Expert Explains: Does A DNA Test Make Sense For Your Mixed Breed?

Many dog ​​owners are wondering what breeds are included in my wild mix? With the help of a DNA test, you can find out the origin of the cross. But tests have weaknesses – and they come with risks.

Is my mongrel a mix of Pit Bulls, or is it related to a Labrador retriever, or even both? Since this question seems to be of concern to many dog ​​owners, so-called mixed-breed DNA tests have been flourishing for several years now.

In private laboratories, owners can use a saliva sample to scan their dog’s genes and thus possibly find out which shares of the breed belong to their four-legged friend. But the test is inconsistent.

Dog behavior expert and trainer Katja Krauss from Berlin notes: “Firstly, the databases of gene laboratories, that is, the breeds with which we are comparing, are different and different in size. So there is no standardized test. And none of them has all the breeds. ” This means that an incorrect result may be displayed for rare dog breeds.

Expert: DNA Test Gives Practically No Information About Mixed-Race

In her experience, dog owners often draw the wrong conclusions from tests. “I have dealt with a tried and tested mixed breed of Greyhound and Dachshund. The owners were convinced that their dog had typical greyhound food needs and therefore fed it. In this case, it was nonsense, ”said Krauss.

“A mixed breed of Greyhound and Dachshund can behave one-on-one like a greyhound or a classic dachshund,” she explains. “The cross does not mean that the character is an exact mixture of both races.” Accordingly, this analysis will not advance you further at first.

In their opinion, this is especially difficult when laboratories are also examining the saliva being sent for diseases that are typical for the given breed. This is very frightening for the owners and can even lead to unnecessary treatment – after all, no one knows if the animals really get sick.

Even Puppies Exhibit Behaviors

But what about the behavioral aspect? Proponents of testing argue that owners can use it to better respond to a dog’s characteristics. Why is my dog ​​so restless and always hovering around the family? Why doesn’t my half-breed let anyone into the property? Krauss is confident: “Experienced dog trainers can tell this to owners better than a DNA test, by the appearance and observation of the behavior of the animals.”

With puppies it is more difficult, they are all equally fluffy, small, and clumsy. Therefore, animal welfare organizations that send animals from abroad in some cases rely on DNA tests so that there are no unpleasant surprises later. But here, too, a specialist can better judge the behavior of an animal, at least by video.

So shouldn’t such a DNA test be done? “No,” says Krauss. “You can do it for fun. But don’t take the result too seriously. “

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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