Tag archives: dog

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 ...

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 ...

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

I like to use this time of year to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the past year. Paw Print Genetics (PPG) was founded only a few short years ago, launching our first set of canine disease tests in 2013.  Our commitment to excellence in both testing accuracy and customer service quickly propelled us to the top of the canine testing industry. In no other testing laboratory can you find the highly skilled staff of veterinarians and PhD geneticists eager to help answer your questions and guide you to the useful and informative testing that you need for your breeding program. Aiming to be the best, our web-based ordering system is unparalleled in the industry.  This didn’t happen by chance, as we continuously talked to our customers about how we could improve our systems and deliver a product that was user friendly and met their high standards, comparable to their own breeding principles.

This year was not without its challenges, but overcoming obstacles makes us stronger.  We ended litigation over PRA-prcd and CEA, allowing us to be listed as an approved laboratory with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Fighting for our customers’ rights to have a ...

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 ...

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 ...

Does the same mutation always cause disease?

Does the same mutation always cause disease?

Paw Print Genetics is often asked if the same mutation always causes genetic disease, especially when the mutation is identified in a breed different from that originally investigated.  The answer is not simple.  For many of these types of genetic questions, I go back to my ‘human’ roots as a human geneticist.  Because more than 4,500 diseases and their genetic causes are known, human genetics can shed considerable light on problems just beginning to be investigated in dogs.

Currently, there are about 185 known mutations in dogs, with about 150 that cause disease and another 30 or so that cause traits such as coat color or coat length.  In dogs, these disease-causing mutations have been narrowly defined to certain breeds or certain clinical features (phenotypes), but is this always the case?

In human genetics, anything imaginable has been described. Certainly, there are diseases that are caused by single mutations; in this case, one mutation causes one disease.  But there are many examples of multiple mutations in one gene causing one disease and examples of multiple mutations in multiple genes causing one phenotype (one disease).  Likewise, there are many examples of the same exact mutation ...

Training: Anticipating Problems and Positive/Negative Reinforcement

Training: Anticipating Problems and Positive/Negative Reinforcement

Great trainers don't just run drills or take their dogs into a field and let them chase birds. Great trainers start each session with a goal and specific task to accomplish. They set up drills and scenarios that help teach the dog bits and pieces of a larger concept. By micro-focusing on areas that might prove problematic to the dog, they can anticipate trouble and administer well-timed corrections, praise or avoid the issue altogether.

If you're not anticipating how your dog is going to behave to a situation, you're not really training; you're just reacting. If your dog makes a mistake because you didn't anticipate the problem, you're effectively teaching him to do it wrong. To train after reaching that point requires that you correct the dog to teach him that's not what you wanted.

Sometimes negative reinforcement is the way to go and what is required, but to wholly rely on it is not only lazy, it's unfair to your dog.

With a balance of positive and negative reinforcement properly administered, you can teach your dog how to react to very complex scenarios. And, as George Hickox and Dan Irhke both pointed out at a ...

The Mystery of Canine Bloat

The Mystery of Canine Bloat

Seeing a dog with a distended stomach, unproductive attempts at vomiting, weakness, and rapid, strained breathing is sure to strike fear into the heart of any dog breeder or owner. These classic signs of gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) or “bloat” as it is colloquially known, are the worst enemy of anyone who has experienced this traumatic, life-threatening condition that often affects otherwise healthy dogs. The significance of the heartbreak caused by this disease has been made obvious to me by the numerous clients that have inquired about genetic testing for this condition at Paw Print Genetics. Though many suspects have been implicated in the cause of GDV in our dogs, unfortunately no single risk factor, including a genetic mutation, can adequately explain the lion’s share of cases at this point. With an estimated 21-24% chance of large and giant breed dogs developing GDV within their lifetime (Broome and Walsh 2003), it is no surprise that people would love to find an easy, low-cost and predictable way to prevent this disease.

GDV is a condition marked by rotation of the stomach on the upper end near the esophagus. This rotation closes off the opening between the stomach and esophagus, thus ...

Have You Connected With Us On Facebook?

Have You Connected With Us On Facebook?

Social media has been a very successful avenue for Paw Print Genetics to reach our customers. We have connected with fans all over the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and even Australia! Dog lovers all over the world understand the importance of optimal canine genetic health and are choosing Paw Print Genetics for their testing needs.

One of the most valuable reasons to connect with us via Facebook is for our special discounts and promotions. Each month has a theme for our Breed of the Week posts which discuss the breeds history, health, temperament, and includes a special discount on testing. We also post any show discounts or current promotions for you to use at checkout. Our Facebook fans and newsletter recipients are the first to know when new disease tests are released. 

On our website we have a wide selection of blogs and our Facebook fans are the first to read them.  Several authors write informative articles that explain genetic diseases, canine safety tips, breed of the week profiles, and developments within our lab and in the canine health world.

Facebook is a great way to connect with friends and others who share the same passion ...