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A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

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A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by celticpitbulls on Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:19 pm

Victoria L Voith DVM, PhD, DACVB
College of Veterinary Medicine
Western University of Health Sciences

We are all aware of the newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that
show pictures of dogs and then reveal DNA breed analyses of the dogs. Surprise – the
DNA results are not what were expected based on the appearance of the dogs or the
owners’ beliefs. Those of us who walk through shelters and animal control facilities
compare the posted breed descriptions of the dogs to what they look like to us – with
frequent differences of opinions. Those who have worked at shelters and similar
facilities are aware that as dogs move through the steps in admission or during their
stay that their breed descriptions may change. It is my impression, when visiting
animal control or adoption agencies, that most medium to large size dogs with straight,
short/ medium length brown hair coats are cast as German shepherds or shepherd
mixes, dogs with a black spot on their tongues are designated Chow mixes , and most
medium sized, stocky, broad headed, small eared dogs with a short hair coats are pitbulls
or pit-bull mixes.

It is not easy to visually identify the breeds of dogs of unknown parentage accurately.
Sometimes dogs just don’t look like either parent. Scott and Fuller’s work on the
genetics and social behavior of dogs involved studying purebred dogs, F1 crosses of
purebreds, backcrosses and F2 crosses.1 Photographs of some of these F1 and F2
puppies depict that they do not resemble either purebred parent, nor do the
photographs of the F2 generations dogs look like their mixed breed parents. We don’t
know how many of the offspring did look like their purebred ancestors, but clearly not all
resembled parents or grandparents.

Shelter dog breed assignments may be based on what the dogs look like to someone at
the shelter or because owners relinquishing their dogs have indentified the dogs as a
specific breed. Newborn and young puppies may be identified as a certain breed
because the mother dog resembled a purebred dog. In the latter case, the sire of the
litter could have been any breed or several dogs could have fathered puppies in the
same litter. When the puppies grow up they don’t look anything like their mother or
littermates. These breed or mixed breed identifications may eventually find their way
into data bases – be it through population data, dog bites, serious dog attacks, behavior
problems, or disease statistics.

Rarely are owners permitted to simply fill out forms that ask about the breed by only
stating that the dog is a mixed breed or of unknown parentage. If they do so, the followup
question often is “What is it mostly?”, or “What is its most predominant breed?”, or
“What does it look like mostly?” This information may be solicited by insurance
companies, landlords, housing associations, licensing agencies, mandatory dog bite
reports, veterinary medical records, the media, and researchers trying to determine the
likelihood of involvement of specific breeds in study populations. For example, in the
methodology of one elegantly designed study, owners were asked “ what breed they
considered their dog: if more than one breed was specified, they were asked which
breed they considered to be predominant.” 2 This article became part of the impetus for
many recommendations and restrictions intended to reduce dog bites.
High profile articles in JAMA and JAVMA have reported dog bite fatalities and listed
breeds involved in such attacks. 3,4 The data used was obtained by “combining data
from the National Center for Health Statistics and computerized searching of news
stories. Karen Delise has presented compelling arguments in her recent book, The Pit
Bull Placebo, that undermines conclusions and implications of these reports. 5,6
A short report in press in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science indicates low
agreement between the identification of breeds of dogs by adoption agencies and DNA
identification .7 The dogs in this study were of unknown parentage and had been
acquired from adoption agencies. In only a quarter of these dogs was at least one of
the breeds proposed by the adoption agencies also detected as a predominant breed
by DNA analysis. (Predominant breeds were defined as those comprised of the highest
percentage of a DNA breed make-up.) In 87.5% of the adopted dogs, breeds were
identified by DNA analyses that were not proposed by the adoption agencies. A breed
must have been detected at a minimum of 12.5% of a dog’s make-up to be reported in
the DNA analysis.

Reports of DNA analyses of percentages of purebred dog breed ancestry, while
accurate most of the time, are not infallible. The laboratories providing such analyses
may have qualifiers in their reports stating that there is an 85% or 90% validity of the
results and indicate which results have lower confidence levels. Different testing
laboratories may report different results depending on which dogs were used to develop
their standards and how the laboratories analyze the samples 8 As the tests are refined,
the same laboratory may report slightly different results at different points in time.
The discrepancy between breed identifications based on opinion and DNA analysis , as
well as concerns about reliability of data collected based on media reports, draws into
question the validity and enforcement of public and private polices pertaining to dog
breeds.

Dr Amy Marder, Animal Rescue League of Boston and Director for the Center for
Shelter Dogs, has proposed that dogs adopted from shelters in the U.S. simply be
identified as “American Shelter Dogs”. This might solve a lot of problems, as well as
promote pride and ownership of an “American Shelter Dog.”


Last edited by celticpitbulls on Tue May 04, 2010 12:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:16 pm

i not readin that can some 1 brake it down into a lil sentence

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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by Harry on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:23 pm

Most dogs are wrongly identified in shelters and most dogs are really crossed with something else, I think Razz
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:24 pm

good try hahahaha if there are another 3 sentences it will be answerd

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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by celticpitbulls on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:45 pm

he just hit the nail on the head there asti rs..
meaning a lot of the time other breeds can be mistaking for pit bulls just because they could resemble 1..
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by eamo s on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:33 pm

Thats true, you see many dogs all classed as a Pit Bull. I wouldnt mind but some of these are pedigree dogs like the Spanish dog its a Canary Dogo, and many other breeds. Somtimes even the larger bred Staffy (English Staff) is classed as a Pit Bull. The right education to the public would give them a second thought.
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by celticpitbulls on Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:30 am

it can work both ways, in 1 way dogs are put to sleep due to being deemed a pit bull like in the uk, and on the other hand a lot of attacks that has happened has being other breeds that resemble pit bulls and the breed again is damaged.
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by eamo s on Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:20 am

I am in the Netherlands at the moment, so far i seen a few Am Staffs, Pit Bulls and some mixes. Not one had amuzzle on, i think the law over here is abit relaxed scratch
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by slattery9104 on Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:47 pm

In holland eamo? sounds good would love to go myself but i'm sure it would be for different reasons to yours lol

Yeah it happens a lot here i see people being stopped and asked what there dog is and when they dont know or only know its a cross the dog warden usually states its something close to a restricted breed like my gsd lab cross looks more like a lab but yet the warden stopped my for a licence one day and then stated that she is like a gsd only her colour is every thin else is lab like her ears dont stand up or anything
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by eamo s on Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:46 pm

My reasons are to see the dogs over here, whats your reason lol!
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by slattery9104 on Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:21 pm

I cannot disclose that information with you on the forum but I'm sure you might have a good idea lol! lol!
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:30 pm

it could be for a job alot efort on the pullin and pushen the relaxen and laughing type of job hahaha Razz

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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by slattery9104 on Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:34 pm

Sounds like my job where do I sign up? lol!
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by alan.g on Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:24 pm

eamo s wrote:I am in the Netherlands at the moment, so far i seen a few Am Staffs, Pit Bulls and some mixes. Not one had amuzzle on, i think the law over here is abit relaxed scratch

I was in a quite a respected hotel in the Dam once, I was walking from the lift and passed a woman walking towards me with an Am staff with no muzzle going into the lift to what i guess was her room. I asked a guy that works there and he said they welcome all types of dogs there! Surprised
One of those jaw dropping moments!
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by slattery9104 on Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:27 pm

yeah the changed from the extream of banning the breed to very few laws at all i love the dutch very laid back people its all easy goin with em
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by Harry on Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:33 pm

Yesh, they are vhery ghood lol
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Re: A COMPARISON OF VISUAL AND DNA IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDS OF DOGS!

Post by JS1 on Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:14 pm

Good read, more facts like these and yet the BSL is still in force. Its the governments way of covering themselves, to do what they want and just use the "BSL" to cover there favorite word "Type"

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