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

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beth fabrizio

I completed the “Mutt” survey and in many cases the main breed I would have guessed was not on the list. One of them looked identical to my friend’s registered purebred. It could be coincidental or because you don’t have that breed for comparison. But, how would you know if the breed isn’t included? Around 12 the purebred dogs owned by friends are not on the list. So, did you limit the list to only the breeds found in these dogs or are these the only breeds you (meaning your testing lab) have for comparison? How are the breeds selected for inclusion and exclusion? Several popular (top 50) breeds are not included. I believe there are around 400 dog breeds and I doubt any testing lab has DNA for all of them. And it seems doubtful any of the “types” (often pedigreed but not breed club registered working dogs) are included – although the American Kennel Club is adding many of these breeds. I ask because the accuracy of the survey depends on the accuracy of the comparison set of DNA. Is it really a mutt if it comes from a hundred plus year old breeding program but isn’t registered with a kennel club? If a dog’s breed isn’t on the list, the results will be nonsensical. From a scientific standpoint, how do you resolve this? Can you post both a short answer and a link to your methodology?

How accurate are the breed tests even for a single breed like Labradors? Do the testing labs have samples from dogs bred in multiple locations and countries? How about show dog breeders versus backyard breeders? Border collies are primarily working bred – how do the testing labs select dogs to include as samples? If a shelter says Happy is a lab/border collie mix and the genetic test says poodle/dalmation/pug, is the shelter really wrong or the test?
I have read that most shelter dogs are a complete hodge podge (more than 4 breeds.) I wonder if that is actually true of “most” shelter dogs or does it reflect the limits of DNA tests.