Archives for July 2014

Paw Print Genetics' August Events

Paw Print Genetics' August Events

Paw Print Genetics will be attending two events in the month of August.  First, you will find our booth at the Olympic Kennel Club show at the Enumclaw Expo Center August 14-17. 2014.  Specialties include the Rainier Sporting Dog Association, Samoyed, Keeshond, Chihuahua, German shorthaired pointers and English cocker spaniels, among many others. The Olympic Kennel Club was formed in 1944 after the end of World War II.  This all breed show attracts about 3,000 participants and visitors during four days.  Stop by the Paw Print Genetics booth. We will have discounted testing during the weekend and can even swab your dog while you enjoy the show.

Since 1982, Game Fair has been held in Ramsey, MN and Paw Print Genetics will be there.  During two weekends in August, more than 20,000 people visit the 80-acre site outside Anoka, MN.  August 8, 9, 10 and 15, 16, and 17 will be days filled with archery, dog events, goose and turkey calling, and even a taxidermy competition.  Have fun while you learn about canine genetics listening to our seminar What do you know about your dog's genetics? on one of ...

Do You and Your Dog Have Similar Personalities?

Do You and Your Dog Have Similar Personalities?

Research has shown that owners often choose dogs that look similar to them. Data also suggests that the dogs we choose to share our life with tend to have similar personalities.

One study asked owners to rank themselves and their dogs in five personality traits – neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness.

Owners ranked themselves and their dogs as having similar personalities in all five categories. To help combat the errors of self-reported data and projection by the owners, family members familiar with both the owner and dog were asked to rank each independently. In the third-person ranking, dogs and their owners were similar in four out of five categories.

The strongest association between dogs and their owners took place in neuroticism and extraversion. Neuroticism compared how sensitive and nervous a person was versus secure and confident. Extraversion looked at how outgoing, sociable and energetic a person/dog was versus solitary and reserved. The weakest association was in the openness category – or how inventive and curios versus consistent and cautious.

Another study compared personality type to the likelihood of owning certain breeds – traits displayed by the owners were generally found in the dog and increased the likelihood that ...

Why is my dog so itchy? Part 3: Lice and Mites

Why is my dog so itchy? Part 3: Lice and Mites

Click for Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing blog about itchy dogs.

Though many itchy dogs suffer from food or environmental allergies (as discussed in previous blogs of this series), parasites of the skin and hair coat (called ectoparasites) are another important cause of itchiness in our canine companions. In fact, performing parasite testing should be considered a veterinary standard for itchy dogs. Ruling out parasitic causes of itchiness is important because they can greatly complicate diagnosis and treatment of other skin related diseases. Though there are many individual species, in this and the next blog in this series we will examine four general groups of ectoparasites that infest our dogs.


The first experience I can recall involving lice was in elementary school; a time period in life when an infestation of head lice could turn any otherwise sanitary, well-meaning child into the classroom leper. Luckily for us dog owners, we don’t need to fret much about our own health if our canine children come down with an infestation of lice as they tend to be very species-specific in regards to which creatures they choose to call home.

Lice come in two main varieties; chewing lice and ...

Rickie Roo’s Story – A happy ending

Rickie Roo’s Story – A happy ending

In October of last year, we told you the story of Rickie Roo, the amazing agility dog, service dog and a roving reporter for the United States Dog Agility Association. She is well known in the sport of agility and in the rat terrier community.

On October 12th, 2013, Roo unfortunately had to have emergency surgery because of a luxated lens in her left eye. Primary Lens Luxation, or PLL, is a condition that can happen in many breeds including American Eskimo dogAmerican hairless terrierAustralian cattle dogborder colliebull terrierChinese crestedJack Russell terrierjagdterrierLakeland terrierLancashire heelerminiature bull terrierNorwich terrierParson Russell terrierPatterdale terrierrat terrierRussell terrierSealyham terrierTeddy Roosevelt terrierTenterfield terrierTibetan terriertoy fox terrierVolpino ItalianoWelsh terrierwire fox terrier and Yorkshire terrier.

Lens luxation can happen suddenly and when it occurs, needs to be surgically corrected as soon as possible to try to minimize any loss of sight. Luckily, Rickie Roo's luxated lens was caught very early by ...

Socialization and Vaccination: Important Puppy Rules

Socialization and Vaccination: Important Puppy Rules

Socialization of your dog is an important step in raising a healthy, psychologically balanced dog. The critical socialization phase however, lasts only until about 16 weeks of age. This has presented people with a bit of a quandary when it comes to successfully introducing puppies to the world but maintaining their health safety.

Popular wisdom says to wait until a puppy has received all of its vaccinations before introducing it to the world. However, the final round of shots for a dog doesn’t happen until around six months of age – well beyond the important socialization period when puppies are less fearful and more curious about things. Postponing socialization – introduction to various stimuli such as automobiles, various environments, different types of people and other dogs – until six months could cause your pup to be fearful of numerous things.

According to recommendations from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, if your dog has had its first vaccinations, get them out into the world to explore and meet new friends. Prior to their first round of shots, and even afterward, maternal antibodies help protect your new pup from diseases. When those maternal antibodies begin to wear off and the pup’s ...

Embracing Customer Service and the Veterinary Leadership Institute

Embracing Customer Service and the Veterinary Leadership Institute

Customer service is of the highest priority at Paw Print Genetics. From the numerous positive reviews we have received on our Facebook page referencing our personal attention to detail, to the many emails we receive from our clients thanking us for a job well done, we recognized early on that we were on to something. After all, we know that without our loyal clients, we could simply not exist as a laboratory. The customer service goal established by our company culture is to exceed the expectations of every client that we have the privilege with which to work. We want our clients to come back to us for genetic testing, not because we are the only option, but because they have never had a better experience with a genetics laboratory.

Though the pursuit of exceeding client expectations is an ideal that most businesses strive for, the exact way to perform this level of service often remains elusive. In addition, there has been a long standing debate about whether the skills needed to provide great customer experiences are ones that can be taught or learned. One veterinary nonprofit organization, the Veterinary Leadership Institute, has helped prove that not only can these ...

Economics: Supply and Demand in the Gene Pool

Economics: Supply and Demand in the Gene Pool

When we breed to better a line of purebred dogs, many intangible or subjective variables come into play – conformation, athleticism, intelligence, trainability and more. Mentoring and experience, even the gut instinct borne from these teachings, can make assessing those variables easier. As we learn more and develop an eye for evaluating and reading dogs, the standards for what constitutes a ‘better’ dog, one worthy of breeding, usually rise. The comparative knowledge experience brings allows us to differentiate a ‘great dog’ from a ‘good’ one; what might have been an acceptable to us a decade ago, might not make the cut today. And therein creates the economic correlation of supply and demand among top breeders.

As we eliminate potential breeding partners in favor of ‘better’ dogs, those that will truly improve a line and therefore breed, fewer and fewer potential partners exist. That makes the remaining pool of dogs more desirable and valuable.

When the qualities that elevated a dog to the top of the gene pool are combined with the objective results of canine genetic screening, a breeder is truly ‘bettering the breed’ by passing along the best physical and mental qualities the dog possesses while reducing or eliminating detrimental ...

You’ve Ordered From Paw Print Genetics, Now What Are the Next Steps?

You’ve Ordered From Paw Print Genetics, Now What Are the Next Steps?

Tracking Your Order

Keeping clients up to date on their order status is a very important part of Paw Print Genetics’ customer service. Once an order is placed, you’ll receive email notifications and can see status updates every step of the way until your order is complete.

Below, you will find an outline of the testing process and the updates you will receive:





  • Email of Order Confirmation
  • Email notification of Kit Shipped (if applicable) with USPS tracking number.
    • Yes, we include free cheek swab kits and return prepaid postage (in the US)
    • We also offer expedited shipping options through the USPS.
  • Email notification of Samples Received by our laboratory. We will begin processing your sample on the day it is received or the next business day.
  • Status update of Testing in Progress
    • If any issues arise during the testing phase you will receive a personal phone call from a Laboratory Director.
  • Status update of Data in Review indicates that your laboratory tests are done and the report and Canine Genetic Health Certificate are being drafted and reviewed by one of our PhD geneticists and one of our veterinarians.
  • Email notification of Final Report Completed
    • Your order ...

Genetic Screening: Cornerstone of Bettering a Breed

Genetic Screening: Cornerstone of Bettering a Breed

Nearly everyone espouses the belief that we should produce puppies that better a breed. However, ‘better’ is a subjective term; what it means to one person is completely different than what it means to another. ‘Better’ is something that’s often based in our ultimate goals, the end results of which are sometimes dictated by success in the dog game we play.

What isn’t subjective is sound genetic health. Science seeks objective and discernable answers regardless of the subjective nature of an issue. Genetic screening therefor is the cornerstone of bettering a breed, regardless of the game being played. While we should always strive for proper and acceptable form and function, the perfect dog does not exist – we do the best we can with the sires and dams available to us.

When deciding pairings, we should seek dogs that complement each other in form and function so as to produce consistent puppies. We should also seek to strengthen weaknesses in both parents' conformation by pairing them with a dog that offers a contrast to the flaws in each. With the randomness of how genes combine in all aspects of puppy's physical, mental and psychological attributes, it’s a tough order ...

Why is My Dog so Itchy? Part 2: Environmental Allergens and Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Why is My Dog so Itchy? Part 2: Environmental Allergens and Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Click here for Part 1 of this ongoing blog about itchy dogs.

Like people, some dogs are known to develop seasonal summer allergies to a variety of environmental allergens. Pollen, mold, dust mites, and mildew are just a few of the triggers that can make dogs itchy as the days become warmer. Many dogs have only mild signs of allergies that can be controlled by the use of antihistamines and bathing to wash allergens from the hair coat. In these mild cases, the allergies are predictable annually, they don’t seem to progress in severity, and are relatively easy to manage. However, for some dogs, the body’s reaction to allergens is so significant that their overall quality of life can be greatly impaired.

Canine Atopic Dermatitis
An allergic disease now termed “canine atopic dermatitis” (CAD) is a relatively common and troubling condition seen in our canine friends. It is estimated that up to 10% of all dogs are affected by this condition worldwide. First discussed in the 1930’s, the definition of the disorder and our scientific understanding of the cause are still being worked out. Our current understanding is that CAD is a multifactorial disease involving genetic predisposition, immune system dysregulation ...