DNA test for dogs: principle, interests and operation

What is DNA testing in dogs? For what purposes are they practiced? How are they practiced?

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What is a DNA test?

A DNA test consists of taking a sample of cells to analyze the genetic code specific to each individual. In dogs as in humans, there are several types of DNA tests which differ according to their purpose.

DNA tests for dogs: what's the point?

In dogs, carrying out a DNA test can be useful:

  • To the genetic identification of a dog

A genetic test carried out for this purpose makes it possible to establish the unique genetic fingerprint of a dog.The latter is then composed of 22 distinct genetic markers, defined by the ISAG 2006 standard and officially recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. This test can make it possible to certify the genealogy of a dog by its DNA or to verify a relationship when there is doubt about the parent of a litter of puppies. This may be the case during a mating by two males at the time of the female dog's ovulation.

  • Screening for a genetic disease

In dogs, DNA tests can be used by a veterinarian as a diagnostic tool when the dog shows symptoms that make him suspect a genetic disease. The DNA test can then confirm or refute the diagnosis with certainty. It can also be performed before the appearance of the first symptoms of a disease in order to ensure early veterinary care of the animal and better monitoring of the latter.

These DNA tests can also be carried out on breeding dogs, in order to detect carriers - he althy or not - of genetic diseases, to avoid risky crossings and the birth of puppies who are in turn carriers of this disease. .


Only certain DNA tests are available depending on the dog breeds and/or diseases concerned. It is not possible to test a dog for all existing genetic diseases!

  • A prediction of phenotypes

The morphological characteristics of a dog such as the color and length of the coat or the length of its tail (what is called the phenotype) are conditioned by its genetics. By carrying out DNA tests on breeding animals, it is thus possible for breeders to select breeding animals according to a trait sought or to be avoided in order to adapt matings and "produce" puppies that meet the desired appearance trait.

How does it work?

To perform a DNA test on a dog, it is possible to take cells by mouth swab, using a swab, or by a simple blood sample.

The sample must then be authenticated by a veterinarian before being sent to a specialized laboratory.

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