FAQ – Top 10 questions

  1. What is canine genetics?

    Canine genetics is the field of genetics research specialised on exploring the canine DNA and aiming at identifying the genetic mechanisms behind hereditary diseases, behavioural characteristics and structural traits in dogs. Exploring the canine genome helps in understanding overall canine health better as well as in fighting the inherited diseases. Canine genetics research aims at improving dog health as well as providing valuable information supporting genetic research in humans. Genetic tests available to dog owners and breeders are developed based on research findings in canine genetics.

  2. What is the difference between canine genetics research and DNA testing?

    Canine genetics research collects samples setting its sights on identifying the genetic background of different disorders and other characteristics. These genetic discoveries by the research groups are harnessed and developed into DNA tests for testing purposes. The actual DNA testing is usually made by private laboratories that often co-operate with research groups.

  3. What are canine DNA tests?

    A canine DNA test is a dog DNA test that requires either a blood sample or cheek cells that can be collected with buccal swabs. A blood sample needs to be taken by an authorised or trained individual but a buccal cell DNA sample can be taken by anyone. However, for an official DNA-profile, the sample needs be taken by a veterinarian or other authorised person.  There are several DNA tests available but most of them valuate only one single gene mutation associated with a hereditary disease or characteristic. Instead of single gene tests, researchers believe that a comprehensive dog DNA analysis that screens through all of the dog’s 39 chromosome pairs will be the future way to achieve risk profiling for known genetic disorders, and provide the first genome-wide view on the genetic diversity of the tested dog.

  4. What is the difference between patented and non-patented dog DNA tests?

    Because some research institutes and/or research groups have patented their gene tests, not all tests can be carried out in the same laboratory. Non-patented tests can be adopted by any professional testing facility and provided to dog owners and breeders to help them advance breed health. A patent is not a certificate stating the quality or accuracy of the test. It is only a commercial policy that means that the owner of the patent has wanted to reserve the rights to the discovery and wants to limit its usage by the others. Therefore the DNA tests for the globally most popular dog breeds have almost without exception been patented.

  5. What is a canine DNA profile?

    Every dog has its own unique genetic fingerprint that consists of the genetic material that it has inherited from its dam and sire. Therefore, comparing the dog’s DNA variation to its alleged parents’ DNA enables e.g. confirming the parentage. For an individual dog, DNA testing creates a unique DNA profile that can be used e.g. for identification and disease risk profiling.The DNA testing for DNA profile has been internationally standardised to ensure the comparability of results of different testing facilities.

  6. What is MyDogDNA?

    MyDogDNA reveals the results of a genome-wide analysis of a dog’s genetic health giving each individual its own genetic health index based on the tested hereditary disorders, traits and genetic diversity.

  7. What kind of information does the dog MyDogDNA reveal about the dogs’ genetic diversity?

    MyDogDNA is based on the first genome-wide analysis of dogs that both measures the absolute genetic diversity of an individual dog compared to its breed’s median and gives an overview of the breed’s genetic diversity. To get the first reliable assessment of the breed-level genetic diversity as well as disease frequencies within a specific, at least 50 individuals should be tested.

  8. Which hereditary disorders and traits are tested in the MyDogDNA’s genome-wide analysis?

    Genetic diseases in dog are believed to be breed-specific mainly because the genes associated with particular hereditary disorders or traits in dogs have been discovered by different research groups that have normally focused on studying one or two breeds only. MyDogDNA’s genome-wide analysis tests, for the first time in the history of canine genetics, a comprehensive list of known diseases and conditions for all dog breeds. You can find the precise list on our website at: www.mydogdna.com/mydogdna or by selecting your breed at www.mydogdna.com/breeds. The genome-wide analysis will be updated whenever new genes are discovered and tests become available.

  9. Why test disorders and traits that aren’t specific to my dog breed?

    Because research groups usually have the possibility to include only one or two dog breeds in their projects, the disorders and the associated genes are easily perceived as being breed-specific. However, genetic mutations have been reports to transfer from one breed to another during breeding and therefore it is indispensable to test all known disorders within all dog breeds. This approach not only helps us get the most reliable picture of the genetic health of our dogs, but also helps genetics research groups to get the data that they wouldn’t get otherwise.

  10. What is MyDogDNA Breeder?

    MyDogDNA Breeder is the world's first breeder tool that provides breeders with essential health information that helps breed genetically healthy dogs. With every dog MyDogDNA purchased, the dog owner gains automatically access to a separate real-time matchmaking tool that helps in finding breeding pairs that optimise the genetic diversity of the possible litter. Only the dogs with a dog MyDogDNA making tool that helps in finding breeding pairs that optimise the genetic diversity of the possible litter. Only dogs with full MyDogDNA results are listed on MyDogDNA Breeder. In addition, the breeder tool organises search results according to results of the genome-wide analysis, taking all tested diseases into account in matchmaking.