Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Envelope, Please!

The results of Bruno's Wisdom Panel's Insights Mixed Breed DNA Test are in!

My bestie has been giving me shit about this for weeks. "Why do you care? If you adopted a little black baby, wouldn't you love her just as much as if she were white?" And of course I would. But, I replied, "If I were blind, I would want someone to tell me my baby was black so I would know what to do with her hair!" I just wanted to know what Bruno's breed makeup was so I could make better decisions about his long term health care, and so...

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm just insanely curious. And now I know!

Okay, first off, a little caveat about the results. I picked Wisdom Panel because it seems to me to be the most scientifically sound of the bunch. I really like the fact that they don't over-promise in the certainty department, because this sort of DNA testing is 1) in its infancy and 2) not like the sort of DNA test you would do to prove paternity. Yes, PCR is involved. Yes, they're looking at specific markers. But they're comparing those markers to bloodlines of AKC-registered pooches, and all of that can get a little messy, and, well... lemme just snip a snippet from a chat between me and Abbie, 'cause she says smart things:

Ive been curious about these tests myself, but the only entire dog genome sequenced is a boxer (I believe). There might be a few genetic quirks associated with certain breeds they look for, but just because you dont have that quirk doesnt mean you dont have that breed in the mix, and closely related breeds might all have that same quirk, and then just by chance, you might be that breed and have lost the quirk... For this to really work you would have to have entire genomes sequenced from numerous animals of all the breeds youre testing for.
So, if the results had been a little screwy, I wouldn't have been shocked. But then again, it was only sixty bucks. I've spent that much on a robots that turn into toy trucks before. Anyway, with no further ado, here's what Wisdom Panel says Bruno is (and this is purely based on the DNA sample; no photos or descriptions):

Their picture of the American Staffordshire Terrier even has Bruno's markings, which I think are what lead most people to believe he's a Boxer mix. So, no Bullmastiff, no Boxer... Bruno is all AmStaff! Yay! I finally know what to tell people now!

But wait, there's more... Wisdom Panel Insights is a Mixed Breed Identification test, so it's geared toward looking for mixed breeds, and assumes you're sending them the DNA of a mutt. The report also included this:

Dachsund. LOL! Note the minuscule percentages, though. I'm chalking all of that up to either 1) the stuff Abbie said above, 2) the fact that American Staffordshire Terriers are a relatively new "pure breed," made from a mix of terriers and bulldogs, or 3) possibly a DNA contamination (from the doctor's office in which I took the tissue sample) being amplified by the PCR.

Whatever the reason, the results aren't significant enough to worry about. My baby is an American Staffordshire Terrier!

Or, I could have just saved sixty bucks and used this picture as evidence:

1 comment:

  1. What a great post. We just got a little baby and weren't sure what he was until a trip to Petsmart have us a little insight. We took our little Boss to get his crawls filed and little and they but American Stafford Mix on the form. When I googled I came across this post and it was very helpful. Thanks.