questionsdoes anyone have any experience with dog dna kits?


We are required by the AKC to submit DNA samples of our breeding stock in order to verify pedigrees. Their system seems to work fairly well and we are able to confirm parentage reliably.

Some outfits are offering to identify a mutt's breed characteristics. I think these results are pretty unreliable and are frequently based on a supplied photo rather than actual DNA testing. I don't think DNA testing in dogs has matured to the point that individual breeds can be pulled out of the mix. This type of service is more of a novelty than a scientific reality.

Several years ago (before the current AKC system) I was involved in trying to determine the sire of a litter of pups through DNA. The technology at the time could not discriminate between the two potential fathers since they were brothers.


Sounds like a job for the Jerry "Springer Spaniel" TV show ... the DNA test shows ... you ARE the Father! LOL ;->


@nortonsark: I notice the AKC kit is only 35 bucks. Much cheaper than most kits available.

Is this the item I should be purchasing if I want to try and figure out what my rescue is?


As a multiple shelter rescue dog owner, I have asked many people in the breeding field if these kits are worth it. I think with the pure breeds it may be useful but I have talked with some folks whose results (with no picture provided) did not match their dog at all.

I am hoping that someone can provide an accurate test that might help me understand the temperament/drive of one of my dogs. Yes, it is a novelty to some extent, but it could also help me with training issues if I knew a bit more.


You should go on Maury Povich.....

You are the puppy's father!


@wootbretz: No, the AKC test is only useful for determining parentage and basically one has to compare a sample from the dog in question with each of the potential parents. Their test does not determine the breed of an individual. The AKC presumes the breed is known since everyone they are testing is a registered purebred. The purpose of the AKC DNA program is to solidify the authenticity of purebred dog pedigrees. Discussions on the veterinary panels indicate that the breed ID tests are very unreliable and simply useful for amusement purposes. The Wall Street Journal ran an article September 2009:


Well there goes part of the girlfriend's Christmas present...

@nortonsark: Thanks for the information. I don't think I could have found a better person to answer. Wow woot. It's like a human encyclopedia.


Wikki-woot. If you could track down an all-breed show judge, I'd bet they'd give you the best idea of what breeds your dog is made up of. Failing that, a skilled all-breed dog trainer could give a good guess. But if this is a training matter, don't focus too much on breeds. While breeds have certain characteristic behaviors, bloodline is not an absolute behavioral gauge. As a pro trainer on my Great Dane list likes to say, use breed traits to pick which breed of dog you want. Once you've got your dog, he is who he is and you have to train the dog you've got, not the dog you were expecting based on his breed. Research your specific behavioral issues and the methods that have been successful. If you are not comfortable addressing them on your own, find a trainer whose methods correspond to your own philosophies. Give your GF a gift certificate to a local obedience class instead of a DNA test.