As the owner of a crossbreed I’ve always been fascinated by Daisy’s family history.
So when I learned that you could find out your dog’s DNA I was thrilled.
I met former policewoman and animal behaviourist Sarah Morris at Dogfest in 2016.
Sarah was familiar with DNA testing from her time as a police office.
She decided to start testing dogs after chatting to owners who were keen to know what to expect from their pets.
Sarah explained: “Pet owners want to give their dog a happy life and the more they know about their behaviour and habits, the better.
“People came to me and ask what to expect from their dog according to its breeding.
“That’s when I had the idea to use the same technology that the police use to find out as much as I could about dogs.
“I asked the DNA lab that the police use if they could carry out the same tests on dogs and they agreed to help.”
Sarah set up Black Dog DNA and uses a database of 185 different dog breeds from the UK, US, Australian and Canadian Kennel club breeds.
Each customer is sent a Wisdom Panel Insights test made up of two swabs to take a small saliva sample from the inside of the dog’s mouth.
Three weeks later, they receive a Certificate of Ancestry and a report with a breakdown of the genetic make up of their pet.
Sarah also provides a behaviour, health and personality summary so they know what traits they are likely to see.
We tried out Blackdog DNA test on Daisy
Her DNA result found she was a cross between a Parson Russell Terrier, a Border Terrier, a Jack Russell Terrier and a Lakeland Terrier.
The breeding is broken down into five levels, ranging from 1 – a pure bred – to 5 which is less than 10 per cent of the dog’s make up.
Between 37-74 per cent of her DNA (Level 2) was Level 2 Parson Russell, meaning one of her parents would have been a pure breed of this type of dog.
Between 20-36 per cent of her DNA (Level 3) was Border Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier, meaning her grandparents were likely to have been pure breeds of each type.
Finally, 10-19 per cent (Level 4) matched with a Lakeland Terrier, meaning one of her great grandparents was a pure breed of this type.
She has the face of a Jack Russell but the colouring and coat of a Border Terrier.
Lakeland Terriers are said to be ‘clownish and friendly’ which is very much Daisy’s personality.
It was fascinating because all the behaviour traits, such as terriers loving chasing, digging and fetching were absolutely spot on.
It said about her having lots of energy, obsessing about small animals and needing lots of exercise too.
And terriers are prone to knee-cap rotation, which Daisy needed an operation for when she was six.
It was helpful to have all the information about what to expect in the future.
Sarah says people have their pets tested for all kinds of reasons.
Sarah explained: “Some clients are just curious about their pet.
“Others may have re-homed a dog and want to really understand their needs to give it the best possible life.
“When you understand your dog’s natural tendencies, you can tailor a training programme to meet their needs.”
Owners can pay £59.99 for a Basic DNA test with a health and personality summary or for £74.99 they receive a bespoke behavioural and training guide for their dog.
To find out more or order a test, visit Blackdog DNA and you can follow Sarah on Facebook and Twitter too.
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