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We love our dogs. They are part of our family and we often get to know them better than most people. But sometimes we don't even know our dog's breed. This is usually the case if you have a rescue or adopted dog (as you likely won't know much about their past) or if own a mutt or mixed breed and aren't sure about their makeup. One way you can find out your dog's breed or breeds is through DNA testing. But it can also provide so much more:
The most obvious reason to do a dog DNA test is to find out his or her breed. This is helpful to understand any behaviors, personality traits and instincts that your dog may have because of their breed (or breeds). Knowing your dog's breed can also help him or her find their purpose, since different breeds were bred for different jobs. Once you know more, you'll be able to do activities that let your dog's instincts shine. For example, you can do more water activities for your retriever.
Getting your dog DNA tested and finding out their breed can also help identify any health issues - genetic or generic - that your dog is at risk for or has already. This allows you to be better informed and more aware of things that may impact your pup's health. It can also help you recognize any warning signs or symptoms of potential health issues, as well as take preventative measures and add years to your dog's life (or even safe their life).
DNA testing can also give insight into your dog's traits and characteristics. For example, you'll be able to learn what estimated size your dog will be as an adult. So if you learn that your dog is going to be larger than expected, you can plan for that. Another example is what kind of fur your dog has and how much their coat might shed. Knowing this information can help you create an appropriate grooming plan and buy the proper tools for their fur type.
DNA testing can also be helpful for training your dog. Once you know more about your dog's breed, you'll be able to tailor training for them and how they learn best. Some breeds are quick learners while others take more time, some are more willing to learn and others are more stubborn. It's important to note that all dogs, regardless of breed, are individuals and that affects their training as well.
Another benefit of Dog DNA testing is that it can sometimes reveal your dog's family tree. While not necessarily useful for practical reasons, it's a nice perk because it gives you even more information about your dog. And some DNA test companies can even connect you to your dog's relatives using their database.