berlin as “Lagos Bush Dogs” and “African Bush Dogs” respectively. Despite their unique and desirable characteristics (such as their yodel-like vocalization known as a baroo), basenjis are similar to other dog breeds in the sense that they are known to inherit a handful of genetic diseases that can cause significant issues in breeding programs. Luckily for the basenji, genetic tests are now available through Paw Print Genetics to help breeders prevent future generations of dogs from being born with some of these preventable illnesses. The two inherited disease tests recommended by the Basenji Club of America and of great importance for basenji breeders have been the ...

Philanthropy and Research: Going Beyond Canine Genetics in Our Community

Philanthropy and Research: Going Beyond Canine Genetics in Our Community

Paw Print Genetics is dedicated to bettering canine genetic health by providing the most accurate and reliable genetic screening for disease-causing mutations. We pride ourselves on the customer service given to each client, and even those just curious about genetics or healthy dogs in general. We want to be your definitive resource for canine genetic health. If you have questions about genetics, we’re here to help. If you need your dog screened for genetic mutations, we can do that with 100-percent accuracy.

But canine health isn't our only concern that we support. Several members of the Paw Print Genetics team donate time and money to help create awareness and fundraise for national organizations at the local level that engage in disease-fighting research for humans, too.

As an undergraduate, I was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Now that I’ve returned to my old stomping grounds, I’ve become involved with the local chapter again as the advisor. About two years ago, the chapter decided to take part in the national fraternity’s Iron Phi program, which raises funds for the ALS Association to raise awareness of and research for the disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The ALS Association ...

In the Community: Paw Print Genetics’ Memorial Day Weekend

In the Community: Paw Print Genetics’ Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend Paw Print Genetics attended the Spokane Kennel Club’s all-breed show, where conformation and obedience dogs strutted their stuff. The show, as always, was a great success – approximately a thousand dogs competed for titles. Paw Print Genetics educated attendees about inherited canine diseases, showcased our services and great staff and supported the local club’s efforts and economy. We also met some great dogs, some of which helped with one of our current research projects.

Two groups who were in attendance included the Intermountain Search Dogs and HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response. They were being honored during the Memorial Day weekend for their dedication and service to society.

Intermountain Search Dogs works directly with our local Spokane County Sheriff’s department to perform search-and-rescue work in the area. They have various units that include air-scenting dogs, ground tracking/trailing and human remains detection dogs. These civilians can be called into action day or night, any time of the year and in any weather to find lost or missing people, victims of drowning or natural disasters such as mudslides, avalanches or floods. They’re used to search for the bodies of homicide victims under the direction of law enforcement and emergency service agencies ...

Paw Print Pedigrees Now Available!

Paw Print Pedigrees Now Available!

We’ve been busy here at Paw Print Genetics. As we celebrated our one-year anniversary on May 1, we had increased our screening of inherited disease mutations to 143 tests in 243 breeds – the most available on the market. One-stop shopping, outstanding customer service and 100-percent accuracy on all tests are the cornerstones of our company. We’re here to help you breed and buy healthier dogs, and to make that as easy as possible.

To that end, Paw Print Genetics has launched Paw Print Pedigrees – a new service for its customers to promote their dogs and the puppies they produce.

The completely free service is offered to anyone who has had a test performed at Paw Print Genetics, and allows you to display those results to the public. Open access to your genetic-screening records illustrates to the world that you’re taking breeding seriously, and gives you an online location to securely store and display your dog's results to potential breeding partners and puppy buyers.

Paw Print Pedigrees does more than just display your dog's genetic results. You can build a profile for your kennel and dogs – link to other health clearances such as hip scores, CERF certifications, generational pedigrees ...

CleverPet: Stimulate Your Dog's Mind While You're Away

CleverPet: Stimulate Your Dog's Mind While You're Away

There's a pretty cool Kickstarter campaign underway (and already funded) for an interesting device that could keep your dog entertained during the day while you're at work.

The Kickstarter campaign is for CleverPet - a Wi-Fi-connected device that challenges your pet and then rewards it with kibble for correctly engaging the unit. It starts off by simply rewarding your dog for responding to what appears to be an audible cue. Then it ups the ante and rewards the dog for touching one of the device's three light-up pads. The third level of engagement requires the dog to touch a specifically lit pad to receive the food-based reward. From there, the unit interacts with your dog by rewarding her only when she solves increasingly challenging puzzles. You can even record your own voice to teach right or left. With the unit's algorithms, it adapts to your dog's learning level so it's not too hard or too easy. For you code monkeys out there, CleverPet allows you to write your own code to come up with new puzzles for your dog.

The unit's makers (comprised of PhD-level cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, dog trainers and animal-interaction specialists), have ...

Inherited Diseases of the German Shorthaired Pointer

Inherited Diseases of the German Shorthaired Pointer

If you already own a German shorthaired pointer (GSP) or if you are currently in the market for one, you likely realize the high level of intelligence and performance of this breed. With proper training, this high energy gundog can become a hunter’s best friend. Whether running long distance across rough terrain or diving into the water to retrieve a bird, the GSP is happy to work hard, please their owner and most of all, to hunt. Though a relatively healthy breed overall, like all dog breeds, sometimes GSPs can be born with inherited conditions that make life difficult for them or prevent them from doing the jobs that they were bred to perform. 

Some diseases reported in GSPs such as hip dysplasia, entropion, and some cancers, are likely inherited though the specific genetic mutations associated with these disorders are currently unknown. On the other hand, GSPs also can inherit diseases caused by known genetic mutations. Knowledge of specific mutations and how the diseases are inherited, allows for laboratories such as Paw Print Genetics to develop tests to identify dogs that are either genetic carriers or are affected with a particular disease. Paw Print Genetics offers tests for three ...

Skeletal Dysplasia 2: A cause of dwarfism in the Labrador retriever

Skeletal Dysplasia 2: A cause of dwarfism in the Labrador retriever

Thanks to human selection and breeding, the physical appearance of dogs varies tremendously. Using only physical attributes as a guide, it’s safe to say that most uninformed biologists would have a hard time believing that a Chihuahua and a great dane were from the same species, let alone that they were capable of producing viable offspring together. In order to facilitate such dynamic intraspecies diversity of canines, people have long used random genetic mutations to their advantage. One example is the selection for various forms of dwarfism. Breeds such as the dachshund, corgi and the Basset hound have been created through selective breeding of individuals with a genetic mutation of the FGF4 gene that when inherited from one of their parents, leads to the characteristic short legs of these breeds. While a mutation for dwarfism is an expected standard for some breeds, it can be particularly undesirable in others.

A prime example of an undesirable mutation (especially for working dogs) is a mutation in the COL11A2 gene that causes a generally mild disproportionate dwarfism in the Labrador retriever known as skeletal dysplasia 2 (SD2). Disproportionate dwarfism is characterized by one or more body parts being smaller in comparison to overall ...

Breed of the Week: Rottweiler

Breed of the Week: Rottweiler

Descended from Roman drover dogs, which were used to drive and protect the cattle herds of Roman soldiers on the warpath, the Rottweiler maintains its herding and guarding instincts to this day, while also using its intelligence, size and athleticism to perform duties as varied as police dog, guide dog and search-and-rescue dog.

The Rottweiler was developed in the German town of Rottweil, where its continued use was as guardian and protector of cattle being pushed to market. They were also used by butchers as guard dogs, which earned them the nickname ‘butcher dogs.’

Two historic events played a huge role in the Rottweiler’s popularity. Technological advancements, specifically the railroad, nearly led the breed to extinction. As railroads could move goods to market faster, cattlemen began using the iron horses instead of driving them with dogs. Throughout history, many breeds have gone extinct when their primary purpose was supplanted by technological advances or social changes.

The two great World Wars also nearly led to the extinction of several breeds, but for the Rottweiler, it was a saving grace. The demand for police dogs grew exponentially with the wars, and that renewed interest in Rotties, which were used as draught ...

On the Front Lines of K9 Genetic Health

On the Front Lines of K9 Genetic Health

During the last week of April, the Paw Print Genetics team again paired up with the Spokane Police and Sheriff's Department, our hometown law enforcement agencies, to work toward better genetic health for service dogs such as the patrol and detection dogs found in K9 units across the country.

Spokane hosted the Washington State Police Canine Association’s Spring Seminar, which ran April 28-30, and which featured training scenarios that consisted of obstacle courses, canine first aid and building searches for patrol dogs, and scent detection of vehicles and training on a scent wall for detection dogs.

Paw Print Genetics was on hand to work with the various law enforcement agencies from across the state to educate them on some of the genetic diseases their breeds of choice are prone to inherit, and what they can do to protect themselves as an agency investing taxpayer money. The participating K9 teams were also kind enough to let us take cheek-cell samples of their dogs (or were nice enough to do so for us if their dogs weren’t fond of strangers fiddling with their mouths).

Most of the dogs were German shepherds, Belgian malinois and Labrador retrievers, although there were a couple ...

Instagram Contest: Mother’s Day Giveaway from

Instagram Contest: Mother’s Day Giveaway from

Just in time for Mother’s Day, is giving away a Heyrex dog activity tracker to a follower of its Instagram account.

To enter, follow @Pet360 on Instagram, post a photo of your dog(s) and answer the question “What would you like to better monitor in your dog’s life?” Tag the photo and answer with the #PetMOMitor hashtag. That’s it. You’re entered to win the random drawing. 

Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST, on Sunday, May 11 (that would Mother’s Day, in case any of you have forgotten…).

The Heyrex is a wireless system (valued at $200) that includes a receiver and clip-to-collar, waterproof transmitter. It measures activity levels, mobility, scratching, resting patterns and sleep disturbances, and then gives you the information in infographics and charts over a rolling period of days, weeks and months – all of which can be accessed by desktop computer or mobile tablets and smartphones. Essentially, you can have near real-time info on your dog’s activity and can then track behavior changes or other issues over time.

The system has grabbed my attention for two reasons. First, the monitoring of sleep patterns is interesting to me because ...