The Paw Print Genetics Blog

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Australian Cattle Dog

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Australian Cattle Dog

Paw Print Genetics is celebrating the Australian Cattle Dog this week. Although generally considered a relatively healthy breed, like other purebred dogs, the Australian Cattle Dog is known to inherit several genetic diseases. Testing your dog prior to breeding prevents the disease through avoidance of producing puppies at-risk. This brief article describes a few of the diseases that can currently be tested for in Australian Cattle Dogs.  You can find a complete list and more information at  https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/breeds/91/.  All of these tests performed by Paw Print Genetics are accepted by the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals

Cystinuria is an inherited disease that is known to affect amino acid absorption by the kidneys. This abnormality leads to cysteine crystals and/or stones in the bladder that can block the ureters or urethra and stop the normal flow of urine. If not treated, urinary stones can cause urinary tract infections, kidney failure and even death.

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a late-onset neurological disease found in over 100 breeds of dog.  Known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in humans, affected dogs typically begin to show signs of neurological weakness in ...

Paw Print Genetics Review by Tina Cox at Misty Shores Chesapeakes

Paw Print Genetics Review by Tina Cox at Misty Shores Chesapeakes
Photo Courtesy of Michelle Keehn and Misty Shores Chesapeakes

The following is a review written by a Paw Print Genetics' customer, Tina Cox, reposted here with her permission.  You can find her entire review on her website


Paw Print Genetics Review
by Tina Cox

Recently I used Paw Print Genetics to do some genetic testing on Maia.

I was introduced to them a couple years ago through friends on Facebook. I kept seeing all these posts about the site so I thought I should check this out. What I found was a place to do my major genetic testing at a price I could afford while not skimping on quality. This is from the homepage of their website…

Highest Industry Standards and Accuracy

Our laboratory is staffed with expertly trained geneticists, veterinarians, and technicians. We are equipped with the latest testing technology and analyze each mutation with two independent methods to provide you the highest accuracy in the industry. 

  • All mutations offered are based on the published, medical literature
  • Board-certified geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics on staff
  • Each mutation is tested twice, with two independent methods
  • All results are reviewed and reported by both a PhD geneticist and a veterinarian
  • Majority of test results accepted ...

Paw Print Genetics Now Offers Veterinary Verification Option for Your Samples

Paw Print Genetics Now Offers Veterinary Verification Option for Your Samples

Paw Print Genetics understands that our customers know what’s best for their breeding programs and what they need from a laboratory. Our customers are the experts and that’s why we listen closely and ask questions. Doing so has resulted in Paw Print Pedigrees, a free website that Paw Print Genetics customers can use to promote their kennels and show off their health tested dogs. Another feature recently added is our Clear by Parentage program, which allows the breeder to get Clear by Parentage certificates on any pup resulting from health tested, parentage-proven parents. Because our customers asked for it, Paw Print Genetics now offers an optional, Veterinary Verification for samples collected by a veterinarian and submitted to us for testing.

Veterinary Verification is an optional and voluntary program offered by Paw Print Genetics that allows breeders to confirm the identity of their dog by having a veterinarian collect the sample and verify a permanent identifier for that dog (microchip number or tattoo). There is a simple form that must be completed by the veterinarian and this form must accompany the sample to the laboratory.

Having a verified sample may provide puppy buyers extra assurance that the test results they receive ...

Paw Print Genetics Launches Clear by Parentage Certificate Program

Paw Print Genetics Launches Clear by Parentage Certificate Program

Paw Print Genetics customers can now receive Clear by Parentage certificates for their puppies. Responsible breeders work hard to ensure that their dogs are clear of inherited diseases found in their breed. Breeders also want the ability to show potential buyers that the puppy they are about to purchase is also clear of disease, but testing an entire litter can be expensive.

Our new Clear by Parentage certificate program provides breeders with an alternative to testing their entire litter. Breeders can now clear their puppies for the diseases already found clear in the dam and sire. This program is for those breeders that used Paw Print Genetics for their disease testing. 

Follow these easy steps to get your certificates.

  1. Order and complete disease testing on prospective parents through Paw Print Genetics.
  2. Once pups are born, do parentage testing through Paw Print Genetics using the parents and any pup for which you want a certificate.
  3. When the parentage has been completed proving the parents, order Clear by Parentage certificates for those tests that are clear in both parents.

In some cases, one or both of the parents are carriers of a genetic mutation.  Breeders can order testing on one or more pups ...

To Anyone Dedicated to Breeding Better Dogs, an open letter by Cheryl Hass

To Anyone Dedicated to Breeding Better Dogs, an open letter by Cheryl Hass

Brief personal history as credentials . . .

In the world of dog breeding, I started long before any genetic testing was readily available, with Chesapeakes, more than 25 years ago now. We performed OFA Hips and that was about it. Then I went back to my herding dog roots with Australian Shepherds, Miniature Australian Shepherds and now Miniature American Shepherds. What I have to say about genetic testing however, applies regardless of breed.

Some of you that have been in this for a while, may remember a company that offered a slew of testing, all in one package, for $25. It was the hottest item on the market. I remember feeling very virtuous about being able to test all my dogs, for a reasonable price, for a whole bunch of things that I didn't understand at the time. But as breeders we educated ourselves, found out that testing really DOES matter and learned how to breed away from some of the unfortunate genetics that our dogs carried. It really was an exciting time in breeding because it gave us such powerful, valuable information that increased the overall health of the dogs we produced. The problem was that this company was not all ...

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Border Collie

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Border Collie

Paw Print Genetics is a proud sponsor of the US Border Collie Handlers Association. With their Sheepdog Finals next month, it is a good time to think about genetic issues and whether to breed your dog.

Although generally considered a relatively healthy breed, like other purebred dogs, the border collie is at risk to inherit several genetic diseases. Testing your dog prior to breeding prevents the disease through avoidance of producing puppies at-risk. This brief article describes a few of the diseases that can currently be tested for in border collies.  Click here to find a complete list of tests for border collies.

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) can vary from mild to severe; mild cases have normal vision, while severely affected dogs can have retinal detachments, malformation of the eye, and blindness. Unfortunately it is not possible to predict the severity of clinical signs based upon the severity of an affected parent. About 2% of border collies tested at Paw Print Genetics are affected with this disorder.

Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS) is a disease of the immune system that prevents affected dogs from producing an adequate amount of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell).  Affected dogs commonly present at ...

Genetic Testing of the Symptomatic Dog

Genetic Testing of the Symptomatic Dog

It does not come as a surprise to veterinarians that many of the diseases they see in clinical practice have a hereditary component. If a genetic disease is amenable to treatment, veterinarians are typically well equipped to improve quality of life based upon their patient’s clinical signs. However, since clinical signs alone don’t always point to a specific definitive diagnosis, veterinarians treating inherited disease are often left with unanswered questions about the root cause of the medical problem. Paw Print Genetics offers genetic testing for over 140 different genetic diseases to help veterinarians shorten their list of differential diagnoses and identify the specific genetic mutation responsible for causing the clinical signs they are seeing, thereby, allowing for more specific therapies and recommendations to be made for the benefit of their patients.

Breed Specific Genetic Testing

Many inherited conditions seen in dogs are breed specific or have only been described in particular breeds or breed groups. For instance, one specific mutation in the canine HSF4 gene responsible for early-onset hereditary cataracts has only been described in the Australian shepherd and closely related breeds. Searching a specific breed or symptom on the Paw Print Genetics website will simplify the process of choosing ...

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- PFK Deficiency in the English Springer Spaniel

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- PFK Deficiency in the English Springer Spaniel

Likely originating in Spain, the spaniel family of dogs have long been important companions to bird hunters around the world. As late as the 1880’s, springer and cocker spaniels were born in the same litters and were only differentiated by size after birth. Dogs under 28 pounds were considered “cockers” and were used for their ability to hunt the small wading bird known as the woodcock while the larger “springers” were used to flush game birds to be captured by trained birds of prey (which were later replaced by firearms). Separate breed status for cocker and springer spaniels was established in 1902 by the Kennel Club of England and the English springer spaniel (ESS) was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1910. Since that time, the ESS has been further differentiated into the leaner and less densely haired “field” variety and the heavier boned and thicker coated show or “bench” lines.

Like other breeds, along the historical path to the modern ESS, the breed has developed some inherited disease concerns that keep breeders on their toes. Luckily, some of these inherited diseases can be eliminated from blood lines though the use of genetic testing technologies and selective breeding ...

Degenerative Myelopathy- An Owner’s Perspective

Degenerative Myelopathy- An Owner’s Perspective

One of the happiest days of my life was bringing home a German shepherd puppy to join our family. Like many parents, my wife and I wanted our only son Brandon, who was 5 or 6 years old at the time, to grow up around dogs and help us teach him some responsibility. We visited a family with a litter of 7 week old puppies to let Brandon pick the one that was going to be his buddy while he grew up. Brandon decided on the quietest pup in the litter to become our new dog, Griffey. Our journey with Griffey (Griff for short) began with Brandon and his new companion in the back of our convertible in route to the home we were excited to share with our new family member. My wife and I were hopeful that Griff would give Brandon a best friend for 10 to 13 years. Unfortunately, that wasn’t exactly how things worked out.

Signs of Trouble

We spent many years loving Griff and giving him the best years of his life. Brandon and Griff were inseparable as they aged. They played together, they napped together, and they got into trouble together. At about 8 ...

Prevention is Smart Breeding- Cystine Bladder Stones in the Newfoundland Dog

Prevention is Smart Breeding- Cystine Bladder Stones in the Newfoundland Dog
'Scout' courtesy of Brad Geddes via Flickr, Creative Commons license

From its early history as a North American working dog used to retrieve fishing nets and perform human water rescues, the beautiful and intelligent Newfoundland dog has carved out a well-deserved place in the heart of dog lovers around the world. Their characteristic large size, marked by heavy bones, powerful musculature, webbed feet, and thick hair coat make the Newfoundland particularly adept at tasks involving swimming. However, they are just as capable and content pulling carts on land and performing other land-based tasks. In addition, their generally calm, loyal, and affable temperament have helped establish them as great family dogs.  

Over the years, Newfoundland breeders have selectively bred dogs that have displayed the most desirable characteristics in an effort to improve their breed. Unfortunately, alongside these desirable traits, sometimes the predisposition to produce offspring with certain inherited diseases are also silently passed from generation to generation in the form of genetic mutations. Such a genetic mutation found in the canine SLC3A1 gene (first described in 2000) is responsible for a potentially life-threatening condition in the Newfoundland known as cystinuria. Luckily for Newfoundlands and those that love them, cystinuria can be eliminated from most blood lines through the incorporation of ...