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Is DNA testing really a legitimate way to determine breeding?

Discussion in 'The Boxer Ring' started by gefitlepez, Jun 19, 2012.

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  1. gefitlepez

    gefitlepez Boxer Booster

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    Hey folks,

    I've seen some references to DNA testing, here and other places online, as a way to determine if your dog is truly a purebred. I have always been highly skeptical of such claims. To me it has always just kinda seemed like a way to extract $100 from unsuspecting pet owners, but I freely admit that I don't truly know, or have any evidence to back that up - just my gut instinct.

    Does anyone here know if it is actually reliable?

    The reason I ask is that while my 9.5 year old girl is no-doubt 100% Boxer, but my wife and I adopted a 4 month old mixed breed puppy "Eggs," 3 months ago and have been wondering about his breeding. The rescue told us that they think he's a Great Dane/American Bulldog mix, but they don't really know since he came to them as a stray. Eggs is a big boy (68 pounds at 7 months), but I don't think that's quite big enough relative to how I would think an Dane/American Bulldog mix would grow. I would think that a full grown male Dane/American bulldog mix would end up in the 110 to 120 pound range, but I think our boy is more likely to end up in the 90 pound range based on his current age, height and weight.

    After doing some research, I am actually pretty convinced that he is a Dogo Argentino mix, possibly with American Bulldog. Anyway, I've been wanting to try DNA testing, but as I said, I don't have much confidence in it. Can anyone convince me otherwise?


    Also, just for fun, here are some pics of Eggs. He's between 4 and 5 months in all of the pics below:

    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b284/gefiltepez/photo4.jpg
    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b284/gefiltepez/photo31.jpg
    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b284/gefiltepez/photo21.jpg
    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b284/gefiltepez/photo2.jpg
    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b284/gefiltepez/photo11.jpg

    Eggs and the rest of the gang:
    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b284/gefiltepez/photo5.jpg
     
  2. TwoDogs

    TwoDogs Boxer Insane

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    No offense intended, but what would it matter? He's yours and you love him, right? Would knowing what he is really change anything?
     
  3. gefitlepez

    gefitlepez Boxer Booster

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    No offense taken at all. You're absolutely right, it totally doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. It's really a matter of personal curiosity. If the DNA testing procedures are accurate, it would be worth it to me to spend the $100 or whatever to satisfy my curiosity, but if it's really just a novelty, I don't want to waste the money.
     
  4. CoraBoxer

    CoraBoxer Super Boxer

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    Are you questioning the labs doing the job or dna testing itself? $100 isn't the end of the world in most cases and if you're curious... I've been curious.
     
  5. gefitlepez

    gefitlepez Boxer Booster

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    I am questioning whether the process can actually determine the breed(s) of a given dog. In other words, is it accurate? How accurate? What's the error rate? What criteria defines the differences from dog to dog? Are they simply making a best guess based on the similarity of DNA sequencing relative to a database of breeds? Is there one genetic marker that differs slightly from breed to breed, or several? Who is analyzing the data - a trained geneticist, or a guy in a cubicle who had a day or so of training to learn to read the results?

    Basically, I am wondering just how "scientific" the allegedly scientific process of determining dog breeds based on DNA, really is.
     
  6. Cami

    Cami Boxer Insane

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  7. whiskers

    whiskers Boxer Insane

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    I don't think they're totally accurate, I've seen some pretty wacky results turn up, also inaccuracies in cases where the people KNOW what the dog is mixed with (but do the test just for fun).

    Generally I think they DO get the predominant breed(s) correct, so if you do decide to do it I don't think it'll be a total letdown. But if it says he's 2% chihuahua, I'd probably disregard that.
     
  8. Lizzie

    Lizzie Boxer Insane

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    Regardless of what breed/s Eggs is, he is adorable :D
     
  9. Gatorblu

    Gatorblu Boxer Insane

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    I've never done it, but have talked to a few people who have. Most were very happy with their results. I can only think of one that questioned it. There was one odd 5% in there that just didn't seem right.

    I agree with Lizzie, what ever breeds make up Eggs, he is 100% adorable! I love the name too!
     
  10. arcejs

    arcejs Boxer Pal

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    IF you can wast that ammount of money go for it =P

    Possible have some Dogo Argentino there?

    Is cute =)
     
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