By Paris Permenter and John Bigley
What’s your dog’s breed? With approximately 50 percent of the U.S. dog population composed of mixed breeds, it’s a question many dog lovers hear. In the past, guesses at the breed mix were based on appearance and temperament, but now DNA testing can unlock the mystery of a dog’s genetic heritage.
For less than $100, you can purchase the most common type of DNA tests that use simple cheek-swabs to obtain a sample of your dog’s DNA. Laboratory analysis compares the dog’s DNA sample to the company’s database for matching. Presently, the Wisdom Panel Insights test has the largest database for cheek-swab tests and can compare a dog’s DNA mix against 185 different breed profiles. The Wisdom Panel Professional, a test available through veterinarians and one that requires a blood sample, compares results against 225 separate breeds.