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D2008-41

Dear Daisy Dog

Is there any scientific way to determine what breeds make up my mutt?

Daisy Responds

Yes. DNA testing has moved into the world of mixed-breed dogs.

Half the dogs in the United States are of mixed ancestry. DNA testing can help their families anticipate their dogs’ potential health and behavioral problems.

One such test is the Wisdom Panel, which evaluates over 300 genetic markers in the dog’s blood to identify 134 dog breeds, 99 percent of the breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. For more information, visit www.wisdompanel.com.

Another test, the Canine Heritage Breed Test, uses DNA in cells from a cheek swab to identify 105 breeds. Visit www.canineheritage.com for more information.

If you look at the photos on the Wisdom Panel Web site, you’ll find that many dogs are comprised of breeds you wouldn’t expect by looking at them.

Once you know your own dog’s breed makeup, talk with your veterinarian about the health risks and behavioral concerns associated with each of the breeds. Then you can work together to formulate a plan to prevent or manage these problems.

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