This dog DNA test will tell you more about your best friend than you ever realized

Originally published at: This dog DNA test will tell you more about your best friend than you ever realized | Boing Boing

No no no and no.

These tests cannot "lock down’ what breeds your dog is.

As noted in previous threads selling this garbage, these tests may be able to suggest a geographic area that the breeds within your dog is statistically more likely to have come from, but no more detail than that.


You can probably more accurately express this than I can, but

I was under the impression that like human races, there’s as much or more genetic variation within any given breed than between any two breeds anyway?

Rendering most breed designations more or less meaningless?


This dog DNA test will tell you more about your best friend than you ever realized

"Lulu, the DNA results show you’re… my mother?!"


No thanks, the cops will just use the database to connect my dog to her many crimes.



seth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers


No no no and no.
These tests cannot "lock down’ what breeds your dog is.

Son of a bitch.


There are no Bad Dogs, only dogs who failed their genetic heritage, bringing shame on their family tree.
By peeing on it.


Well, how would you know it’s your family tree if you haven’t peed on it?


** reads test results **

I don’t want this dog anymore.


This is very much true.

This does not follow at all, provided there are any particular genetic factors that a breed shares, and you can identify which ones.

There’s almost as much genetic variation, on average, between two brothers as between a brother and sister, too, but we could still classify them by sex based on their genetics because we know which genes we’re looking for.

This is also how human DNA tests can make at least a decent guess at the geographic origins of a person’s ancestors (modulo how good their other data is, and how genetically isolated the relevant past human populations were and for how long, so I’d expect these tests to get less accurate generation by generation in the future).

some secrets are meant to be kept

There’s a bigger issue though. It’s been widely reported that most of these services don’t even do any testing. They look at a photo of the dog and make a best guess.

They’re pretty much a pure scam.


What breed is my dog?

1 Like

Obv Wiener-dog


I’m not going to go that far, but when these services first started emerging, our clinic got free test vouchers (to try to sell us on the service). We submitted one on a good client 's new rescue dog, which was obv. mostly asian breed (probably chow) with a black tongue and a smattering of other breeds. The test form asked for a picture, which we didn’t provide, thinking “why the hell would a blood test require a picture”. Apparently the dog was mostly spaniel (springer I think it was) with a handful of other very western european breeds. we thought this was a bit off. Called the service and verified that there was no mix up, then called our client in to provide a second sample. Used our second free voucher, and this time sent in a picture. Magically the dog was mostly asian breeds with a smattering of other breeds.
So yeah, about as reliable as the picture we sent in.

There are “markers” that are more region specific (i.e. you may be able to tell breeds originally from the americas from european breeds from asian breeds, but not much more specific than that. That’s what the picture’s for…

And this is not to piss on all genetic tests for dogs. There are some very good and very specific ones for specific diseases that have a genetic component. Those are few and far between, and will be the sort of thing that a vet talks to you about when your pet is suspected to have one of these diseases, or if you’re breeding a dog from a breed where a particular genetic disease is more common.




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