DNA testing

DNA testing offers breeders a way of screening their dogs for inherited diseases caused by DNA mutations. These mutations can prevent particular genes from working normally, leading to the onset of the disease in dogs with the abnormal gene.

Like physical hereditary traits such as eye colour and coat length, these hereditary diseases are passed down from parents to puppy. DNA testing your dogs and checking the health status of suitable mates is therefore extremely important in ensuring these diseases aren’t passed on to the next generation.

DNA testing and responsible breeding

Canine Health Schemes recommend that breeders use DNA testing with the aim of eliminating inherited diseases from their breed and to ensure breeders don’t produce affected puppies.

Health testing has an extremely positive effect on the health implications for both the puppies produced and the health and welfare of the breed as a whole. These debilitating conditions are distressing for both the dog and the owner and frequently shorten the life span of the dog.

DNA test results will tell you exactly which dog carries the mutated gene and whether you should be using them for breeding. Using 2 dogs who are clear of the disease will never produce puppies with the inherited condition.

Not all inherited disease can be detected by DNA testing. Hip Dysplasia, for example, requires x-ray assessment to determine the severity of the disease in the individual dog and its potential to pass onto its progeny.  

For more in-depth information on dog DNA testing, the most common conditions for specific breeds and where to have the tests completed, please visit the following organisations:

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