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.
You can see why such a cute black lab looking puppy could quickly steal my heart.
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.
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).
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.
Caution: Spoilers below this line.
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 🙂
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.
Has anyone else done DNA tests with their dogs? Anyone received fun results? I always enjoy finding out what makes up my favorite mutts.