Tag archives: canine genetic testing

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 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 ...

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 ...

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That famous quote by William Shakespeare conjures up images that any name will do. But will it?  How do you choose names for your dogs?

In our household, we all participate in thinking up names for our new dogs. However, when it comes to decision time, my husband or myself usually make the final determination.  Otherwise, we would have more than just a pygmy goat named Princess Ariel Diamond!

At Paw Print Genetics, our online account management system allows you to put all of your dogs into your account, keeping your information and genetic testing results all in one place.  We see some fantastic and imaginative names come through our laboratory.  We thought it would be fun to see what names are most commonly used.

The top ten call names that we have seen in the laboratory across all breeds are:

10th     Duke

9th       Maggie

8th       Lily

7th       Lucy

6th       Max

5th       Gracie

4th           Penny

3rd           Sadie

2nd           Bella

1st       Annie

Some ...

Why Should I Test with a Breed-specific Panel?

Why Should I Test with a Breed-specific Panel?

At Paw Print Genetics, we offer nearly 200 different breed-specific panels. We are often asked "why choose a breed-specific panel?".  Choosing a breed-specific panel will help you avoid introducing a new genetic disease into your breeding program while saving you time, money and anguish in the future.  Here's why:

1. Test your dam and sire with the breed-specific panel before you breed. 

Performing a complete, breed-specific panel on your dam and sire will help you make an informed decision to breed or not to breed.

Testing first the dam and sire with an entire panel also saves money in the long run by reducing the need to test their future puppies. This is because puppies will be clear for a disease if both tested parents are also clear for that disease. Therefore, the puppies sold as future breeding stock will only need to be tested for any disease-causing mutations found in the parents. If both parents are clear of all disease-causing mutations, no testing of the puppies is necessary.

2. Test your new puppy with the entire breed-specific panel before you buy.

Introducing a new dog into your breeding program is always a little risky. Although you can’t exclude ...

Avoiding An Improper Canine Hair Coat Through Genetic Testing

Avoiding An Improper Canine Hair Coat Through Genetic Testing

Selective breeding for particular behavioral and physical characteristics has made the domestic dog one of the most fascinating case studies in species domestication. The massive amount of diversity that humans have bred into their canine companions is unmatched by other species, domestic or otherwise. It is fun to imagine how unusual it would seem if humans were routinely as physically diverse as Chihuahuas and mastiffs!

One trait that has been selected for in some dog breeds is a trait known as “furnishings”. For the uninformed, furnishings are a trait marked by a wiry hair texture as well as increased hair growth on the face and legs. This trait is important to some breeders as it is associated with the presence of a canine moustache and long eyebrows which are listed as breed standards for some breeds. Dogs of these breeds that are born without furnishings are often said to have been born with an “improper coat” (a term frequently used by breeders). In 2010, a mutation in the RSPO2 gene was discovered to be responsible for the presence of furnishings in the Portuguese water dog. Since then, tests for this trait have been developed allowing for discovery of the same ...

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: An Inherited Disease of the English Springer Spaniel

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: An Inherited Disease of the English Springer Spaniel

The intelligent, prey-driven English springer spaniel (ESS) has forged its path as a popular, hardworking companion for bird hunters while maintaining a loyal and affectionate personality suitable to family life. Until the early 1900’s, springer spaniels were produced in the same litters as cocker spaniels; springers were chosen from the largest puppies of the litter and were trained for flushing or “springing” game while the smaller littermates were labeled cocker spaniels and were trained for hunting the elusive woodcock. Since then, springer spaniels have been further split into the generally leaner, shorter haired field (hunting) variety and the denser boned, densely haired show (“bench”) line. Unfortunately, like other purebred dogs, English springer spaniels are known to inherit genetic diseases that can keep some individuals from reaching the great potentials for which the breed is capable. One such inherited condition is an eye disease known as progressive retinal atrophy, cone-rod dystrophy 4 (PRA-crd4) caused by a mutation in the RPGRIP1 gene.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is not a single disease, but rather a group of inherited diseases each caused by different genetic mutations in different genes. The various forms of PRA affect over 100 different dog breeds. Though there are variations ...

Stupid Human Tricks. How Well Does Your Dog Have You Trained?

Stupid Human Tricks. How Well Does Your Dog Have You Trained?

We train our dogs to do certain things, like sit, stay, lay down, retrieve or even run through an agility course. Training a dog takes patience and persistence. It means providing consistent clues that your dog will eventually come to understand if done in the same manner. But I’ve recently come to wonder, have I trained my dog, or has she trained me?

Every time we sit down to eat dinner, our dog Daisy runs to the front door, whips around and stares at us. Invariably, one of us says, “Daisy needs to go out” and my daughter groans, gets up and lets her out.   Most of the time, Daisy does her business, but sometimes, she runs out to the middle of the yard, expecting my daughter to follow her and hopefully play.  This has led us to believe that Daisy’s behavior of running to the door and then staring us down, has trained us to respond in a particular way, and has us wondering if she brags to the other dogs that she has trained her human to stand up and open the door on command.

Likewise, Trixie the Wiener Dog has my husband trained to take ...

Understanding complex inherited diseases in your dog

Understanding complex inherited diseases in your dog

When we look at the vast majority of genetic tests currently available for canine inherited diseases, we find a large number of diseases that can be predictably diagnosed with our current technology. For most of the available canine genetic tests, dog breeders understand that there are three commonly used designations applied to a dog for any given inherited disease; normal, carrier or affected. By knowing the way a disease is inherited (recessive vs dominant vs X-linked) and the number of copies of a mutation present in an individual, genetic testing laboratories like Paw Print Genetics can give predictable information about these diseases because they have a clear, 100% correlation between the cause and the illness. 

Unfortunately for dog breeders, inheritance is not always as clear cut as a simple recessive or dominant pattern. In fact, the diseases with a clear-cut inheritance pattern likely only make up a small percentage of the diseases with inherited components. Some of the most frustrating diseases for dog breeders and geneticists are those which pose an increased risk by the combined effects of multiple genetic mutations and/or environmental conditions. In these multifactorial diseases, rather than a 100% correlation between a singular genetic mutation ...

The Importance of Testing for Adult-Onset Conditions in Your Dog

The Importance of Testing for Adult-Onset Conditions in Your Dog

An earlier article discussed congenital vs. adult onset conditions.  There seems to be some confusion as to the importance of the timing of disease symptoms.  I wanted to expand on the topic that we refer to as “age of onset”, or the age in which a condition starts to show symptoms.  Breeders may initially only be concerned with conditions that are congenital – present at birth.  While I agree that genetic screening for congenital disorders is important, screening for adult-onset conditions is also important, and should not be ignored.

Testing for congenital genetic conditions is probably a “no-brainer” for most breeders.  Genetic testing gives someone the knowledge to selectively breed dogs in order to reduce (or even eliminate) genetic diseases in the newborn pup.  As you may already know, breeding takes time and considerable resources.  Most breeders are also emotionally invested in the dogs they breed.  For many, it’s not just a hobby; it may be a full-time job or even a way of life.  Congenital diseases may cause a lot of discomfort to the affected pup, and can cause anxiety for everyone involved.  The cost of medical care may ...