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    mary iovino

    Just wondering where you are in time with adding the American pit bull terrier to you referance panel, need Izzy’s DNA updated, can you please at least give me some type of time frame?? Thank you, Mary


    jessica hekman

    Hi, Mary! We are working on it – getting APBTs into the next version of our breed panel is an extremely high priority for us. The final dogs we need for that are sequencing now (second pass – they failed sequencing the first time but are being re-run). There will be processing once they’re done. Our hope is to release a new breed reference panel and re-analyze existing dogs in the next 2-3 months. When that happens, we will send emails out to let folks know if their results have changed.

    Believe me, the slow time frame is frustrating for us, too!

    Darwin’s Ark Researcher


    maren williams

    I don’t know if you’ll be able to tell me any specifics, but I’m also wondering if it’s likely that my dog Lola has a substantial APBT component. Here are her DNA results:

    Before participating in this project, I had already tested her with Wisdom Panel which said 50% Mini Schnauzer and 50% American Staffordshire Terrier. Wisdom Panel also does not have APBT in their database and I had a hunch that AmStaff was simply as close as they could get.

    I also have a feeling that my theory is bolstered by the Darwin’s Ark results, but just wondering if anyone can shed more light on this:

    48% Mini Schnauzer
    32% Unknown
    11.8% Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    8% Others including Bull Terrier, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier

    …so are APBTs basically Staffordshire Bulls bred over several generations with smaller bully breeds, and that’s why we get that breakdown in Lola? Or is it more likely that someone was breeding designer dogs like “pocket pits” and a Schnauzer accidentally got in the mix? 🙂 Lola was a stray before I adopted her from the shelter, so I know nothing about her early life.



    I think you might be somewhat confusing the American Bully with the APBT? The APBT, AmStaff, Staffy Bull, Bull Terrier, and Mini Bull Terrier all originate from the same early-19th-century crosses in the UK (old English Bulldog x assorted terriers, likely with a pinch of Whippet as well). Over time, different strains of that basic “Bull-and-Terrier” type developed. The BT and MBT were the first to split off from the rest, in the mid-19th century (this is all still happening in the UK). Then the Staffy Bull and APBT diverged in the late 19th century, due to the lines which became the APBT having been taken to the US by immigrants. The AmStaff was developed later (in the US, early 20th century) out of various APBT strains, and is registered through the AKC whereas APBTs are registered through the UKC. (While AmStaffs and APBTs remain very closely related, AmStaffs tend to be somewhat taller, stockier, mellower, and less athletic–sort of like a show-line version of the APBT, whereas the APBT remains well-suited for sports, farm work such as hog-catching, and, unfortunately, underground dog-fighting as well.) Finally, the American Bully was developed in the late 20th century by crossing AmStaffs, APBTs, and assorted smaller bully-ish breeds–it’s not really clear which smaller breeds were used, but Frenchies and Staffy Bulls were almost certainly among them. (In fact, this is thought to be how Bostons originated as well, excpet they’ve been around since the late 19th century.) The AmBull was the last of these breeds to be recognized by a major kennel club (UKC, 2013).

    However, the vast majority of “pit bulls,” including many who are marketed as supposed purebreds of one of the above breeds, are non-pedigreed dogs who very often have several of the above breeds, as well as pinches of various other breeds, in them (e.g., mastiff types for a bigger and tougher-looking “pit bull,” Bostons for a smaller and cuter-looking one, etc.). While there’s no way for a DNA test to tell which crosses in a mutt’s background were deliberate vs. which ones were “oopsies,” Lola’s results to date could fit well with her having either American Bully, or else some generic “pit bull” meant to mimic an American Bully, in the near reaches of her family tree. As for the Mini Schnauzer x probable(?)-multi-bully-mix at the parent level, that would almost certainly have been an “oops”–I doubt anyone is breeding that mix deliberately, as there wouldn’t seem to be much of a market for it.


    maren williams

    Thanks Jennifer! I agree the Schnauzer likely happened with no human intervention, shall we say. 🙂 I’ve had a Google alert set up for “miniature schnauzer pit bull mix” ever since I got the Wisdom Panel results, and it occasionally finds people on Craigslist trying to unload them for free. This is no reflection on Lola, who is of course the best dog in the world.



    So if my dog has APBT in her, it won’t come up in her Darwin panel? Just curious – she’s a lab mix, just ordered my kit today…


    brittney logan

    Hi Erika,

    We are currently working on adding APBT to our reference panel, and are close to having it ready to run data against.

    If you received your results and do not see APBT that just means we are still working on it. Once the new panel with APBT is ready, we will rerun all of our participants data and upload the updated results.

    So yes, we will be able to call APBT soon! 🙂



    Thanks, and now of course I see you note you don’t have it in another post on the site – thanks again…just sending mine in this coming week…

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