The report included details of physical and behavioural traits associated with these dog breeds; which Advance says can combine their influences in a way unique to your dog."
So you want to test your dog’s DNA but don’t know whether you should? You’ve come to the right place.
We got Luna, a ‘first-generation’ cross-breed English Cocker Spaniel and Minature Poodle a few years ago. We were told, first-generation crossbreeds are the strongest and retain the benefits of both breeds. Almost like a Pokemon.
But over time we began having doubts that she was even an English Cocker Spaniel crossed with a Minature Poodle - she looked much, much more like a cocker than any other kind of dog.
We got questions from other pet owners at the time, ‘oh, she’s definitely a cocker spaniel, I can tell.’ ‘Are you sure you have a cocker spaniel?’ And over and over again, we’d explain the story to onlookers, other friendly ‘experts’ who owned cocker spaniels before, and you could sense that perhaps we didn’t really understand what kind of dog we owned because clearly, that’s not the dog we were actually sold.
A couple of years later at a routine check-up at our local vet, we asked about the genetic testing service available for Luna. It was a Mixed Breed Identification DNA Test from Advance. The test has been adapted from the US Wisdom Panel Professional Mixed-Breed Identification test and is regarded as the world's leading canine DNA test.
The test cost less than $200. The vet said, ‘We don’t do it that often, but it’s just a bit of fun.’ Our vet took Luna away with his hand clasping under her chest to retrieve her blood sample. After taking the sample, it was sent to Advance’s US laboratory for processing, with a fifteen-day turnaround timetable to receive Luna’s results.
Unlike the Ancestry DNA test kit I ordered and took about six weeks (this was a few years ago), we received our results from Advance on schedule.
What does the test do?
The ADVANCE® Mixed Breed Identification DNA Test claims that a computer algorithm performs over seven million calculations using 11 different models (from a single breed to complex combinations of breeds) to predict the most likely combination of pure and mixed breed dogs in the last three ancestral generations that best fit the DNA marker pattern observed in your dog.
With just a blood sample, the ADVANCE™ Mixed Breed Identification DNA Test claims to provide information that helps you to:
What did the test say about Luna?
This report revealed the breeds detected in Luna’s DNA: American Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel and Minature Poodle. We were also given Luna's results as shown below:
The report also included details of physical and behavioural traits associated with these dog breeds which Advance says can combine their influences in a way unique to your dog. Behaviourally, we understood that Luna does behave like a sensitive, scared, intelligent and excessively alert poodle, while also showing great trainability, playfulness and affection that cocker spaniels are known for.
Even behaviours like carrying items from room to room (for example she likes retrieving socks and carrying them around in her mouth) we felt could be linked back to a cocker trait. Physically, Luna’s long legs and heavier structure could be given to Luna’s cocker spaniel background. Her cocker fur, rather than the curly poodle hair are among the heritable factors, giving Luna a strong physical resemblance to a Cocker Spaniel.
How did we feel with the results?
Clearly, we were pretty happy with Luna’s genetic ancestry. Finally, we could say without a doubt that Luna was definitely a cocker spaniel crossed with a poodle (not just a cocker spaniel).
We definitely recommend getting your dog’s DNA tested. We know for sure what breeds make her up, her physical traits, health profile and social behaviours that enable owners and handlers alike to manage Luna better.