The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Genetic screening in Beagles helps to select dogs for training

Genetic screening in Beagles helps to select dogs for training

All dogs are special, but Beagles play an important role as working dogs, especially in the areas of airport security and customs/immigration. In these roles, Beagles are trained to use their keen noses to identify agricultural items and substances, such as drugs, that are forbidden to be brought into the U.S. Estimates are difficult to come by, but there may be as many as 1,250 dogs being used for customs and border patrol at U.S. airports and borders. More difficult to obtain are the estimates for the costs associated with training a Beagle for these important functions. Some estimate the costs to be $16,000 to $20,000 per dog. Therefore, it is imperative that these dogs are physically fit to perform their duties once trained. In the breeding of Beagles, their top-notch sniffing abilities, desire to learn, and loyalty to humans were desired traits that were retained during their evolution. However, along with these desired traits, Beagles have a particularly high burden of genetic diseases. Many of these diseases to not manifest until the dog is mature and will impair the animal and prevent it from performing its work. Diseases such as degenerative myelopathy, Musladin-Lueke ...

Inherited disease in Poodles may cause neurological problems

Inherited disease in Poodles may cause neurological problems

Neonatal encephalopathy with seizures (NEWS) is an inherited neurologic condition known to affect all types of Poodles. Affected dogs appear small at birth and begin to develop abnormal neurologic symptoms around 3 weeks of life. Symptoms include muscle weakness, tremors, and abnormal body movement and affected dogs tend not to interact with their littermates. The disease quickly progresses with the onset of seizures and affected dogs typically die or are euthanized by 7 or 8 weeks of age. Genetic testing of the ATF2 gene that causes NEWS is available. Possible testing outcomes of this recessive disease include normal (clear), carrier and affected. Carrier dogs have one copy of the gene and although they do not have any features of the disease, when bred with another dog that also is a carrier of the same condition, there is 25% risk of having affected puppies that have two copies of the mutated gene. Genetic testing should be implemented PRIOR to breeding. Paw Print Genetics can provide you with Genetic Counseling to help eliminate this disease from your breeding lines. If testing has not been performed, genetic testing should be used PRIOR to buying that new puppy to avoid this devastating disease.

Genetic Mutations in the AKC’s Most Popular List

Genetic Mutations in the AKC’s Most Popular List

The American Kennel Club has released their list of most popular dogs in the United States. And, once again, the Labrador retriever is the most popular dog, based upon AKC registration statistics, in the country. The 22-year streak atop the registration list ties the poodle for most consecutive number-one rankings.

The German shepherd dog, golden retriever, beagle and bulldog round out the top-five most popular dogs.

This year’s trend leans toward bigger dogs moving up the list after a several-year run of smaller dogs having seen a rise in popularity on the 175-dog list.

Not only is an overall list available, the AKC breaks out the most popular dogs in major cities.

While it’s fun to see where our dogs rank on the list, and to look at various cities and see which dogs are preferred by residents, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the more popular a dog, the more people there will be that offer them for sale. It’s supply-and-demand thing, and if there’s money to be made, someone will fill that demand. Second, with many people offering dogs and puppies for sale, unscrupulous and reckless breeding can lead to ...

Tips on Collecting a Swab Sample

Tips on Collecting a Swab Sample

Tips on Collecting a Swab Sample Cheek swabs are the easiest, least invasive means of collecting cells containing genetic material from your dog (see this post). It’s a simple process that we cover in the instructions sent with your kit, but here’s a little more information. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at askus@pawprintgenetics.com or 855-202-4889. After reviewing the form that came with your kit, you’re ready to start the collection process. It’s best not to take samples from a puppy that hasn’t been weaned because some of the mother’s DNA can be present due to nursing, which can contaminate the sample. Also, it’s best to wait for at least an hour after the dog eats before attempting to swab; excess saliva and food particles can compromise testing and reduce the quality of a sample. Each swab in the kit comes in a hard-plastic tube. This is to protect the sample during shipping and to minimize contamination. Do not discard the tubes after removing the swab. As you use each swab, put the tube aside in a clean place where it’s unlikely to come into contact with pollutants, especially another dog’s ...

Why use a cheek swab?

Why use a cheek swab?

The code to genetic health is found in DNA, which can be extracted from several sources – including skin and blood cells. At Paw Print GeneticsTM, we choose to use cells gathered from inside the cheek to check for genetic mutations in your dog’s genes. We do this for several reasons: It’s non-invasive: Unlike extracting cells from other sources, a cheek swab does not cause your dog discomfort, stress or put them at risk for infection. Rubbing the small sample-collection brush along the inside of a dog’s cheek to collect the cells is the least invasive and easiest method of collection for both you and your dog. No vet visit required: Cheek swabs allow you to collect a sample without leaving home, further reducing stress on your dog and making the process as simple as possible. By eliminating a visit to the veterinarian, the sample can be collected as your schedule allows, while also reducing your out-of-pocket costs. Plenty of DNA: Cheek cells also provide plenty of DNA for our geneticists to work with; DNA, the genetic material, is found in every cell collected from a cheek specimen, but not blood, as only white blood cells contain DNA. It’s ...