Home Page Forums Darwin’s Ark Mutt Project Reply To: Mutt Project


I loved seeing some of the results you’ve shared so far on Twitter. Is the formatting on those a “sneak peek” of sorts at what the results eventually to be shared with those whose dogs were genotyped might look like?

I regularly browse a subreddit where people post the results of their dogs’ breed ancestry DNA tests, so I wasn’t too surprised to see how complex some of the mixes shared so far seem to be, nor how little some of those dogs resemble much of anything detected in them. It’s unfortunate how marketing pressures tend to result in shelters feeling a need to ascribe a simple “A x B”-type mix guess to mutts put up for adoption–as in, “We think handsome Happy is a Lab/Border Collie mix!” Among other issues, that can tend to create a false expectation in people’s minds that if Happy looks kinda sorta like a Lab, well then he must be largely Lab, when in reality he might have no Lab in him at all. That in turn could lead to some pretty off-base expectations about what kind of energy level, interests, and social behavior your newly adopted mutt will turn out to have, especially if it hasn’t spent a good amount of time with a foster who’s had opportunities to observe some of those qualities in a variety of situations.

Just out of curiosity, are you able to say at this point whether reported results might include any info about the dog’s genotype for various physical traits whose genetic bases are known? For example, whether a dog is merle, or whether it’s a dominant (Agouti locus) red vs. a recessive (Extension locus) red, etc.? I realize such findings are unlikely to be of much interest from your end, given the study’s emphases, but was just curious as to what range of “translated into plain English” genotype info you were thinking of providing.