Owning a dog is a very rewarding experience for many people. Most like to know something about the particular variety of dog they own in order to ensure they provide the proper care. However, the vast majority of dogs in the world today are mixed breeds. This creates a range of reasons to consider a dog DNA test.
1. Avoid possible damage and harm before it happens
One’s pet may be exhibiting certain behaviors that are difficult to understand, such as incessant digging, aggressive tendencies toward people or other animals, and more. If one knew what breeds were in their pet’s ancestry, the reasons for these behaviors may become clearer. This may be helpful so that a potentially aggressive dog may not be bought by a family with small children or other animals. Avoid a dog attack before it happens by knowing the breed. Minimize the risk.
2. Choose the right dog for the right environment
Some dog breeds are ideal for those living in apartments or other small spaces. Other breeds require wide open spaces in which they can run free. Knowing which type of animal one has can influence his/her choices in where to live. If one can not accommodate the needs of a particular animal, knowing what these needs are can help in finding a new owner who can provide the needed space. A dog DNA test can show which category a particular animal is most likely to fall into.
3. Prepare for problems ahead of time
Just as with humans, there are some diseases that are hereditary in dogs. In most cases, these hereditary conditions are breed specific. However, it is possible that a mixed breed dog may inherit the genetic predisposition for developing these conditions. Knowing the ancestry of the animal can help owners or veterinarians recognize the symptoms, making it easier to obtain the proper treatment for the animal.
4. Know exactly what you are getting
Owners of pure bred dogs usually know the pedigree of their animals back for several generations. However, there are occasions when an unexpected or unplanned mating can result in puppies with questionable parentage. DNA testing can clear up any questions about the parentage of puppies that may arise so that owners can get the full value of the animals from their sale.
5. Discover the reason behind your pets actions
It is possible that one may simply become curious about why his/her pet looks the way he/she does. Certain physical characteristics are associated with each different dog breed. However, these do not always show up as strongly as one might expect. A given animal may exhibit traits that come from a distant ancestor that is unknown to the owner. Testing can reveal this fact and help the owner to know where the animal gets its looks. It can serve to explain things like curly tails, short or long legs, body length, short or long hair, and more.
Care should be taken when choosing these tests. The more extensive the genetic database the company providing and reading the tests has in place, the more likely they are to provide an accurate result. This is especially true in cases where the mixed breed animal has ancestors of several different breeds. These animals are often referred to as mutts or as Heinz 57s.
It is also important to identify whether one is testing a mixed breed or a purebred. This is because there are two different types of tests available. One is for identifying the breeds in an animal’s ancestry while the other is to determine if a purebred animal meets the accepted standards for genetic purity within that breed.
There are several reasons to consider a dog DNA test. Most of them apply to mixed breed dogs and finding out why they look the way they do or why they exhibit certain behaviors. However, there are times when the breed is known, but there are other questions about the animal that can only be answered by genetic testing. These include verifying parentage and assuring that the animal meets the standards established to identify it as a member of that breed.