Author archives: Lisa Shaffer

National DNA Day 2021

National DNA Day 2021
DNA Day

I founded this company in 2012 with a single vision, to raise the bar regarding canine genetic testing. Since then, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) has tested more than 200,000 dogs and has provided the most comprehensive menu of tests for inherited diseases and traits across more than 350 breeds of dog. We have helped more than 34,000 customers gain access to genetic knowledge to help them improve their breeding program.

Today is National DNA Day – the day we celebrate the successes of the human genome project. The human genome was completed in 2003 and this opened the door to the sequencing of other animal genomes. With knowledge of the dog genome, which was published in 2005, researchers are now able to identify the DNA changes (called mutations or variants) that contribute to hundreds of traits and diseases in dogs.  Once these variants have been identified, we can use this knowledge to develop tests to identify these DNA changes in your dogs.

The unraveling of the dog genome has not only allowed discoveries of single gene mutations but has offered the opportunity to identify and better understand the complexities that exist for some traits and diseases. No ...

Paw Print Genetics Launches 46 New Tests for Dogs

Paw Print Genetics Launches 46 New Tests for Dogs

Paw Print Genetics has launched 44 new inherited disease tests and two new trait tests for various breeds.  With nearly 300 different tests for more than 350 breeds of dog, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) continues to be the leader in providing genetic tests for dogs.  Here are some of the new tests being offered.  You can find these new tests for your breed under the category “Additional Disease Tests” on your breed-specific page on our website.

New Trait Tests

PPG has launched Saddle Tan (As locus) and Intensity (I locus) as part of their large number of coat colors and traits offered for various breeds.  Both of these genetic loci modify a dog’s coat color based on their genotypes at other coat color genes. For Saddle Tan, the variation in the RALY gene will modify a dog’s coat presentation only if the dog also has tan points (kyky at the K locus and at/at or at/a at the A locus).  Sometimes called creeping tan, a dog with one or two copies of the As variant and tan points may show a ‘shrinking’ dark saddle across ...

A Tribute to Trixie the Wiener Dog

A Tribute to Trixie the Wiener Dog

Today we mourn the loss of one of the founding members of Paw Print Genetics, Trixie the Wiener Dog. Trixie died peacefully on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.  She was a beloved member of our family, our children’s first dog, and made important contributions to Paw Print Genetics (PPG).

Along with being the official ‘spokesdog’ for PPG and adorning our brochures, Trixie provided the samples that we used to do market research of the other companies in the canine genetic testing space prior to launching PPG.  After identifying the gaps in the industry that we thought we could fill by starting PPG, Trixie supplied the first samples used to test our DNA extraction and start the development of our first genetic disease tests.  Trixie’s actual paw print is used in our logo and has become a symbol of PPG, with one of our blog categories even named Trixie’s Paw Prints.

It was fitting that Trixie was a founding member of PPG because she didn’t know she was a dog. Preferring to be with humans rather than our other dogs, Trixie could be found sleeping in my home office while I worked or laying on the couch with us ...

Happy, Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

Happy, Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

If you are like me, 2021 is a welcomed sight. As you all experienced, 2020 was full of challenges related to COVID-19. At Paw Print Genetics, some of us have been working from home since March and really miss being able to get together with our colleagues. The laboratory needed to go to different shifts to allow for social distancing, which really put a strain on our turn-around times. We have experienced delays in getting laboratory reagents that allow us to do our testing, as they are being used by other laboratories for COVID testing, and the US Postal Service has been struggling even before the holidays to deliver our kits and your samples in a timely manner.

Even with these challenges, I have kept track of what I like to call the COVID silver linings. First, in Washington State, veterinary services were deemed essential business so although many restaurants and gyms were forced to close, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) remained open. This meant that we were able to serve our customers and keep our staff employed. Even with social distancing and shift work, we were able to meet our published turnaround times for more than 90% of cases! In ...

At Your Service-ALWAYS!

At Your Service-ALWAYS!

Have you ever wondered why we chose AskUs@pawprintgenetics.com to be our contact email address? In addition to offering the highest accuracy in the industry, at Paw Print Genetics, customer service is At Your Service! We want you to ask questions prior to ordering or after receiving your results because we know that genetic testing can sometimes be confusing.

We consider our customers to be part of our family and treat them as such. When a customer is in need of help when placing an order or trying to understand their results, our expert staff is here, ready to help. You can always count on us to respond to your emails or answer your phone calls, even on weekends and holidays! That is because we understand that your dog's results are important to you, and you are important to us. There is no such thing as too small of a question.

Our one-of-a-kind client services staff is here to help by answering your email or phone call, helping to understand our ordering process, or even placing your order.  Our team members, along with our expert geneticists and veterinarians, are pleased to help you. No excuses, no complaints, just ...

Paw Print Genetics Launches New Trait Tests

Paw Print Genetics Launches New Trait Tests

Paw Print Genetics is excited to announce that it has launched six new trait tests for coat color (Cocoa, ba allele of the B Locus, d2 allele of D Locus), coat length (Lh2, Lh4) and ‘weak’ furnishings (Fw allele).  These tests compliment the other coat color and trait tests that PPG already offers and shows our dedication to providing the largest menu of genetic tests for dogs. The following tests can be ordered as individual tests or are now incorporated into the previously offered test.  It is important to order only those tests that are applicable for your breed, so be sure to notice the breeds that can have this mutation, located in the parentheses in the name of the test.  If you are unsure about ordering, please contact us as we are always happy to help you understand the usefulness of the tests that we offer.

Coat Length and Cocoa Coat Color for French Bulldogs

Prior to the discovery of the Cocoa mutation, many French Bulldogs had an untestable form of brown. Thanks to an international group of researchers, the DNA change (variant) responsible for the Cocoa coat color was identified. The ...

National DNA Day

National DNA Day

Today, April 25th, is National DNA Day. This day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of the DNA double helix, our blueprint of life, in 1953.  The first sequence of the Canine Genome was published only a couple of years later in 2005.  Since then, more than 3,500 species have had some of their genomes sequenced, with about 100 species having their genomes sequenced at a ‘reference quality’ meaning that they can be used to see differences among individuals and used to find genes that are responsible for certain diseases or traits.  Having the dog genome sequence has allowed researchers to identify genetic variants that make some dog breeds unique and have provided the ability to find mutations or genetic changes that are responsible for common and rare diseases.

Currently, more than 300 genetic changes in dogs are known that lead to phenotypic differences (the way a dog looks) or lead to inherited diseases.  Knowing these DNA changes or mutations allows laboratories like Paw Print Genetics to develop tests for these so that dogs can be tested to see if they are at-risk for a disease or to ...

Paw Print Genetics Launches Six New, Highly Anticipated Disease Tests

Paw Print Genetics Launches Six New, Highly Anticipated Disease Tests

Paw Print Genetics is excited to announce that it has launched six new, very desired disease tests.  These tests compliment the breed-specific assays that PPG already offers and shows our dedication to providing the largest menu of genetic tests for dogs. The following tests can be ordered as individual tests or may be found as part of one of our breed-specific panels. The breed-specific panels represent the most common and/or severe conditions in your breed and these tests should be considered for any breeding dog.

 

Acral Mutilation Syndrome

Acral Mutilation Syndrome, or AMS, is a neurologic disease affecting Cocker Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, English Spring Spaniels, French Spaniels, German Shorthaired Pointers, Old English Sheepdogs and the Pointer. This inherited disease can present around 4 months of age with insensitivity to pain in the lower limbs, repetitive licking and biting of the paws, which eventually can result in self-mutilation. Because affected dogs are unable to feel pain in their feet, they will continue to walk without obvious discomfort. This is an autosomal recessive condition that requires two copies of the mutation to be affected. Screening for carriers will allow breeders to avoid producing puppies with this condition.

Craniomandibular ...

Knowledge is Power in Dog Breeding

Knowledge is Power in Dog Breeding

I was recently contacted by a friend who is looking to buy a new puppy and wanted to make sure that the parents had been tested, and if not, that the prospective puppy had been tested for all of the genetic disease that are found in that breed.  When she asked the breeder if testing had been done, the answer was “no”. When she asked if she could have a sample sent to Paw Print Genetics prior to buying the puppy, the breeder promptly returned her deposit and said that the puppy was no longer available. Although feeling devastated, my friend knew that she was asking the right questions. After all, she is looking for a new family member!

Was the breeder hiding something or just simply afraid of what she might find if she were to do genetic testing?  We won’t know the answer, but I think a lot of what keeps some breeders from testing is fear of the unknown.  What if they find something in their lines?  Will they be stuck with dogs that they can’t sell?  Will others think that they have “bad” dogs?  Actually, doing genetic testing will increase ...

Fireworks and Fido: How to Make It Through the July 4th Holiday

Fireworks and Fido: How to Make It Through the July 4th Holiday

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, you need to be mindful of how your dog reacts to fireworks and loud noises and take this into consideration when planning Independence Day activities.

For some dogs, fireworks are a non-issue. Hunting dogs and others that are used to loud noises, the thunderous booms that accompany the flash and sparkle of pyrotechnics, can be just another night.

However, for others, the stress experienced by dogs during fireworks often triggers the fight-or-flight response. The loud noises usually make the dog want to leave the situation – animal-control services see a 30-percent increase in lost pets during the time aournd the 4th of July holiday. Although you need to take the appropriate steps to keep your pet safe and secure, so that you don't risk losing your pet as many may run away, the stress also increases the possibility of behavior issues, such a biting, even in a dog that has never shown aggression. 

To keep your dog protected, make sure you provide a safe place for it during the holiday season – their crate is an excellent spot that is very secure both physically and psychologically. Always leash your dog before going ...