Dog DNA Testing


Ever wondered what breeds are in your dog? Puppy DNA testing can finally settle the question of what breeds make up your lovable, mixed breed dog, and even help explain your dog’s behaviors, personality traits and health conditions.

Puppy DNA tests cost around $60, and take a few weeks for the lab to process. Cheaper tests may not test for as many American Kennel Club (AKC) breeds as more expensive tests.

Dog DNA testing is quick and painless, and can be done at home with a simple cheek swab.

Is Dog DNA Testing Accurate?

Dog DNA testing is accurate, but there are a few limitations:

  • Dog DNA testing kits do not identify all dog breeds. A dog DNA test may tell you that your dog’s one quarter Pug, but can’t tell you your dog’s 50% Australian Cattle Dog, because it simply doesn’t test for the Australian Cattle Dog breed.
  • Because dog DNA testing is fairly new, DNA kits are continually adding to the number of breeds they test for.
  • At best, dog DNA tests can prove a dog is 75% from one specific breed. The tests cannot determine 100% breed purity. So, dog DNA test results cannot be used to register a dog as a purebred.

Dog DNA Tests Compared

These dog DNA testing kits are all easily done at home, and don’t require a trip to the vet.

DNA TestPrice Breeds DetectedWait Time
Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit
$69.26 USDOver 2002-3 weeks for results to appear onine
Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit$78.66 USD1852-3 weeks by email
Designer Dog DNA Test Kit$64.99 USD1502-3 weeks by email
DNA My Dog Canine DNA Breed Identification Test

$59.99 USDOver 1202 weeks, online
Purebred DNA Test Kit$77.65 USDOne. This test only compares your dog against purebreds of a single breed.2-3 weeks online

Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit  

The Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit is a top pick for owners who are trying to find out what breeds are in their mixed breed dog.

This test compares your dog’s DNA to all the breeds in the Dog DNA database, making it a great choice if you don’t know what breeds are in your dog’s background.

The kit should arrive at your door within three to seven days. The company claims that results are available in two to three weeks online.

Wisdom Panel® 2.0 does not provide proof of parentage.

The Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test costs $69.26. The cost includes laboratory processing fees, and shipping and handling charges.

Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit

This kit is the older version of the Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit.

If you don’t know your dog’s breed or if your dog is a mixed breed, the Widsom Panel Mixed Breed test is a great choice, as it compares your dog’s DNA to all the breeds within the Wisdom Panel breed database.

Wisdom Panel’s Mixed Breed Dog DNA kit tests for over 180 breeds. Results are available in 2 to 3 weeks, and you can check progress of your dog’s sample online.

Wisdom Panel is one of the industry leaders in mixed breed Dog DNA testing.

Check out Amazon’s reviews for the Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed Test.

Results include a downloadable multi-page report, and a Breed Certificate report.

Based in the US, the Wisdom Panel Insights Dog Breed DNA Test Kit costs $78.66. Shipping is included.

Designer Dog DNA Test Kit

The Designer Dog certification test from Wisdom Panel can help tell you if you truly have a Designer Dog.

A designer dog is a first generation cross between two purebred dog breeds. Labradoodles are a designer dog cross between Labrador Retrievers and Poodles.

The Designer Dog kit tests for 150 breeds, and runs around $64.99. Results are available in 2 to 3 weeks, and you can check progress of your dog’s sample online.

Canine DNA Breed Identification Test from DNA My Dog

The Canine DNA Breed Identification Test from DNA My Dog tests for 120 major breeds.


Results are promised online in less than two weeks, and the company says paperwork follows in the mail a few days later. An online link allows you to check the status of your dog’s test results.

Results include a custom certificate with a photo of your dog stating their unique DNA composition and a percentage breakdown of breeds in your dog. Results also include a personalized analysis of breeds found in your dog, including personality traits and genetic health concerns, including any diseases the breeds found in your dog are pre-disposed to.

The DNA My Dog kit costs $59.99 USD. Processing fees are included.

Purebred DNA Test Kit

The Purebred DNA Test is probably your best choice if you know you have a purebred dog, and want to confirm the breed. The Purebred test is designed to compare your dog to genetically known purebreds within a specific breed.

Because you’re testing to determine if your dog is a specific breed, this test only compares your dog against genetically known purebreds of the breed you select. You cannot use this test to see what breeds are in your dog, since the Purebred DNA test only compares your dog against the single breed you selected.

The Wisdom Panel purebred test will not give you the necessary credentials to register your dog with the AKC (American Kennel Club). The cost is $77.65.

What is a purebred? A dog is a purebred when its mother and father are members of a recognized breed and the dog’s ancestry consists of the same breed over many generations.

BioPet DNA Breed Identification Kit

After settling out of court in a patent infringement suit, BioPet is no longer selling canine DNA breed identification markets. If you bought a kit on or before June 15, 2011, BioPet will process your samples (for a limited period of time) and provide results.

PetSafe Dog DNA Test Kit

Like BioPet, PetSafe is no longer selling dog DNA test kits after settling out of court in a patent infringement suit.

How is Dog DNA Testing Done?

A DNA sample taken from a swab on the inside of the cheek is as accurate as a blood test, since the DNA in the cheek and blood is the same.

Mixed breed dog DNA testing can be done done at home, using a cheek swab, so you don’t need a veterinarian to do a DNA test for your dog.

The process is simple. Basically, you order a kit, take a swab from your dog’s cheek, put the swab in a test tube, and mail the kit to the lab. A few weeks later, the lab sends you your results in the mail. There’s no need for a blood sample, since all of the DNA is taken from the swab of the inside of the dog’s cheek.

While the taking your dog’s DNA sample, it’s important to read the instructions carefully. For example, you need to be careful not to contaminate the cheek swab with your DNA. Don’t touch the cheek swab with your fingers, and be careful not to let your hair or eyelashes fall on the swab.

Results

Dog DNA testing results are broken down into several categories:
Primary: Where the results say your dog is 50% or more from one of the recognized breeds.
Secondary: Where results say your dog is less than 50% from one of the recognized breeds. However, there’s still enough of one of the recognized breeds to make a significant impact.
Mixed: Where recognized breeds can be identified in your dog, but they have little impact on your dog’s looks or health concerns.

Some newer tests break down the dog DNA testing results into more categories. In these tests, Level 1 indicates your dog is 75% a specific breed.

Behavior and Health

Knowing the specific breeds in your dog can give you some important clues about your dog’s behavior and health.

Some breeds are more likely to develop health issues. So knowing your dog is made of up one of those breeds can help you and your vet watch out for specific health problems.
Knowing your dog’s breed can help you adjust your dog’s diet and exercise, since breeds vary in their nutritional and exercise needs.

Your dog’s temperament is partly determined by their genetics. Knowing your dog’s breed can help you predict and identify behaviors related to their breeds. Knowing your dog is part terrier can help you nip the terrier’s dominance-related behaviors in the bud. Finding out that your dog is part Basenji, a notoriously independent breed, can help you understand why your dog has always seemed so aloof.

What Breeds can Dog DNA Testing Identify?

Depending on the lab, dog DNA testing can identify close to 190 breeds, including:

  • Afghan Hound
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Akita
  • American Eskimo Dog
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Basenji
  • Basset Hound
  • Beagle
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Bichon Frise
  • Border Collie
  • Borzoi
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brittany
  • Bulldog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Chow Chow
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Collie
  • Dachshund
  • Dalmatian
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • English Setter
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Golden Retriever
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Greyhound
  • Irish Setter
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Keeshond
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Maltese
  • Mastiff
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Newfoundland
  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Papillon
  • Parson Russell Terrier
  • Pekingese
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Pomeranian
  • Poodle
  • Pug
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Saluki
  • Schnauzer
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • ShihTzu
  • Siberian Husky
  • Weimaraner
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier

Which Dog DNA Testing Kit Should You Buy?

If you have a mixed breed, or you simply don’t know your dog’s breed, the Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit is a great bet that will compare your dog to over 120 breeds. Wisdom Panel’s Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit is also a great bet that compares your dog’s DNA to the over 190 breeds in the Wisdom Panel database.

If you have a designer dog like a Labradoodle or MaltiPoo, the Designer Dog DNA Test Kit is best. The test can tell you if your dog is a cross between two purebred dog breeds.

If you know you have a purebred dog, the Purebred DNA Test Kit is the best choice. The Purebred test is designed to extensively compare your dog to known purebreds within a specified breed, and determine how similar or dissimilar your dog is to that breed.

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