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Old 10-09-2013, 07:17 PM
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Default Scientific Studies on DNA Testing

I volunteer with a rescue that does a fair bit of DNA testing - we rely on the tests to label some dogs as 'safe' or 'not safe' to be adopted within the province. So I find the topic of DNA testing really interesting.

A lot of people seem totally sold on the idea of DNA testing to determine what breed a dog is. I've had people show me their dog's DNA test and, although confused about the outcome, take it as fact. On the other hand, a lot of people find the tests totally laughable and claim they are a waste of money.

I'm on the fence. Leaning toward the latter group. I find it hard to wrap my head around it. Dogs are the most phenotypically diverse species on the planet. So... how... just HOW?

Are there any peer-reviewed, scientific studies to the accuracy of the tests? Or even any collected, organized anecdotal evidence of KNOWN mixes being tested?

So far, all of the information I have found to suggest the tests are actually fairly accurate has come from the labs or companies themselves, which is a red flag for me. Obviously they're going to be biased toward their own product and procedure.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straw View Post
I've had people show me their dog's DNA test and, although confused about the outcome, take it as fact. On the other hand, a lot of people find the tests totally laughable and claim they are a waste of money.
Just going to post this up here (not my dog) and you can work out which camp I'm in.



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Are there any peer-reviewed, scientific studies to the accuracy of the tests? Or even any collected, organized anecdotal evidence of KNOWN mixes being tested?
Nope. Not that I'm aware of.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:13 PM
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My understanding is this (although I'm not 100% sure where I heard it and if its true):

There are reliable DNA tests that can tell breeds, or at least very very specific types, in a dogs background. These tests are extremely costly (in the 1000$+ range) and are not widely available to the public, but they do exist.

The tests you can buy at the pet store or order online are highly inaccurate, and essentially a scam.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:24 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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I think they CAN be accurate, but not all of them ARE. I did a test on Gavroche when I first got him(I forget the brand), and it said >90% Boxer with a hint of Scottish Terrier. I can see that, and accepted it as pretty darn accurate. I did another test on him last year since it was on sale for $1 (Wisdom Panel) and it had about 10 different breeds, only a bit of Boxer, and lots of things like Poodle, OES, etc that I can pretty much guarantee aren't there.

So...in short...it depends on the test. If it makes sense, go with it. If it doesn't, don't.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:29 PM
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Aren't there a lot of breeds that aren't on the test?

I'm pretty certain that Gwen is a mix, but she is (mostly) Kelpie. So, if I take a test with Gwen and end up with some crazy results, couldn't it also be due to the fact that Kelpie is not an 'option'?

If it has any chance of being a realistic reading of what your dog's breed is, it would probably be a good idea to see if the breed you believe your dog mainly is, is even on their breed list.

But, I still haven't heard very good things about it. Plus, it's too expensive for shits and giggles, to me.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:42 PM
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this link was interesting
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:54 PM
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Just look through these:

http://sheltermedicine.vetmed.ufl.ed...s/dna-results/

I don't believe the DNA tests at all. I mean, I know that dogs can come from surprising ancestry (ie: Squash and Shambles being half husky), BUT things like #33 where supposedly 4 solid colored dogs have given birth to an irish spotted dog.... that's impossible.

Or Dog #66 where supposedly 4 longhaired breeds produce a smooth coated dog?

No way would I be using DNA tests for live or die kinds of questions. Not at all.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airn View Post
Aren't there a lot of breeds that aren't on the test?

I'm pretty certain that Gwen is a mix, but she is (mostly) Kelpie. So, if I take a test with Gwen and end up with some crazy results, couldn't it also be due to the fact that Kelpie is not an 'option'?...
That. My favortie example of how inaccurate these tests are is when somebody from the old Acme forum had DNA testing done on one of her dogs a few years ago. It was very obvious by looking at the dog that she had a lot of Chow in her. The test results came back as the primary breed being Papillon. The only thing Pap about this dog was her coloring.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:48 AM
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So nobody knows of any scientific, peer reviewed studies then?

Thanks Laurelin and Frostfell for giving me some extra reading material.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
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So nobody knows of any scientific, peer reviewed studies then?...
Nope. Sorry.
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