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Dog DNA test results: I remain a skeptic


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I have a 16 year old mutt who is, of course, The Best Dog Ever. I got him at the shelter when he was a 5 or 6 week old puppy, and I was a 20 year old college student with my first apartment. Since he is The Best Dog Ever, I've always wondered exactly what ingredients went into him. My best guess was Australian Cattle Dog and Rat Terrier, or at least some kind of little terrier (he's around 22 pounds, so it had to be something small if I was right about Cattle Dog). Last time I checked, a couple of years ago, none of the dog DNA tests I found tested for either of those breeds, AND I'd heard very mixed reviews of their accuracy, so I never got one.

 

But then, when someone posted a thread about it here a few weeks ago, I revisited the issue, and discovered that Wisdom Panel lists both ACD and Rat Terrier now in the breeds it tests for. So we went for it. Just got his results today. Here, by the way, is Oliver:

 

Oliver (yeah, I put his pic on puppy wars. Because he's so cute. I can't believe he's not the top dog there.

 

and if this works, here you can see a profile view of him when he was a puppy (and me when I was young and thin and had a cool panda tee shirt. Sigh.). All the blue merle that led me to suspect cattle dog is there:

Oliver the puppy

 

Okay, so I got the results today. They claim he is Jack Russell Terrier on one side. Okay, I can totally see that. And.....a mix of English Cocker Spaniel and Irish Setter on the other. Wha???!!!!! I don't think so. They marked Irish Setter with an asterisk because they are "less sure" about that.

 

So. Yeah. I don't really believe for a second that he has a bit of spaniel in him. Okay, maybe I could believe a bit. But that's all. DH is going to kill me when I tell him, but now I'm actually tempted to try another company and see if we get similar results. You know, as a science experiment. It's for science.

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He does look more like a kelpie type body, which if hes jack russel one side would lead me to believe he has cattle dog in him. If theres cocker spaniel (which he does seem to have a lovely colouring similar to a light one on parts of him) I still reckon there would have to be some sort of medium working class dog in him.

 

But thats just my opinion lol, I have seen many mixed breeds that I actually know their heritage and they still don't look like it.

 

I agree that DNA tests for crossbreeds is probably a slim chance at finding the real heritage.

 

If hes the best dog in the world, then thats all that matters. But it is interesting as a "science experiment" and I would love to see what another non-affiliated company would come up with, it would be funny if it were totally different! xxx

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We plan on doing one of those tests too when we save up some extra money.

 

Our dog is a Border Collie and Black Lab mix. We do know that his grandfather on his father's side was a Golden Lab. My dogs siblings (litter of 11) were all black for the most part (both the mom and dad are all black with very little to no white). However, my dog had tons of white and he had 2-3 siblings that looked just like Golden Labs.

 

We think there may be some St.Bernhard in him or Newfoundland.

 

Anyways...maybe that is why it is showing for your dog....it is coming out because of a grandparent....but, not very strong, kwim? DNA is showing it...but, not in looks.

 

It actually would be a fun experiment to do!!!!!!!

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I don't know much about dogs; we had one dog when I was growing up, a collie/black lab mix. But looking at your pictures, and at online pictures of the breeds you mentioned, an australian cattle dog has much more of a wolf look--seems nothing like your dog. (my 2 cents :) )

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I can't really remember my original reasons for thinking cattle dog. His obedience teacher when he was a puppy (the one who said of him, and I quote, "he's obviously very quick, and very bright, and you can see that in everything that he does." See? best dog ever) said she thought he was part cattle dog for sure. I think it's a combination of markings--the blue merle, which he actually doesn't have much of now, but it was very clear when he was a puppy--and his personality. He's kind of like a slightly more needy, more driven terrier. But I was perfectly willing to give up on cattle dog (my mother thinks I'm crazy for thinking he's cattle dog) if they'd given me an alternative that made any sense. Of course, there's always a chance that he is part spaniel, and the genes are just very well hidden. But I've read such mixed things about the DNA tests accuracy to start with, that I went into it with a lot of skepticism, so I'm less inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

It's interesting, though....I started a thread a few days ago talking about dog breeds because I have two senior dogs now and am thinking ahead about what breeds/mixes might be a good fit next time we get a dog...a couple of people mentioned Jack Russell. I've always thought I didn't much care for Jack Russells (we knew a lot of them when we did flyball)....but maybe we should give them another look after all!

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I'm not sure how they can do DNA tests for breeds like Jack Russell and Rat, since these breeds were created by mixing several other terrier breeds, and not that long ago. It seems like the results would be muddled. But then again I don't know much about DNA.

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I'm not sure how they can do DNA tests for breeds like Jack Russell and Rat, since these breeds were created by mixing several other terrier breeds, and not that long ago. It seems like the results would be muddled. But then again I don't know much about DNA.

 

I was thinking the same thing about cattle dogs...but I also don't know much about DNA :)

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His body looks a lot like our cattle dog mix. Ours has beagle thrown in there (and we think a mystery breed), so he's a bit larger with a very different head, but the body and tail shapes, the merle splotches, and the legs are very similar to our dog.

 

Oliver is beautiful!

 

Cat

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I

 

 

Okay, so I got the results today. They claim he is Jack Russell Terrier on one side. Okay, I can totally see that. And.....a mix of English Cocker Spaniel and Irish Setter on the other. Wha???!!!!! I don't think so. They marked Irish Setter with an asterisk because they are "less sure" about that.

 

So. Yeah. I don't really believe for a second that he has a bit of spaniel in him. Okay, maybe I could believe a bit. But that's all. DH is going to kill me when I tell him, but now I'm actually tempted to try another company and see if we get similar results. You know, as a science experiment. It's for science.

 

Blue Merle is a cocker spaniel coat color. Not recognized, but I've seen a number of them.

 

hth,

Georgia

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Blue Merle is a cocker spaniel coat color. Not recognized, but I've seen a number of them.

 

hth,

Georgia

 

interesting! I just googled it...yep, there sure are. I wonder if they're right about the cocker spaniel, and are just missing something where they stuck in irish setter. I'm pretty sure I'll never be convinced he's got any Irish setter in him :D

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Hmmm...I have a cocker spaniel (American Cocker, though) and I see absolutely no resemblance other than the small size. English cockers have longer snouts and your Oliver seems to have a longer snout. His coloring is totally off for a cocker - cockers don't mix in "patches," but more in blends.

 

However, at the same time, I can't really imagine doing the test again (is it expensive???). You will never, ever get the same "mutt mix" again. My dh's "Best Dog Ever" died at the age of 17 about 5 years ago. We see dogs that "resemble" Butch all the time, but none of them are exactly ...him. :(

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Blue Merle is a cocker spaniel coat color. Not recognized, but I've seen a number of them.

 

hth,

Georgia

 

And Sheltie. But they're FLUFFY and it could take quite a lot of smooth coated breeds mixed in there to get rid of that...

 

1258122305auk.jpg

 

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Blue Merle is a cocker spaniel coat color. Not recognized, but I've seen a number of them.

 

hth,

Georgia

 

Blue Merle is a cocker color that happens when a cocker line has been bred improperly (usually through generations). Often it comes along with blindness and health issues as well. It is definitely not a desired cocker coat color mostly due to the other issues that improper breeding can cause. They can be pretty, though. :)

Edited by Tree House Academy
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However, at the same time, I can't really imagine doing the test again (is it expensive???). You will never, ever get the same "mutt mix" again. My dh's "Best Dog Ever" died at the age of 17 about 5 years ago. We see dogs that "resemble" Butch all the time, but none of them are exactly ...him. :(

 

Oh, I know; we'll never find another one like him :(. It's mostly just curiosity. It's not terribly expensive--I paid $59 for this one. I probably won't really do another one. I poked around a little, and I can't find another one that tests for nearly as big a variety of breeds as the one I got, anyway.

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Hmmm...I have a cocker spaniel (American Cocker, though) and I see absolutely no resemblance other than the small size. English cockers have longer snouts and your Oliver seems to have a longer snout. His coloring is totally off for a cocker - cockers don't mix in "patches," but more in blends.

 

 

 

My mom does Cocker rescue, so she's had probably hundreds of cockers come through her house. The first thing she said when I told her was, "well, I can guarantee you he's not a cocker!" He was also completely housebroken by the time he was 8 weeks old, and that doesn't seem very cocker-like, based on what I've seen :lol:

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My first thought on seeing Oliver is that he might have Catahoula Leopard Dog mixed in there somewhere. They are not terribly common, but I've run into a number of them. Here's a visual: http://www.e-referencedesk.com/resources/state-mammal/louisiana-dog.html. They are pretty big dogs, but if mixed with a smaller breed it could work...

 

Here's a Wiki page that lists some other breeds that have merle coats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merle_(dog_coat). OOPS! This link didn't work. Here's a different page that lists merle breeds: http://abnormality.purpleflowers.net/genetics/merle.htm

 

We did the Wisdom Panel, too. See my avatar for a look at my rottweiler mix ;)

Edited by Kebo
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At least 25% each of Rottie and English Springer. The rest too minor to call. Our best guess before testing was Golden retriever/Poodle/Terrier. She's got curls and is all strawberry blonde, so when we got the results we looked like this :confused::laugh::laugh:

 

We thought about trying a different panel, too. I'd love to see the results, but it's hard to justify spending the money on it.

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I don't put much stock into doggie genetics. Our pup looked like a miniature black lab (which isn't a breed, but many people ask if she was one) but her mom was a registered Golden. Dad was a mutt. Maggie was from a litter of *9* solid black pups. The only variance was hair length and leg length. There was one that looked like a mix of black lab and long haired dachsand. Weird looking creature! Named Stubby, of course, for the beautiful dauchsand legs that carried the 50+ lb torso.

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All the blue merle that led me to suspect cattle dog is there

 

Well, after a bit of breed genetics review, I am reminded that cattle dogs are not considered merle. Their coat is ticked or flecked instead, and the ticking should extend into the tan areas as well. So, based only on coat color, one of the merle breeds should be suspected instead of cattle dog.

 

from the previous link:

"BREEDS WITH THE MERLE GENE

 

The merle gene only occurs in a small selection of dog breeds. These are:

 

Australian Shepherd

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Dunker

Border Collie

Old English Sheepdog

Mudi

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Collie (Rough and Smooth)

Shetland Sheepdog

Dachshund

Beauceron

Bergamasco

Pyrenean Shepherd

Great Dane

 

It has also recently been bred into the Chihuahua, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Cocker Spaniel and Pomeranian."

 

I'm still putting my money (a whole nickel!) on Catahoula Leopard Dog. With who knows how many other breeds mixed in.....

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I'm biased, but if your looking for another dog, I always reccomend labs or lab mixes.

 

The only thing you have to watch is their weight...they love food lol.

 

We have an 18 month old lab x border collie, but she is mostly lab, cept for when she gets excited lol. And a big mixer, a 4 month old Rottweiler x Border Collie x Kelpie x Labrador lol.

 

I keep going to get a proper pedigree dog, but I am a big softie and end up saving all these crossbreeds all the time! But I am still on the waiting list (have been for 19 months) for the purebred dog I want....another 5 years and maybe I will be at the top of the waiting list lol. (Old English Sheepdog)

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My favorite herding dog song.

 

 

 

Ha! that's awesome! And that dog DOES look kinda like Ollie. He has the same headlights over the eyes. Interestingly, Wisdom Panel doesn't have Kelpie (but does have Catahoula) listed as a breed it tests for. Maybe whenever they encounter it, they just call it Irish Setter :D

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I have a 16 year old mutt who is, of course, The Best Dog Ever. I got him at the shelter when he was a 5 or 6 week old puppy, and I was a 20 year old college student with my first apartment. Since he is The Best Dog Ever, I've always wondered exactly what ingredients went into him. My best guess was Australian Cattle Dog and Rat Terrier, or at least some kind of little terrier (he's around 22 pounds, so it had to be something small if I was right about Cattle Dog). Last time I checked, a couple of years ago, none of the dog DNA tests I found tested for either of those breeds, AND I'd heard very mixed reviews of their accuracy, so I never got one.

 

But then, when someone posted a thread about it here a few weeks ago, I revisited the issue, and discovered that Wisdom Panel lists both ACD and Rat Terrier now in the breeds it tests for. So we went for it. Just got his results today. Here, by the way, is Oliver:

 

Oliver (yeah, I put his pic on puppy wars. Because he's so cute. I can't believe he's not the top dog there.

 

and if this works, here you can see a profile view of him when he was a puppy (and me when I was young and thin and had a cool panda tee shirt. Sigh.). All the blue merle that led me to suspect cattle dog is there:

Oliver the puppy

 

Okay, so I got the results today. They claim he is Jack Russell Terrier on one side. Okay, I can totally see that. And.....a mix of English Cocker Spaniel and Irish Setter on the other. Wha???!!!!! I don't think so. They marked Irish Setter with an asterisk because they are "less sure" about that.

 

So. Yeah. I don't really believe for a second that he has a bit of spaniel in him. Okay, maybe I could believe a bit. But that's all. DH is going to kill me when I tell him, but now I'm actually tempted to try another company and see if we get similar results. You know, as a science experiment. It's for science.

 

Hmmm....you might find this odd, but I looked at his pic (VERY cute dog!) before I read the results and my first thought was he reminded me of my Brittany Spaniel! The one of him in the pic with you....his body language....or something just jumped out at me, 'hey he is like my Brittany Spaniel!"

 

So there is my highly unscientific observation.

 

Sooooo cool getting DNA on a dog.

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He may be a lot of nothing, too. People act as if every dog came from a lineage of registered breeds. Most of the dogs in the world are not from specifically bred breeds. There are more in America because of the popularity of purebredness, but many, many American dogs have never been part of a breed.

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Okay, so I got the results today. They claim he is Jack Russell Terrier on one side. Okay, I can totally see that. And.....a mix of English Cocker Spaniel and Irish Setter on the other. Wha???!!!!! I don't think so. They marked Irish Setter with an asterisk because they are "less sure" about that.

 

Whaaaat??? That is hilarious!:lol:

 

 

We did the Wisdom Panel, too. See my avatar for a look at my rottweiler mix ;)

:001_huh::lol::lol:

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My favorite herding dog song.

 

 

That was really cute! What an awesome dog.

 

I will now confess to a moment of social awkwardness because I don't have a favorite herding dog song. Well, maybe now I do :001_smile:

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