Mammalian Genome

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 109-123

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

DNA testing and domestic dogs

  • Cathryn MellershAffiliated withCanine Genetics, Animal Health Trust Email author 


There are currently about 80 different DNA tests available for mutations that are associated with inherited disease in the domestic dog, and as the tools available with which to dissect the canine genome become increasingly sophisticated, this number can be expected to rise dramatically over the next few years. With unrelenting media pressure focused firmly on the health of the purebred domestic dog, veterinarians and dog breeders are turning increasingly to DNA tests to ensure the health of their dogs. It is ultimately the responsibility of the scientists who identify disease-associated genetic variants to make sensible choices about which discoveries are appropriate to develop into commercially available DNA tests for the lay dog breeder, who needs to balance the need to improve the genetic health of their breed with the need to maintain genetic diversity. This review discusses some of the factors that should be considered along the route from mutation discovery to DNA test and some representative examples of DNA tests currently available.