Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why Doggy DNA Testing isn't Conclusive

So, out of desperation, we called Joshua Akey, an assistant professor of genome sciences from the University of Washington.

Akey explained that canine DNA testing is still in its infancy, and the accuracy is dependent primarily on whether or not a particular test has "markers" for the breeds that may be present in your dog. Much of the info for these markers seems to have been provided to companies by the American Kennel Club and other dog-fancier organizations.

In some cases, breeds not recognized by the American Kennel Club aren't represented well in the tests. In other cases, a test may have better markers for some breeds (say Labs and goldens) than others (griffons and otterhounds).

Akey explained that it's virtually impossible to get these companies to reveal the genetic markers they're using — so as a result, it's almost impossible to say which tests are most accurate, and the accuracy may really vary from breed to breed. So ultimately, dog DNA tests put owners in the ballpark, but they're rarely conclusive.
From, The Case of the Mysterious Puppy Solved (Sort Of)


CyborgSuzy said...

Thank you. I've been trying to find some resource - any resource! - online that states this specifically. It's what I've been saying since these DNA tests came out - until these companies can explain every marker they look for, I won't trust the results (or waste my money). Too many possibilities for false negatives OR false positives.

Retrieverman said...

I'm still laughing at the dog I featured on my blog.

I'm sure you've seen the doberman mix on my blog. LOL.