How Accurate are Doggie DNA Tests?

So you’ve adopted a new pet and you *think* you know his dominant breed, but how can you be sure?

While the guessing game can be fun, many people are now using DNA tests to determine their dog’s breed origins. In addition to discovering the breeds contributing to your dog’s physical features, you can learn more about his behavioral tendencies and health conditions to which he may be prone.

At-home DNA tests for dogs – similar to those available for humans – became commercially available in the mid-2000s. You take a sample of your dog’s saliva and mail it to a lab along with payment – which can range from $60.00 – $90.00. The lab will then compare your dog’s saliva sample to DNA sequencing from hundreds of dog breeds in their database and in about nine weeks, you’ll have results. Just be warned: the projected breed results may vary between test brands. This is because each company has a set number of breeds in its DNA registry.

If you’re looking for a more accurate – yet slightly more expensive – test, you can have your veterinarian conduct a DNA test through a blood draw. Veterinarian-administered tests will cost approximately $150.00.

Regardless of the test method you choose, there can be benefits to knowing breed-specific information about your dog’s lineage. If nothing else, it’s fun to see the potential ancestry of your dog’s spots, floppy ears or long legs!