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Getting your dog papered exposes him to lots of opportunities.
The registration papers will prove that your dog is a pure breed and he will be allowed into AKC events and gets lots of goodies like insurance.
But there are some basic requirements for your dog to get his papers.
For instance, you need to prove that both of the dog’s parents are purebred and registered members of the American Kennel Club (AKC).
But not everyone has access to the history of their dog’s parents. And this begs the question: can you register a dog with a DNA test?
If you are looking to register your dog with AKC and wondering if the DNA test can help, then the answer is no–you cannot register your dog to the AKC based on a DNA test.
What the Dog DNA Determines
Even though the AKC has an incredible canine DNA database, the DNA profiling of its members is voluntary and that means they don’t have all their member’s DNA records on file.
Additionally, the AKC DNA testing program is exclusively for AKC registered breeds.
In other words, if the dog qualifies for DNA testing by the AKC, it already qualifies to be a member and there is no need to rely on the DNA details for registration.
The DNA test will not determine:
- The genetic health of the dog
- The conformation
- The dog’s performance ability
- The coat color of the dog
- The dogs breed
- If the dog is a pure breed or not
Most kennel clubs look for documentation that gives verifiable evidence of the dog’s lineage. The documentation gives a clear-cut history of the dog’s family tree.
With a DNA test, you will be dealing with probabilities that have some margin of error but the registration of pure breeds in clubs can give breeders and owners a safe reference point for the history of the dog.
This is why AKC and other reputable clubs do not accept DNA tests for registration.
Can A DNA Result Show Which Breeds Your Dog Is Mixed With?
The DNA results can reveal the breeds that are mixed in your dog with acceptable accuracy.
The accuracy will largely depend on the database used.
For instance, if your dog’s genetic markers are similar to the ones in the database queried, the results will be more accurate as opposed to a database that has no records of similar genetic markers.
The American Kennel Club has an impressive database that will greatly increase your chances of getting an accurate result.
That said, it is almost impossible to get a DNA result that is 100% accurate.
There will most likely be some discrepancies, so you should only use the DNA result as a general idea rather than as definitive proof.
How Accurate Are Dog DNA Tests?
There are lots of companies offering dog DNA tests and none of them has a foolproof testing mechanism.
That said, some will be more accurate than others depending on some variables.
For starters, the number of genetic markers with which the DNA sample is compared will affect the accuracy of the result.
The more the number of genetic markers, the more accurate your result will be.
Secondly, the condition of your dog’s mouth when he is swabbed for a sample can also impact the accuracy of the results.
The dog’s mouth is a haven for all sorts of bacteria and there is a chance the bacteria can cause the sample to lose integrity before it reaches the lab for test.
To avoid this, try to get the sample back to the lab as soon as possible.
These are some of the reasons why pedigree papers are considered more reliable than DNA results.
Even though the DNA technology used in dogs is similar to the one used in humans, DNA tests for dogs are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other government agency.
For this reason, always go for a company that has stringent quality control protocols.
Should You Get A Dog DNA Test?
A DNA test will cost you anything from $50 to $200 depending on which service you are using.
Whichever the case might be, it is a relatively expensive undertaking, so you want to be sure the test will be beneficial before you commit.
Whether or not you should get a DNA test for your dog depends on why you want it.
If you are thinking of taking the test to help get your dog papered, it will be a waste of time and money, so you may want to think twice.
But if your purpose is to figure out your dog’s traits, lineage, medical concerns, etc. then the DNA test will be a great idea.
To put it plainly, DNA testing is not just about papering your dog. There are lots of other benefits too.
For instance, knowing the breed mixtures of your dog can help you take better care of your pet.
The breed of your dog will determine the best diet and preventative care for your pet.
It will also help you know what level of activity is good for your dog. Herding breeds will need to be very active while pugs will be fine slumping on the couch all day.
How to Do a DNA Test
To get your DNA test, just order a DNA kit from Amazon, AKC, or even from your vet.
Once you get home, you can take a swab in your dog’s cheek and send this sample back for testing at the lab.
Upon receipt of your sample, it will be tested by comparing it to the genetic markers on file to determine the closest match.
The test results should get back to you within a couple of days.
To sum it up, you cannot use your Dog’s DNA test to get him registered to any reputable kennel club.
Talk to your breeder to find out whom the parents of your dog are and if they are papered.
If they are registered, you can go ahead and request registration papers as it should be a straightforward case.
If not, you might have to consult with your breeder on how best to proceed.