Tag archives: genetic

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 ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- PFK Deficiency in the English Springer Spaniel

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- PFK Deficiency in the English Springer Spaniel

Likely originating in Spain, the spaniel family of dogs have long been important companions to bird hunters around the world. As late as the 1880’s, springer and cocker spaniels were born in the same litters and were only differentiated by size after birth. Dogs under 28 pounds were considered “cockers” and were used for their ability to hunt the small wading bird known as the woodcock while the larger “springers” were used to flush game birds to be captured by trained birds of prey (which were later replaced by firearms). Separate breed status for cocker and springer spaniels was established in 1902 by the Kennel Club of England and the English springer spaniel (ESS) was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1910. Since that time, the ESS has been further differentiated into the leaner and less densely haired “field” variety and the heavier boned and thicker coated show or “bench” lines.

Like other breeds, along the historical path to the modern ESS, the breed has developed some inherited disease concerns that keep breeders on their toes. Luckily, some of these inherited diseases can be eliminated from blood lines though the use of genetic testing technologies and selective breeding ...

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 ...