Glia’s DNA Test

Glia’s DNA Test

Meet Glia

Glia is the resident dog here at Pawsitively Intrepid. She entered my life as a wee pup – somewhere around 3 -4 months of age. At that time, I was in veterinary school at the University of Minnesota and had been watching the local human societies for the perfect new addition. When Glia (then Tweetie) was transferred from Oklahoma to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, I knew I had found the perfect pup. Energetic and friendly, this suspected black Labrador Retriever mix appeared to be the right combination to make a perfect adventure companion.

Glia on her Adoption Day in September 2011!

You can see why such a cute black lab looking puppy could quickly steal my heart.

Fall of 2011 – Just a few months old.
One of my favorite of her baby pictures 🙂

As Glia grew, she appeared to be less and less of a Labrador mix. Her coat stayed short and relatively thin, without much in the way of an undercoat. Her paws stayed small, and she topped out at about 40 pounds. The sun brought out red highlights in her coat. She developed a slim, muscular build.  And she never lost her underbite.

Still a puppy here – but you can see those red highlights showing up.

Temperament wise, she was very energetic and outgoing (training her not to jump on visiting humans has been a struggle to this day). Highly food motivated, she learned commands quickly. She was an occasional retriever, often chasing the balls, but not always returning with them. As for her enthusiasm outdoors, Glia would wade in the water, but wasn’t really into swimming. She much preferred to sniff and chase her way through the woods and prairie. She was friendly and playful with most dogs, but from day one liked to keep her toys to herself (although she happily shared them with humans).

Full grown Glia at about a year of age.
A full body shot to show off that deep chest and nice abdominal tuck.

DNA Testing

In 2014, I started working at a veterinary clinic that routinely sent off DNA tests. My clinic utilized the Genetic Health Analysis marketed by Royal Canin. This test requires acquiring a blood sample and sending it off to Royal Canin’s laboratory. According to Royal Canin,

“Once our lab receives the dog’s blood sample, it undergoes extensive analysis. Our proprietary algorithm involves more than 18,000,000 comparisons against more than 250 different breeds and over 1800 genetic markers. Once the analysis is completed, we generate two reports: a general overview of the results for the pet owner, and a more detailed, medically focused report for your veterinarian. Once you receive the reports, you should schedule a consultation with your veterinarian to review the report”.

So in addition to receiving a detailed report outlining the most likely breeds that make up my mutt, I would also receive information on different genetic mutations that could affect my dog’s health. It was only a matter of months after starting this job before Glia’s blood was drawn and submitted.

After the blood is drawn, it takes a couple of weeks to get results. I have to admit, I was a little obsessive about checking the clinic’s account for results during the waiting period. But finally, the results were in! Here’s your last chance to make your own educated guess before the results are revealed.

What are the two predominate breeds that make up Glia? Hint: The rest of her DNA is too mixed to tell.

View Results

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Caution: Spoilers below this line.

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My personal vote had been for an American Staffordshire Terrier x Whippet mix, but I truly didn’t know. Hence the need for the DNA test 🙂

The Results

Now that the guesses are in, here is what Royal Canin had to say: Glia is 3/8 American Staffordshire Terrier, 1/4 Cocker Spaniel, and 3/8 too mixed to tell.

I have to admit, the Cocker Spaniel result surprised me quite a bit. I would have expected her to have longer hair and ears, but it would explain her smaller head and longer ears than expected for an American Stafforshire Terrier mix. Her coat length, coloration, and muscular build are consistent with an American Staffordshire Terrier. Her temperament fits right in with a mix of those two breeds. Energetic, intelligent, friendly, and tenacious! If anyone is interested in seeing the full report that is given to the dog owner’s following testing, here is a link to Glia’s test results.

Visit AKC.org to find out more about both dog breeds: the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Cocker Spaniel.

Has anyone else done DNA tests with their dogs? Anyone received fun results? I always enjoy finding out what makes up my favorite mutts.

16 thoughts on “Glia’s DNA Test

  1. Wow. This is interesting. I see those DNA/learn your lineage history commercials on TV for people all the time, however didn’t realize that have such a thing for dogs. Who knew? Or maybe it’s just me. I agree, I wouldn’t have guessed Cocker Spaniel in the mix. Interesting though. Either way your dog is a cutie pie! I can see why you fell in love.

  2. I voted for Labrador retriever and short haired pointer, hahaha. Got it all wrong. Clearly Glia is full of surprises.

  3. Well, I was half-right. The Cocker Spaniel part is surprising. I would have thought she’d be heavier and lower to the ground. Some genetic traits aren’t easily visible, though. I think my dog Soldier is Beagle, Jack Russell and Sheltie, but I’m sure if I get his DNA tested he’ll end up being something bizarre but lovable. Knowing about genetic diseases and other potential health problems is a great benefit that I didn’t know about. I’m more likely to get Soldier’s DNA tested now because I want to protect his health as long as possible.

    1. Yes, I really liked the genetic testing component also. The veterinary part of the report has a pretty comprehensive list of genetic diseases – all of which Glia was negative for luckily.

  4. Interesting! She looks very similar to GSP/Whippet/Lab mixes I know. I never would’ve guessed Cocker Spaniel, although I can see the American Staffordshire somewhat. I used Embark to DNA test my wrinkly mix, Buster. It also tests for genetic mutations, which is why I opted for it. I felt it was very accurate. Buster is a Pug/English Bulldog mix with some Boxer and apparently Rottweiler somewhere too. DNA tests are so much fun!

  5. The main thing, I believe, is that she is adorable! Knowing the genetic heritage, though, is important to know what health issues you might want to look out for/prevent, and what other breed-specific challenges you might encounter.

  6. That’s so cool I never would have guessed by her appearance! I also have a black “lab” mix rescued while young. I would love to do a DNA test on him because he’s such a question mark. A lot of people think he is part chow because he has a black-spotted tongue, but my holistic vet today said she would bet money that Gonzo is part sharpei.

  7. I’m surprised labrador didn’t show up. She sure looks like a lab mix to me. I own two cocker spaniels, and I’m really surprised that she has cocker in her. You just never know with a mixed breed.

  8. So no Lab at all?? That is really surprising! The Cocker definitely surprised me. DNA test are amazing, I’d love to do one for my little gal Phoebe.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  9. I thought Boxer as soon as I saw her face, she looks so much like one of Dolly’s pals that’s a Lab mix but her face is Boxer. Oh well she sure fooled us! I really want to do a DNA on Dolly, I know she’s Dachshund black/tan in looks and personality (stubborn) but only guess that the rest is Beagle. Sandra and Dolly

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