Category archives: Trixie's Paw Prints

Why is a Dam’s Sample Needed for Parentage Testing?

Why is a Dam’s Sample Needed for Parentage Testing?
Example for marker “A”: Pup is 1,3, Mother is 1,1 and Father is 2,3. The pup inherited allele 1 from the mother and allele 3 from the father.

At Paw Print Genetics, we are often asked this question: “Why do I need to send in a sample on the dam if I just want to know the father of my pups?”. The simple answer is because we need to compare the DNA of the pup to both parents in order to confidently confirm or exclude a potential sire.  Here is an example that helps explain why we need both parents for parentage testing. Keep in mind that a pup receives half of its DNA from its mom and half of its DNA from its dad, so for every marker that we examine, the pup has one allele (gene copy) from mom and one allele (gene copy) from dad.

For parentage (paternity) testing, we use a set of 99 informative markers to confirm or exclude a potential sire. For each marker, we get two results because the pup has two sets of DNA, one from the mom and one from the dad. The two alleles are each assigned a number based on their DNA sequence.  For example, for marker “A”, the pup might be 1,3; one allele has sequence 1 and the other allele has ...

Paw Print Genetics and the Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute conclude Pilot Project on Blue-eyed Tricolored Dogs

Paw Print Genetics and the Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute conclude Pilot Project on Blue-eyed Tricolored Dogs
Photos courtesy of LeeAnna Moore, Cross L Australian Shepherds

Paw Print Genetics was approached by the Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute (ASHGI) to conduct a pilot project on blue-eyed, tricolored (BET) Australian shepherds (Aussies) to understand whether these dogs have the SINE insertion in the PMEL gene that can cause a variety of coat color and pattern variations known as merle.  Identifying whether these dogs do or do not have the merle mutation can help inform how to conduct a larger research study.  The merle mutation seemed a logical place to start, as dogs with classic merle coat color patterns can have blue eyes [Clark et al., 2006].

With the help of ASHGI and several breeder volunteers, we collected 38 BET dogs that have blue eyes but no coat variations associated with carrying a copy of the merle mutation. These dogs were not randomly selected from the whole Aussie population, but rather, were sent to us from the breeder volunteers. Thus, many of the dogs collected may have been related.

Paw Print Genetics recently launched a high-resolution test for merle that allows for identifying variation within the SINE insertion and allows for discrimination of the various possible merle alleles. Using this DNA sequence-based, high-resolution test, we ...

Help! I Bred Two Cream Dogs and Got an All Black Litter!

Help!  I Bred Two Cream Dogs and Got an All Black Litter!

The genetics of coat color inheritance for an individual dog can be confusing, and for some breeds, determining the potential colors of your pups can be even more difficult. For those breeders that are concerned or simply curious about potential coat colors of their future litters, genetic testing of prospective parents can save a lot of time, money and heartache when it comes to predicting colors. 

This color chart attempts to show how the various, known genes interact to produce certain colors. Some genes are dominant over other genes, while some alleles (specific copies of a gene) are dominant over other combinations of alleles at the same gene (or locus) or dominant over other genes in this pathway. By understanding how these genes interact, you will be able to better predict the outcomes in your breeding program.

So how can two light colored parents produce an all black litter? In some breeds, such as the Labrador retriever, it is not possible for two yellow parents to produce black or chocolate pups because the gene that controls whether a dog is yellow or black is the E locus. Yellow Labs are ee and black Labs are either Ee or EE ...

Why Do My Dog’s B Locus Results Say ‘maybe black or brown’?

Why Do My Dog’s B Locus Results Say ‘maybe black or brown’?

Coat color genetics can be very confusing. There are many different genes that can contribute to the overall coat color in a dog and for each gene, there can be different mutations that can contribute to color variations.  The B locus (or gene) is responsible for many of the brown coat colors seen in dogs (also referred to as chocolate or red, depending on the breed).  When performing genetic testing of the B locus, the test result is determined by examining three specific locations within the B gene of a dog, known as the bc, bd, and bs. The overall B locus genotype for a dog is determined by the combination of genotypes (variations) present at the bc, bd, and bs loci (locations within the B gene). 

For most genes in the dog, there are two copies of that gene, one inherited from the mom and one inherited from the dad.  The B locus is no exception in that although both parents have two copies of the B locus, the mom contributes only one copy of the B locus to each of her pups, randomly selected from her two B alleles that she carries ...

Happy Holidays from Paw Print Genetics

Happy Holidays from Paw Print Genetics

I enjoy writing this annual holiday message to thank our customers for their trust and loyal patronage throughout the year.  It also gives me a chance to reflect on the year and once again point out that Paw Print Genetics exists because of you, our customers.  Before we started Paw Print Genetics (PPG), we performed extensive market research and identified many gaps not filled by the available laboratories. Some of the ways in which we have filled these gaps include our online case management system within our website that allows you to have all of your genetic testing records in one place, the largest menu of disease, coat color and trait tests in the industry, and our uncompromised quality, accuracy and service in all that we do.

Filling these gaps has led Paw Print Genetics to become the most trusted laboratory and the leader in canine genetic testing in just a few short years.  This continues to demonstrate to me that people are willing to try something new because they want the best for their breeding program.  Once they have tried PPG, many customers have expressed to me that they have found their “home”; a place where they ...

Paw Print Genetics Launches Twelve New, Highly Desired Disease Tests

Paw Print Genetics Launches Twelve New, Highly Desired Disease Tests
Thank you to the many PPG customers who offered photos for this important announcement. The photos in the first two rows were selected from a large number of customers who provided photos for this article.

Paw Print Genetics is excited to announce that it has launched 12 new, very sought-after disease tests.  These tests compliment the breed-specific assays that PPG already offers, and cements our dedication to providing the largest menu of genetic tests for dogs. The following tests can be ordered as individual tests or may be part of one of our breed-specific panels that should be considered for any breeding dog.

Degenerative Myelopathy in the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog (BMD) has been identified as breed that can inherited degenerative myelopathy (DM). In this particular breed, two different mutations in the SOD1 gene have been identified. Degenerative myelopathy SOD1B is caused by a mutation of the SOD1 gene currently identified only in the Bernese mountain dog that is a different mutation from the common SOD1 mutation causing DM in a large number of breeds.  Bernese mountain dogs are known to develop a more slowly progressive form of degenerative myelopathy associated with the SOD1B mutation.  Both types of DM affect the white matter tissue of the spinal cord and is considered the canine equivalent to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) found in humans. Affected dogs usually present around 8-9 ...

Canine Safety - Are you prepared for a disaster?

Canine Safety - Are you prepared for a disaster?

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, it is hard not to think about how we can help those affected by the floods. Another common thought is how we would personally prepare to keep our families and pets safe. In the past Paw Print Genetics has attended the Washington State Search and Rescue Conference in Ellensburg, Wash. The conference provides educational classes for civilian search and rescue personnel, including canine teams. Most counties have a search and rescue team ready to accept new trained members. Classes and teams can be found online by performing a google search for “Search and Rescue (SAR) near me”.

While several canine-related classes were offered at the conference we attended in 2013, including tracking, testing and meteorology, a valuable class I would like to share was the first-aid class offered by Dr. Michael Fuller, a 30-plus-year veterinarian at the local Ellensburg Animal Hospital. He covered a lot of material in the hour-and-a-half session, everything from must-have items in a first aid kit to broken bones. And while the class was devoted to SAR teams that are often far removed from help, the suggestions on what to pack make an excellent quick, easy-to-carry kit for travelers ...

Cheek Swabs Serve a Very Important Purpose

Cheek Swabs Serve a Very Important Purpose

Canine genetic testing is somewhat of a mystery for non-scientists who are just starting to learn more about the ins and outs of the genetic world. I was recently given the opportunity to tour Paw Print Genetics’ state of the art laboratory and was amazed at what is possible to achieve with the sample after the simple act of swabbing a dog’s cheek.

During the tour, it dawned on me that one of the most important parts of the process of genetic testing is the moment when the cheek cells are being collected. Although the process itself is not complicated, it is still important to make sure to collect as many cells as possible and avoid collecting foreign matter that might interfere with the testing or confound the results. The cells that are being collected are dead skin cells, comparable to how we shed skin from our arms. It is a painless process for the dog but  might make them a little uncomfortable so having a friend help  collect the cells would be a good idea.

Optimal collection of cells  is achieved when the inner cheek surface is brushed for a slow count of 30 using the cyto-brushes provided by ...

Don’t be a Victim of Fraud – Advice from the CEO of Paw Print Genetics

Don’t be a Victim of Fraud – Advice from the CEO of Paw Print Genetics

It amazes me that some people would rather risk getting caught than do the right thing. In just the first six months of 2017, we have had three instances of fraud in which a breeder has supplied the puppy buyer with fraudulent documents bearing the Paw Print Genetics (PPG) logo.  In each case, the fraudulent documents were concocted in different ways but when presented to us, we could immediately see that they were not authentic.

Our team has spent considerable time in trying to address the issue of fraud and how to protect PPG. But more important to us is, how do our customers or future customers protect themselves? What should you ask for when buying a pup or considering breeding with another’s dog? How can you tell if the documents given to you are legitimate?

I am not going to show you how these documents were altered, as we do not want to give unethical people ideas about how to create such documents. Rather, it is important that you follow these simple rules when seeking information on a dog or pup that you may purchase or breed.

  1. Only accept complete, original documents. Do not accept written statements, summaries ...

Paw Print Genetics has Moved!

Paw Print Genetics has Moved!
Little Frankie is helping Paw Print Genetics move to their new location.

Paw Print Genetics has moved to our new laboratory!  Our new address is 220 E Rowan, suite 220, Spokane, WA 99207.  Our phone numbers remain the same at 509-483-5950 or toll free (US & Canada only) 1-855-202-4889. We have moved to more than twice our original space!

For overnight and 2 day shipments via (FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc.), please ship to:

Paw Print Genetics

220 E. Rowan, Suite 220

Spokane, WA 99207 USA

For shipments via USPS, with general delivery

Paw Print Genetics

PO Box 28250

Spokane, WA 99228-8250 USA

For international shipping, be sure to place the US Customs form on the outside of your package to expedite your samples through Customs. 

If you currently have samples to send to us with one of our prepaid return mailers, you can still use that mailer, as all mail will be forwarded to our new address. Please let us know if you have any questions about shipping your samples to us.

Thank you to ALL of our customers who keep us growing and innovating!