A DNA profile is created by genotyping a dog for a number of specific markers and combining the results. As long as suitable markers are used, each dog will have a unique DNA profile that will remain unchanged throughout its life. This profile can be used to:
- Confirm the identity of a dog should it be lost or stolen (if the dog was profiled before it went missing)
- Confirm the parentage of a dog by comparing its profile with that of its parents.
A DNA profile cannot determine the breed makeup of a dog or prove that it is a purebred dog, nor does it provide any information about the conformation of a dog.
‘Profiling’ vs ‘Profiling and Parentage Analysis’
We have two separate products depending on exactly what your requirements are:
- If you wish to receive only a DNA profile (without additional parentage analysis), you can order one or more Profiling tests here.
- A dog inherits half of its DNA from the dam and the other half from the sire. It is therefore possible to prove or confirm parentage by comparing the DNA profile of a dog with those of the proposed/suspected dam(s) and sires(s). You pay only for the profiles that are generated by us, parentage analysis is free of charge. If you wish to receive DNA profiles and test the parentage of any dogs, you can order Profiling and Parentage Testing here.
Understanding Your Results
For both of the products above you will receive a certificate which contains information about the dog tested and their DNA profile. The DNA profile consists of a list of markers, each of which has 2 values (called alleles). This profile is based on DNA that is present in all cells of the dog’s body and remains identical throughout the lifetime of the dog.
Where you have requested parentage testing you will either receive a profile only (for the proposed sire(s) and dam(s)), or a profile with parentage analysis results on the second page. Parentage results will have one of three possible outcomes for each offspring-parent combination:
- Qualifies = the offspring and parent in question share a sufficient number of alleles to conclude that the proposed parentage relationship is true.
- Excluded = the offspring and parent do not share a sufficient number of alleles and the proposed parentage relationship cannot be true.
- Inconclusive = we do not have data for a sufficient number of markers to make a definitive conclusion one way or the other. The reason for this is usually that one of the DNA profiles used for the analysis, from either the sire or the dam, is incomplete i.e. not all 33 markers have been genotyped. For example, where an existing profile from a lab other than CAGT is submitted, they may not have genotyped all 33 markers.
Frequently asked Questions
Profiling and Parentage Testing
We use the ISAG (International Society for Animal Genetics) 2006 microsatellite/short tandem repeat (STR) marker panel with the latest updates recommended by ISAG:
- 21 core markers – these have been in use for many years.
- 12 additional markers – The addition of these markers can clear up parentage questions in cases where the individual dogs being tested are very closely related and cannot be separated using the core markers alone.
Canine STR Profile MarkersThe full panel of short tandem repeat (STR) markers comprises 33 markers, as listed below. Canine Genetic Testing tests the full panel, which was originally defined by ISAG in 2006 and has undergone a few recent changes/updates, as indicated in the Comments column.
|Marker Name||Marker Type||Comments|
|AHTh130||Primary (Core)||Not tested by all service providers|
|Amelogenin (X/Y)||Primary (Core)|
|FH2054||Primary (Core)||Not tested by CAGT: Removed from the ISAG panel in 2017|
|REN64E19||Primary (Core)||Not tested by all service providers|
|REN105L03||Primary (Core)||Not tested by all service providers|
|0123_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|0176_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|0323_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|0669_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|0914_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|0959_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|1055_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|1257_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|1404_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|1878_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|2469_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
|2642_RD||Secondary (Extra)||Added to the ISAG Panel in 2017|
No, a DNA profile can only be used to:
- Confirm the identity of a dog should it be lost or stolen (if it was profiled previously).
- Confirm the parentage or offspring of a dog by comparing its profile with that of its parents or offspring, respectively.
A DNA profile cannot determine the breed makeup of a dog or prove that it is a purebred dog, nor does it provide any information about the conformation of a dog. To determine the breed make up of a dog we suggest the Wisdom Panel or Embark.
Keep your profile certificate in a safe place, in case you may need it in the future.
- If you dog is lost or stolen in the future, and is found, you will need the profile to prove that the found dog is yours.
- If your dog produces any puppies in the future, you can use the existing profile in parentages analyses without having to have him/her tested again (as long as the offspring are tested using the same ISAG 2006 markers).
Eighteen of the primary (core) markers are available in a testing kit manufactured by Thermo Fisher. However, 3 of the core markers and all 12 of the secondary (extra) markers are not available in any kits. It may be that some service providers only use the commercially available kit or have not added the 12 secondary markers to their tests, which means their tests cost less to run.
Canine Genetic Testing is different because we routinely test all 33 markers currently recommended by ISAG. While this results in higher running costs overall, we feel that it is important to provide the information for all of these markers.
The parentage analysis part of the order is free of charge. Therefore, the cost is determined by how many animals in the analysis will need to have a profile generated as well.
For example, for little of 5 puppies, 1 dam and 2 sires, where both sires have previously been profiled and those profiles are available to us to use:
- 6 dogs (5 puppies and 1 dam) will need to be profiled: 6 x £45 = £270
- 2 dogs (sires) already have profiles: £0
- Total cost (before any discounts or discount codes are applied) = £270