DNA Helping Shelter Dogs

The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA in California has a unique idea to encourage adoption of shelter dogs. The shelter is investigating DNA testing to discover the breeds present in each individual dog. To this end, 12 dogs who looked like chihuahua mixes were chosen and put to the test.

Recently, a group of animal professionals including veterinarians, veterinary technicians, trainers, shelter personnel, were asked to identify breeds present in a group of shelter dogs. They were not even close at recognizing breed combinations.

The thinking behind using DNA testing is that once a mixed breed’s background is known and perhaps given an interesting name such as Terridoodle (Terrier/Miniature Poodle mix), more people would be willing to give a shelter dog a home.

The results are in, and good news, the DNA testing proved successful. The shelter reports that most of the dogs tested were adopted. They have since ordered DNA testing for another group of dogs.

There are two sides to every coin as the saying goes. On the one side, some of us may feel what difference can knowing the exact breed of a dog when you fall in love with him/her. On the other side, it may help to have an idea of the dog’s personality and how it will fit into your life.

Let’s hope DNA testing for shelter dogs continues to prove successful and catches on – it could be an additional tool to help these deserving dogs find a forever home.

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