Skip to main content
DNA My Dog

Hunting for more information?

Dig through some of our most frequently asked questions about the breeds covered in your DNA test kit.

Ordering, activating and sending your test

  • I got an error message while trying to register my Customer ID#, what should I do?

    We’re so sorry this happened! If you receive any kind of error while trying to register your customer ID#, please reach out to us at 1-888-368-6233, head to the Contact Us page on our website, or email us at and we would be happy to assist you.

    Your Customer ID# is the alphanumeric code located under the barcode, and usually looks something like “X5RRR122” or “A45FGG”. Depending on your kit, it is on the front or back of the return envelope, specimen envelope and sometimes the outer packaging of the kit.

    Your customer ID# can be registered at

  • Instructional videos on how to take your dog’s perfect sample.

    DNA Sample Collection Video can be viewed here.

    Allergy Test Sample Collection Video can be viewed here.

  • What is the right kit for me?

    We offer a number of unique testing kits. Please click here to make sure you are ordering the right kit for your needs.

  • I want to add a service to my current test.

    Please see the upgrade options here.

  • Does the price of the test include the processing fee?

    Yes. The price of your test includes the full service package offered by DNA My Dog.

  • I ordered a test and have not received it yet.

    If you ordered a kit and have not received it, please check your tracking information or contact us at so we can assist. We make every effort to make sure you receive your testing kit in a timely manner. Mail and courier service can be unreliable and sometimes it takes a few more days to receive your test. Some tests are send via regular postal mail. These kits should arrive in 1-2 weeks.


    Deceased testing clients will not receive a kit. Please check your email for detailed instructions on submitting your sample.


    Didn’t receive your kit? We will always replace it for you at no charge if it is lost or damaged.

  • My kit was damaged/I lost the collection swab.

    If your kit is damaged, you lost the contents, or didn’t take your sample properly, have no fear. Let us know and we will take care of it for you right away!


    If you have an allergy test and spill the liquid, please contact us for a replacement.


    If you feel your swabs will not yield good results, please allow us to replace them, at no charge.

  • I lost my customer ID#

    Please email us at and we will send it to you.

  • Can you confirm that my dog is pure bred?

    No. The DNA Breed Identification test is designed for the sole purpose of identifying breeds found in the genetic composition of mixed breed dogs. If only 1 breed is detected, it could mean that a parent was a mixed breed but your dog only inherited this one particular breed. Technically this dog is not a purebred. Purebred status is generally obtained from pedigree, not breed results.

  • Can I use your test to register my dog in a breed club?

    In most cases you cannot use a Breed Identification test to register your dog. For information about registering your dog with the CKC, AKC or UKC please see the links below.



  • I haven’t received my results yet.

    Depending on the test you ordered, you should receive your results in 2-3 weeks after we receive your sample. Sometimes samples can take their time coming to us. Please be patient. If it has been more than 3 weeks since you sent your sample, and it is not showing as received by us, please let us know.


    Otherwise, please be patient as we go through the journey of uncovering your dog’s results!

  • How many breeds does your test recognize?

    DNA My Dog recognizes over 350 breeds. Essentially every known breed (and some you may never have even heard of!). You can check the list here.

  • Can I use the same swabs for a DNA and Allergy test?

    The swabs from our DNA and allergy kits are not interchangeable due to differences in the collection and testing procedures and the equipment used for each.

    The swab used for our allergy test is not designed to collect and hold the amount of DNA required to successfully perform your dog’s breed DNA test. While our allergy test swabs can collect some cheek cells, it can produce less accurate results compared to the standard cheek swab used on our DNA test.

    The swab from a DNA test will not work for the allergy collection, as we will be unable to successfully extract the sample from it.

    When you are collecting a sample for a DNA test, what you are really collecting are cheek cells from your pup – which must be sent to us dry. This is why your instructions ask that you let your swabs air dry for approximately 20 minutes before sealing them in the specimen envelope.

    When you are collecting a sample for an allergy test, you are collecting proteins from inside your dog’s mouth. These swabs must be sent back to us in a buffer solution to successfully extract your dog’s sample (Part C of your instructions). The swab from your allergy test is specially designed to eject into the buffer tube.

    Please visit our tests page for more information on our Canine Allergy Tests, Essential DNA kits, and Premium DNA kits.

  • I am having trouble taking my sample.

    Taking a good sample is job #1 in the testing process and we encourage you to read and follow the directions on your testing kit carefully. A contaminated sample will affect your results. Below are a few tips to help you get the perfect sample. You can also watch these helpful videos.


    DNA Testing

    • Always ensure your dog has not had any food for at least one hour before taking a sample.
    • Make sure your dog has not had any oral contact with other dogs. This includes shared toys, mouthing and anything else that can lead to DNA transference between the dogs.
    • If you are testing a puppy, we encourage you to test first thing in the morning as your dog is waking up. This ensures your dog has not got into anything beforehand.
    • If your dog is nursing, please make sure they haven’t had any contact with the mom or other pups for at least one hour.
    • If your dog is overly squiggly, first thing in the morning, as they are waking up, is often an excellent opportunity to “sneak” a sample, before they realize what is happening.
    • You are collecting cheek cells, not saliva. Please firmly rub the inside of your dog’s cheek as directed in the included instructions.


    Allergy Testing

    • Always ensure your dog has not had any food for at least one hour before taking a sample.
    • Make sure your dog has not had any oral contact with other dogs. This includes shared toys, mouthing and anything else that can lead to DNA transference between the dogs.
    • Please don’t test dogs under one year. They have not sufficiently developed enough to yield accurate results.
    • If your dog is on any antihistamines, or other allergy medicine, please take your dog off it for two week before testing. If this is not possible, please wait at least 48 hours and note this in your allergy survey so we can adjust for it. If your dog receives injections, please wait until the day before they receive their next injection to take a sample. This allows the maximum time to make sure we can yield good results.
    • Remember, the very thing your medication is suppressing is exactly what we are looking to measure!
  • Do I need to send a photo along with my dog’s sample?

    Sending a photo is entirely up to you. Photos are used solely for the DNA Certificate you receive with your results. If you don’t send a photo it will not affect your test. Your DNA Certificate will be sent to you without a photo.

  • Do you test for Wolf or Coyote?

    We are able to test for Wolf and Coyote with our DNA My Dog Premium ID test.

  • What are telomeres?

    To learn more about telomeres and their function, visit the following links:


  • Can I test my Puppy with DNA My Dog?

    You can DNA test your dog at any age. If you are testing a young puppy who has not been weaned yet we recommend waiting for the puppy to be weaned to avoid cross-contamination from Mother’s milk. If this is not possible please make sure the pup has not fed from the Mother or been in oral contact with the other pups for approximately 1-2 hours before taking a sample.

  • Do you share customer test results with anyone?

    No. Your results are only accessible to you through your account. We do not share any information about our customers. We do encourage you to share your results, but that is, of course, entirely up to you!

  • My dog is not doing well and I don’t have time to wait for a kit.

    Please email us at and we will send you a set of instructions to collect and send us a sample without a kit.

  • What if I have a question not answered here?

    We are always happy to answer your questions. You may contact us by clicking here or call us at 1-888-368-6233. Testing your dog is a privilege and we strive to offer you the best service available. We look forward to hearing from you!

Questions about the science

  • What’s the Science Behind DNA My Dog’s Breed Analysis Process?

    While we can all agree that the science behind DNA analysis and genetic testing is pretty fascinating, most of us can also agree it can sometimes be downright confusing. At DNA My Dog, we use an incredibly advanced method called CNV (Copy Number Variation) Analysis for our tests. Thankfully, no one expects you to remember your high school biology lessons and we’re here to breakdown the science behind our DNA My Dog Breed ID Test in a way that makes sense.


    So, What Exactly Is CNV Analysis?

    To start simply, we all have CNVs – that includes people and our four-legged friends. In fact, CNVs are an important part of the natural process of evolution and the vast majority of them are harmless. CNV analysis involves looking very closely at these genetic sequences and variations to pinpoint specific breeds.


    Copy Number Variation is a phenomenon in which sections of the genomes are repeated and the number of repeats in the genome varies between individuals.


    Differences in the content and organization of DNA, also known as structural variation, have recently emerged as a major source of genetic and phenotypic diversity. Some prime examples of how we can see these genetic variations and diversity in dogs include the short legs of a Corgi or Basset Hound, the striking leopard spots of the Catahoula Leopard Dog, the inability of the Basenji to bark, and the 6+ different variations of Dachshunds.


    The correlating number of CNVs and their ability to measure genetic diversity, phenotype variation, and even disease susceptibility are some of the most novel discoveries in the canine genome to date. In fact, great strides have been made over the past few years in the analysis of CNVs, and we now know that their role in evolutionary change is potentially greater than the role of single base-pair sequence variation, which was traditionally used in genetic science. Research has shown that CNVs encompass more nucleotide per genome than SNPs, allowing for a wider scope of genetic variant analysis and, most importantly, accurate, reliable results you can count on!

  • I’ve heard an elimination diet is a good way to determine dog’s sensitivities.

    Getting to the Root of Your Pet’s Allergies


    Anyone who’s ever suffered from allergies knows they’re no walk in the park. Hives, rashes, itching, swelling, stomach issues, wheezing, the list goes on. And the same goes for our pets, the only difference being that they can’t exactly tell us what’s bothering them.


    Trying to get to the root of your pet’s allergy problem can seem like an impossible task. Narrowing down the symptoms can be challenging enough, let alone trying to figure out what’s causing them.


    If you and your pet find yourselves in the tricky situation of dealing with allergies, we can help.


    Our safe, easy-to-use Canine Allergy Test kit provides you with a reliable, cost-effective way to test for over 100 different foods, environmental factors, and household products that may be affecting your pet’s health and wellbeing.


    Here’s Just a few of the Allergens Covered in our Test:

    • Shellfish
    • Whey
    • Tomato
    • Chicken
    • Dairy
    • Lamb
    • Gelatin
    • Potato
    • Pollen
    • Salmon
    • Sweet Potato
    • Honey


    When used in conjunction with an Elimination Diet, our allergy kits can help fast track the task of eliminating allergens and irritants that may be affecting your pet. By ruling out specific factors in as little as 2 – 3 weeks, you can spare your pet from prolonged discomfort by knowing which foods and other factors to avoid.


    What is an Elimination Diet?

    Simply put, the goal of an elimination diet is to narrow your pet’s food down to a very simple combination of ingredients in order to single out what is causing the allergic reaction and other undesirable symptoms.


    An elimination diet, or trial elimination diet, consists of one unique protein and one carbohydrate source that your pet hasn’t been exposed to before. Some popular options in elimination diets include venison, rabbit, or kangaroo meat as well as potato or oats as a source of carbs.


    Elimination diets are typically either homemade meals, prescription therapeutic diets, or hydrolyzed diets.


    Hydrolyzed diets contain common ingredients such as chicken, beef, and soy, that have been molecularly altered to be below the allergy threshold level. While hydrolyzed diets can be purchased over the counter at pet stores, they are typically prescribed by a veterinarian and are available from brands such as Hills, Royal Canin, and Purina.


    In order to work successfully, elimination diets must be followed very strictly.


    After about 10 weeks, other foods can start being reintroduced to the dog’s diet very gradually. It’s recommended to introduce foods one at a time over the course of 6-7 days to make it easier to manage for both you and your pet. It is important to take things slow when introducing new foods and bringing back old ones to properly monitor any changes in symptoms or behaviour.


    What’s the Catch?

    Don’t get us wrong, elimination diets are incredibly useful and are considered the golden standard when it comes to determining canine allergies. However, with a minimum trial time of 8 – 12 weeks and very rigid dietary restrictions, successfully completing an elimination diet is often much easier said than done.


    Here are just a few of the things your dog CAN’T have while on an elimination diet:

    • Table scraps/ People food
    • Raw hide treats, pig ears, bones, and other chews containing animal products
    • Treats for administering medications (pill pockets, peanut butter)
    • Flavoured toothpastes


    Keeping track of every ingredient in every treat, snack, food, and drink your dog has ingested is pretty unrealistic. Even if you did have the time and stellar organizational skills to do so, dogs are known for their uncanny ability to sneak treats under the radar.


    Dog owners with young children in the home are probably all too aware of how easy it is for snacks to pass from a toddler’s hands to a dog’s mouth. Or maybe there are guests over who aren’t aware of the pet’s dietary restrictions and unknowingly ruin what was a very successful 3-day streak, bringing back the red, itchy ears and paws.


    It can also be challenging trying to control the factors in a dog’s environment. Many common household products such as air fresheners, laundry detergents, oil diffusers, scented plug-ins, and cleaners can affect pets and cause allergic reactions. And like people, pets can also experience sensitivities to outdoor environmental allergens like grass, pollen, and plants.


    Regardless of the situation, elimination diets can be time-consuming and difficult to complete. And at the end of the day, no matter how well you stick to your plan, if Fido finds a pizza crust behind the couch, that grain-free diet is out the window.


    Fast Track the Process of Elimination with Canine Allergy Test

    You can fast track the process of elimination with our safe, painless Canine Allergy Test kit to determine your dog’s unique intolerances and sensitivities. Our consumer allergy test measures the proteins in your dog and reports for over 100 foods, environmental substances, household products, dietary supplements, and more.


    By offering the most affordable allergy testing kit on the market and quick turn-around times of just 2 – 3 weeks, our goal is to help eliminate your pet’s discomfort along with your frustrations.

  • How can I learn more about the link between DNA testing and dog adoption?

    There are some great studies and articles out there. Here are a few to get you started:


    Do Breed ID Tests Help Dog’s Get Adopted?


    Why Dog Rescues Should Consider DNA testing:

  • How come dogs can look so different than their DNA results?

    Don’t Judge a Breed by Its Cover! Read this handy reference

  • Is the size of my dog controlled by the same markers as the breed?

    So, your 50-pound pup just came back with Chihuahua in their breed report. How can that be? If you’re a little confused about how your dog can have such a small breed in its makeup and yet be on the larger side, there are a few reasons to help clear things up.


    For starters, did you know that dogs vary more in size than any other species of mammal on Earth? With size classifications ranging from toy – XXL, some breeds can be as much as 40 times larger than others!


    While breeds of different sizes are entirely capable of mating naturally, the role of human intervention simply can’t be underestimated when it comes to seeing those drastic differences in size. Interestingly enough, the extremes we see in size variation today only occurred within the past 200 years when humans sought to modify existing breeds, create hybrids, and develop entirely new breeds for specific purposes.


    There are a few common misconceptions around how the size of mixed-breed puppies is determined. Many people believe that puppies with parents who are vastly different in size will take after the larger parent because they’re, well…. larger. However, it isn’t always this simple. The genetics and ancestry of both parents, the dominant and recessive genes at play, and the power of chance and randomization all need to be taken into consideration.


    Speaking of genes, some are more important than others when it comes to determining a dog’s size. Although there are approximately 25 different genes and alleles that determine a dog’s size, we now know that the IGF1 gene plays a major role in this function. In fact, the IGF1 gene can be found in all canids including domesticated dogs, coyotes, wolves, jackals, and even foxes!

  • The Shelter Was Wrong About My Dog’s Breed- None Of The Breeds The Shelter Identified Showed Up In My Dog’s Results

    So, you’ve been duped by your dog – Don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of us!


    Whether you thought you were bringing home a Golden Lab and ended up with a Great Pyrenees or just found out your Bulldog is actually a Boxer, our dogs have a way of surprising us when we least expect it.


    Although vets, shelter staff, and other pet professionals do their best to guess a dog’s breed(s) based on looks alone, studies have shown that visual identification is only accurate about 25% of the time. On top of that, rescues and other non-profit organizations are often faced with limited staff, time, and financial resources, further adding to the challenge of identifying a dog’s breed with certainty. While many pet parents’ desire to know about their dog’s genetic makeup stems from a sense of curiosity, identifying a dog’s breed(s) can have far more serious implications than one might think. From insurance and apartment rentals to breed-specific bans, properly identifying your dog’s breed composition can be life altering for both you and your pup.


    In fact, this was part of the driving force that led DNA MY Dog’s CEO, Mindy Tenenbaum, to make breed analysis tests more accessible to animal shelters and non-profits. What began as a mission to provide our tests to rescues quickly grew into a service to help pet parents around the world gain greater insights into their dog’s unique makeup.


    Breed misidentification can happen with any type of dog, but some breeds have become much more adept at catfishing us humans. For example, Labs share a lot of physical characteristics with other breeds, such as their mid-sized bodies, short water-resistant coats, the floppiness of their ears, shape of their heads, and solid coat colouring. The Labrador Retriever sports so many shared physical attributes that one might say they’ve adopted the “universal appearance” for dogs.


    Dog Breed Look-A-Likes:

    • Labrador Retriever & Nova Scotia Duck Toller
    • American Staffordshire Terrier & American Bulldog
    • Boston Terrier & French Bulldog
    • Cane Corso & Dogo Argentino
  • Can I Determine The Age Of My Dog With Your Tests?

    Yes, you sure can! Not only can our DNA My Dog Premium Breed ID Test (patent pending) pinpoint your dog’s genetic age, but it’s the only at-home test on the market that uses your dog’s unique telomere measurement to reveal their genetic age.


    Genetic age (or biological age) differs from chronological age in a few key ways. While chronological age refers to how old your dog is based on their date of birth, genetic age refers to the predicted longevity of your dog from a cellular level. We measure your dog’s unique biological age by measuring the length of their telomeres.


    What are Telomeres?


    What are telomeres, you might ask? Quite simply, telomeres are the little protective caps at the end of our DNA strands (sort of like the little caps on the ends of your shoelaces!). Measuring the length of your dog’s unique telomeres gives us great insight into their biological age and the rate at which they are aging when compared to their chronological age. While the biology of human and canine telomeres is similar, on average canines tend to lose their telomeric DNA roughly 10x faster than humans, which is why they age so much faster than us.


    Ready to determine how old your pup is? Head here to order your Canine Genetic Age Test today!

  • Why Does My Dog’s Genetic Age Differ From Their Actual Age?

    Genetic, or biological age, differs from chronological age in a few key ways. While chronological or calendar age refers to how old your dog is based on their birthday, genetic age refers to the predicted longevity of your dog from a cellular level. Certain genetic factors, predispositions, and health conditions can affect your dog’s aging process on a cellular level, causing them to age at a faster or slower pace.


    Our kits are designed to test your dog’s biological age by measuring their unique telomere length, revealing important insights into their overall health and the rate at which they are aging when compared to their actual chronological age.


    What are telomeres, you might ask? Quite simply, telomeres are the little protective caps at the end of our DNA strands (sort of like the little caps on the ends of your shoelaces!). Telomeres shorten with age, giving us a great indication as to the rate at which your pup is aging.


    Discover your pup’s biological age and uncoverable valuable insights into their health using our DNA My Dog Premium Breed ID Test.

Questions about your results

  • What do the different coloured bars in my dog’s allergy report mean?

    The coloured bars on your dog’s allergy report represent different levels of sensitivity ranging from low to high. Low-level sensitivities are represented by green bars, medium-level sensitivities are represented by orange-orange/red bars, and high-level sensitivities are represented by red bars.


    We advise steering clear of any items your dog has displayed any level of sensitivity to in order to prevent unwanted flare-ups and recommend discussing their diet with your veterinarian before making any changes.

  • Why Does My Dog Look Like A Labrador Retriever, But No Lab Was Found?

    So, you’ve been catfished by your dog. Your dog looks like a Lab and acts like a Lab, but… isn’t a Lab? How can that be?


    If you’re a bit taken aback by your pup’s results, you’re not alone – You’d be surprised by just how many pet parents are shocked at their dog’s breed breakdown! Let’s talk about why that may be.


    For starters, Labrador Retrievers share many physical characteristics with other breeds, such as their mid-sized body, short water-resistant coats, the floppiness of their ears, shape of their head, and their black, brown, and golden colouring. In fact, the Labrador Retriever possesses so many shared physical attributes that one might say they’ve become the “universal standard” for dogs, resulting in non-Labs being mistaken for Labs, and vice-versa.


    Labs have also been one of North America’s most popular dog breeds for over 20 years, and for good reason! These playful, goofy, loving pups make wonderful family pets and companions and tend to be exceptionally healthy and prone to few genetic health conditions. These factors inspired breeders to cross the Lab with countless other breeds, resulting in entirely new Lab varieties such as the Bassador (Basset Hound x Lab), Huskador (Husky x Lab), and of course, the Labradoodle (Standard Poodle x Lab).


    Top 10 Lab Lookalikes:

    • Golden Retriever
    • Great Pyrenees
    • Flat-Coated Retriever
    • Curly-Coated Retriever
    • Beagle
    • Weimaraner
    • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
    • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
    • Bernese Mountain Dog
    • Springer Spaniel


    Trying to determine a dog’s breed by looks alone can be a challenge, even for pet professionals. Regardless of how certain we may be based on their physical appearance and personality traits, our pups are often full of surprises! Want to take the guesswork out of your dog’s genetics and learn more about where they get their Lab looks?

  • Why Does My Dog Look Like A Border Collie But That Breed Wasn’t Found In Their Results?

    So, you thought you had a Border Collie but it turns out your dog isn’t much of a Border Collie after all. How can that be? Their black coat, white chest and feet, semi-pointed ears, herding instincts and natural athleticism all had you so convinced!


    If you’re a little surprised by your dog’s breed composition, you’re not alone – even the experts guess wrong from time to time. That’s because certain breeds possess physical characteristics and personality traits that are common among many different types of dogs and can easily lead to breed misidentification when relying upon looks alone. The Border Collie is one such breed – Their hallmark solid-coloured coats with white chests and feet, elongated muzzles, medium-length fur, mid-sized body, and semi-erect ears are all very common physical attributes that can be found in a wide range of different dogs. Their agility, intelligence, herding skills, and energy levels are also found among countless other breeds, further adding to the visual identification challenge.


    Here’s where genetics come into play – in case you’ve forgotten your high school biology lessons, here’s a quick breakdown. As with people, a dog’s physical appearance and characteristics are a direct result of the genes they inherit from their parents. Certain genes are considered dominant while others are recessive; dominant genes are more common because they only need to be passed down from one parent while recessive genes must come from both in order to be passed down to offspring. It just so happens that many of the traits found in the Border Collie, such as a black coat with white markings, are dominant and as a result are seen frequently in a wide variety of breeds.


    Top 10 Breeds That Look Like the Border Collie:

    • Shetland Sheepdog
    • Rough Collie
    • Australian Shepherd
    • Belgian Sheepdog
    • New Zealand Herding Dog
    • Belgian Tervuren
    • Scotch Collie
    • English Shepherd
    • Koolie
    • Welsh Sheepdog


    Attempting to identify your dog’s breed by looks alone can be a challenge. No matter how certain you may be about your dog’s genetic makeup based on their appearance and personality traits, there’s often more than meets the eye when it comes to determining your pet’s breed composition. Want to take the guesswork out of your dog’s genetics and learn more about where they get their Border Collie looks?

  • How Can There Be Chow Chow in My Dog, But They Don’t Look Like A Chow At All?

    The lack of hallmark Chow Chow features in a dog is the #1 reason why so many pet parents are surprised to find the breed’s ancestry in their dog’s DNA report. Known for their lion-esque manes and bear-like looks, the Chow Chow is an old breed with some very distinctive features. Aside from their trademark manes, they also sport long, thick coats over a tall, muscular frame, and are the only breed known to have a blue or black-coloured tongue.


    There are a few reasons why Chow Chow DNA comes up in so many dog’s reports. Firstly, the breed was incredibly popular for several decades, especially throughout the 1980s – 1990s. In fact, they were one of the top-10 most popular breeds around the world for quite some time.

    As a result, a lot of Chow DNA was passed down and mixed with other breeds over the years, spreading their genetics on a global scale.


    Secondly, although many of the Chow Chow’s physical characteristics are unique to the breed, they also share traits universal to many breeds such as their long, thick coats, rounded ears, curled tail, and long legs. When crossed with other breeds of similar size and stature these features blend and meld together, resulting in the possibility of entirely new features in offspring. In other words, once mixed with other breeds, the Chow Chow’s trademark features are covered up or overshadowed by those of other dogs in their mix.

  • How Can Puppies From The Same Litter Have Different DNA And Breed Compositions?

    When it comes to differences in breed composition and appearance among puppies from the same litter, there are two key explanations: The power of genetics and the process by which puppies inherit DNA from their parents, and the reproductive system and possibility of multiple fathers of a single litter.


    Let’s start by looking at genetics and DNA.


    Have you ever taken a look around the room during a family gathering and realized that while some of your relatives look alike, others don’t look like they’re related to each other at all? Or maybe you bare a strong resemblance to one of your parents or siblings and not the other? Well, the same goes for dogs! As with people, it’s quite common to see littermates showing varying degrees of physical resemblance. It’s also common for puppies to share personality traits and little quirks and yet bare almost no physical resemblance to each other. That’s because of a little thing called Recombination!


    The Randomization Behind Recombination Explained:


    In layman’s terms, recombination involves the “shuffling” of the DNA that’s inherited from each parent before it’s passed onto their offspring. If we reshape the word a little into “Re – Combining” it starts to make a bit more sense: The process is simply recombining the DNA before it’s passed on, resulting in genetic variations that occur with every new generation.


    Like humans, canines inherit half of their chromosomes from their mother and half from their father (unlike humans, dogs have 39 pairs of chromosomes). As satisfying as an even split would be, that’s rarely the case. The randomization behind the process of recombination means that no two puppies will inherit the same exact combination of chromosomes from their parents. In a typical litter, one puppy may inherit a 60-40 split while another inherits a more drastic 70-30 split, resulting in stark differences in breed combination, and as a result, physical appearance, personality, and certain predispositions. One puppy may have a black, medium-length coat and floppy ears while its littermate sports a short, golden coat with pointed ears.


    Fun Fact: In case you were wondering, instances of identical twins found in dogs are extremely rare, with only one confirmed case on the books!


    Even with purebred puppies, the ratio of inherited DNA from each parent can vary widely, however, the uneven divide usually isn’t as obvious. That’s because these puppies are inheriting DNA from parents that typically already bare a strong resemblance to each other. On the other hand, when we’re talking about the appearance of mixed-breed dogs the power of chance is strong! Since there is a wider scope of genetic variations and traits to be inherited in mixed-breed dogs, there is also a wider range of possible outcomes.


    A Single Litter With Multiple Fathers:


    Alternately, puppies from the same litter may appear vastly different when there is more than one father in the picture. Since female canines release multiple eggs during each fertile period and can mate with more than one male during this time, it is possible that more than one male can impregnate a female during a single cycle. This often results in one or more puppies bearing a strong resemblance to one parent and its associated breed(s), and others bearing a resemblance to the opposite parent.


    Going back to the importance of DNA and genetic variation, when more than one father is involved, an entirely new set of DNA is introduced which results in an even wider pool of attributes and inherited predispositions being passed down. So, if you’re wondering why your dog doesn’t resemble any of its siblings or why their breed composition results weren’t what you were expecting, keep in mind that there is often more than meets the eyes when it comes to canine genetics!

  • These Results Aren’t What I Was Expecting, Can You Explain In More Detail?

    If you’re a little surprised by your dog’s breed identification results, you’re not alone. In fact, even pet professionals get it wrong from time to time when trying to identify a dog’s breed composition based on looks alone. This can be particularly true in the case of mixed-breed dogs where there are a greater number of genetic variations to be passed on. It’s not uncommon for pet parents to feel certain of their dog’s breed(s) based on their physical appearance, personality, and even inherited health conditions, only to find out they were mistaken.


    The portion of genetics a puppy inherits from each of its parents plays a major role in their overall appearance and the obviousness of their breed. Just as with people, one sibling might take after its father while another clearly looks more like its mother. Some breeds carry a larger number of dominant genes, which are genes that are more likely to be passed down to offspring rather than recessive genes, which must be passed down by both parents to be present in offspring.


    Every breed is different and brings its own unique attributes to the table. While some breeds are pretty easy to tell apart, for example, a Great Dane and a Chihuahua or a Husky and a Dalmatian, others can be a little trickier to distinguish. That’s because some breeds share a lot of common physical attributes which can lead to some confusion. For example, Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies are two of the most frequently misidentified breeds because they both share so many “universal” canine attributes such as their mid-sized bodies, the shape of their ears and head, and coat texture, colouring, and length. So, not only is it possible for different breeds to resemble each other, but it actually happens more often than you might think!

  • What Is A Wolfdog?

    Simply put, a Wolfdog is a canine that contains a combination of both wolf (Canis lupis) and dog (Canis lupis familiaris) DNA. While it’s entirely possible for wolves to mate with dogs in the wild, their behavioural, territorial, and mating tendencies often deter them from reproducing – this applies to other wild canines like jackals and dingoes as well. Rather, the vast majority of wolfdogs are the result of human intervention and the intentional crossing of species to create hybrid animals to be sold as exotic pets. The problem here is that the behaviour of wolfdogs can vary greatly from one pup to another and is heavily influenced by the amount of wolf content they possess, the breed(s) of dog they are mixed with, and the early training & socialization they receive as puppies.


    Some of the most common dog breeds found within Wolfdogs include Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, and other Northers Spitz-type breeds because they share many physical attributes with wolves (cue thick coats, body size, upright ears, and elongated muzzles). When looking at the wolf side of the family tree, we typically see Grey Wolf and Arctic Wolf genetics.


    To learn more, read our article Wolfdogs | Wolf-Dog Hybrids.

Other questions

  • Do your tests ever go on sale?

    While we do offer special promotions from time-to-time, DNA My Dog endeavors to offer the most reasonable pricing available. We want our tests to be accessible to as many dog lovers as possible. We hope you will agree our fair pricing offers you the best rates available for Canine DNA testing.

  • I have an old kit, am I able to use it?

    You can use your kit, no matter when it was purchased. We strongly recommend using it within 24 months to make sure the swabs don’t expire.

  • Can I Test My Puppy With DNA My Dog Or Is There A Minimum Age Requirement?

    Yes! DNA My Dog’s convenient at-home breed analysis kits are safe and effective for dogs of all ages. While there is no minimum age requirement, we do have a few suggestions to ensure your results are as accurate as possible. If your puppy hasn’t yet been weaned, we recommend waiting until they are fully weaned before administering the test to avoid cross-contamination from their mother’s milk. If this isn’t possible, please ensure your puppy has not fed or had oral contact with their littermates for at least 1-2 hours before taking their sample to prevent possible cross-contamination.


    When it comes to our Canine Allergy Tests, we recommend waiting until your pup is at least one year old because like people, our dogs have ever-changing biomes that take time to develop and alter over time. Giving your puppy’s system time to mature before administering an allergy test will help ensure their results are as accurate as possible.

  • What Is a Mutt?

    While they may not have the fanciest pedigree around, mutts are anything but cookie cutter! In laymen’s terms, a mutt is the opposite of a purebred dog. Rather than containing one single breed, or even large amounts of a few breeds, mutts contain small amounts of DNA from a wide variety of breeds. Sometimes there are so many breeds in a dog’s ancestry that they become diluted to the point that they are unidentifiable. The cumulation of these small percentages, however, can quickly add up to 20-50%+ of a dog’s genetic makeup, rendering them mutts, mixed-breeds, hybrids, or mongrels, as some people call them.


    While the word “Mutt” is sometimes tied to negative connotations of inferiority to purebred dogs, mutts often make exceptional, well-adjusted family pets and companions and are generally prone to few hereditary health conditions.


    They’re also very easy to come by, especially if you’re looking to rescue, foster, or adopt. Not only do mutts make up over half of America’s dog population, but they also account for roughly 75% of shelter dogs.

  • Can You Test The DNA From A Deceased Dog?

    As many of us have come to know, pets are so much more than just “pets”. They truly are a part of the family and losing a family member is never easy, especially when we are left with unanswered questions. DNA My Dog’s one-of-a-kind Deceased Dog Service was created to provide people with closure after the passing of a beloved pet. And while your pup may have passed on, their memory is still well and alive with you every day – thoughts of their funny quirks and habits, their favourite foods and toys, the games they loved, and the way one ear insisted on flopping over.


    Our Deceased Dog Services can provide you with answers by revealing specific information about your dog’s unique genetic makeup. Knowing about your pup’s specific breeds can shine a light on their physical characteristics, personality traits, as well as predispositions to inherited health conditions.


    While an ideal sample is taken before a dog has passed away, we understand that circumstances don’t always allow for this and have worked to provide pet parents with practical, affordable options.


    Although we are not able to extract DNA from fur, we can accept cheek swabs (collected prior to the dog’s passing), blood samples, and in some instances, objects that the dog has come in oral contact with.


    Cheek swabs:

    • Should be kept dry
    • Please do not soak swabs in a stabilizing solution as this prevents us from isolating the DNA for testing.


    Blood Samples:

    • Ideally on a blood card
    • If a blood card is not available, a lavender-topped blood vial or other small container of blood will work, and we can transfer the sample to a card once received
    • We recommend using an overnight courier, so the sample does not clot or degenerate
    • Your veterinarian may contact us for the best methods of providing a sample


    Objects We Can Test With:

    • Toys
    • Blankets
    • Chewed household items
    • Toothbrush
    • Teeth
    • Bones
    • Other items with the dog’s saliva


    Objects We Cannot Test With:

    • Fur
    • Collars (in most cases)
    • Food & Water Dishes
    • Objects that have since been in oral contact with another dog


    For more information on our Deceased Dog Service, please visit our Tests page.

  • Why is the address on my return envelope different than your physical address?

    To expedite the time in receiving your sample, we have various receiving hubs. Rest assured, the address on your mailing envelope is correct.

  • Why Should I Choose DNA My Dog Over Other Tests?

    As one of the first organizations to offer consumer-based Canine DNA tests, DNA My Dog has had a front row seat into the ever-evolving relationship between people and their dogs. Since 2008, we’ve helped people and dogs forge deeper bonds through the power of DNA, further expanding our line of DNA tests to include the Canine Genetic Age test, Canine Allergy Test, Wolf-Dog Content test, and the world’s only Deceased Dog DNA test.


    Our clients decide to test their dog’s DNA to get answers – Whether they’re looking for specific breed identification to pinpoint certain traits, need health information on hereditary conditions and predispositions to disease, or just want to get to know their dog better, we believe our two and four-legged clients deserve the most accurate, reliable results possible.


    That’s why we’ve invested in the most advanced genetic testing method to date – CNV (Copy Number Variation) analysis. Unlike the competition, our test compares the genetics of over 350 breeds – essentially every breed known to man – to make sure you get your dog’s precise breed representation, right down to the smallest percentage.


    By analyzing your dog’s DNA in our state-of-the-art Canine DNA Testing Lab, you’ll gain valuable insight into their unique breed composition, personality traits, breed history, health concerns, predispositions to disease, and so much more. With a database of 350+ dog breeds, we’re able to provide you with the most accurate results possible.


    We want our kits to be accessible to all pet parents. That’s why we offer the most affordable and reliable consumer Canine DNA Tests on the market, starting at just $79.99- including shipping.


    We guarantee lightening-quick turn-around times, with results taking as little as 2 weeks. Once your pup’s results are in, you’ll get a custom certificate complete with their name, photo, a detailed breed analysis, and an abundance of valuable insights to help you live longer, healthier lives together.


    Your purchases have helped better the lives of shelter dogs by supporting the DNA My Dog’s North American Shelter Program and raising over $100,000 to date. As we continue to grow with the support of our clients, so too will the reachof our help for man’s best friend.


    Our Story:

    With a background in animal rescue and a Masters in Veterinary Science, specializing in Veterinary Forensics, CEO Mindy Tenenbaum founded DNA My Dog after recognizing the potential for canine DNA breed analysis testing to help the parents of rescue dogs learn more about their adopted pups.


    What began as a mission to provide canine DNA breed analysis tests to shelters and rescue organizations quickly expanded into a service to help dog lovers around the world gain greater insights into their dog’s unique makeup. Today, our kits are sold in over 15 countries across the globe, helping pet parents forge deeper bonds by connecting the dots in their dog’s DNA.


    As one of the first organizations to offer a consumer-based Canine DNA test, DNA My Dog has had a front row seat into the ever-evolving relationship between people and their dogs. The feedback and input we receive from our clients have been the driving force and inspiration behind the comprehensive line of canine genetic tests that we’re proud to offer today.


    • The world’s only Deceased Dog DNA Test
    • The first ever DNA My Dog Canine Genetic Age Test (patent pending)
    • Our low-cost, best-in-class Allergy Test My Pet Canine Allergy Test
    • Wolf – Canid/ Hybrid Test


    Recognizing the evolution of Canine DNA testing, the dedicated team of researchers and scientists here at DNA My Dog have developed the latest genetic test which use CNV genetic technology to pinpoint the breeds in your dog using a database of over 350 breeds. With this next generation technology, you can expect a test like no other!


    As technology and the needs of our clients continue to grow and change, we look forward to being here to connect the dots for all pup parents to help them forge deeper bonds with their dogs.

Use code MUTTERS10 at checkout for $10 off and free shipping! 🐶


Use code MUTTERS10 at checkout for $10 off and free shipping! 🐶