DNA tests help determine dog breeds - FOX Carolina 21

DNA tests help determine dog breeds

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Diana Watson gives her puppy Mia a doggie DNA test. (File/FOX Carolina) Diana Watson gives her puppy Mia a doggie DNA test. (File/FOX Carolina)

Many people rescue pets from local shelters but often never find out what type of dog breed they adopted.

FOX Carolina's Diana Watson and her family recently adopted Mia from the Greenville Humane Society and wondered what dog breed she was, so she decided to do a doggie DNA test.

"Every day people ask my husband and kids what kind of dog she is," said Watson. "And we have no idea!"

Other dog owners have suggested everything from Husky to Chow, St. Bernard to Border collie.

Border collie is the most common breed people think Mia is, which is what the Humane Society described her as.

Watson ordered a Canine Heritage dog DNA test that required a few swipes of swab of Mia's mouth and a month later the results were delivered.

The results showed Mia was a mix of Kerry blue terrier, Great Dane, Chesapeake Bay retriever, Miniature schnauzer and Chinese sharpei.

"Mia is a true mix," said veterinarian Dr. Judson Powers at Rocky Creek Veterinary Hospital in Greer. "So you didn't get a whole lot of information, but it's fun and maybe down the road we'll say oh you do have some terrier in you when she tears up your rug or something like that."

Powers said that he is somewhat skeptical of the results but anytime someone does a DNA test, they're looking for information that can simply help satisfy people's curiosity.

That insight might also help prepare pet owners for temperament, training and possible health issues, Powers said.

"Most people when they do it, they may be a little surprised when they get their results, but they're usually pretty happy," said Powers. "They just learn a little more when they have a mixed breed dog they've adopted that has become part of the family."

The DNA test results take about a month to come back and the mouth swab test costs about $75. There is also a veterinarian-administered blood test that can identify more breeds but costs more than $200.

Watson was pretty surprised by Mia's results from the Canine Heritage test and later found out that the company had closed down shortly after receiving her results.

It was taken over by a company that does another test called the Wisdom Panel. They went to court saying their patent had been stolen for dog DNA testing.

So Watson contacted Wisdom Panel to get Mia tested again and is waiting for new results to come in the mail.

Stay with FOX Carolina and foxcarolina.com to find out if the results were the same or totally different.

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