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What breed of dog is Lydia? Guess and win!

Posted Dec 12 2009 4:12pm

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Ever since I first laid eyes on Lydia I thought she was an Australian Shepherd mix. Just about everyone who’s ever met her, including her veterinarians, think the same thing. She looks like an Aussie – acts like an Aussie – and is pretty darned smart…just like an Aussie! The old adage comes to mind “if it looks like a duck…” but that may not always be true. Sometimes dogs can fool us.

So…is Lydia really an Aussie?

I’m going to find out soon!

The folks from Mars Veterinary™ sent me a Wisdom Panel Insight test kit, which looks at DNA samples, to determine Lydia’s ancestry.

The process is pretty simple. I had to use a couple swabs to get cell samples from her cheek then send them back to the company. Once they get the samples it takes about two or three weeks to get the results. After the results are in they’ll send me an email and I can download the results from their website.

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Here’s what the website says about the DNA test:

Wisdom Panel™ Insights test analyzes over 300 genetic markers to determine the ancestral breed composition of a mixed-breed dog. Within this panel, there are almost no markers which are absolutely specific to one breed. Each breed will have a combination of markers within the panel that represent the breed. Within a mixed-breed dog, depending on the heritage of the breeds, not all of those markers may be passed down through the generations to appear in the genetic make-up of the dog that is tested. For example, on average, you would only expect 25% of the breed markers from a Grandparent to be passed down to the current dog. Thus, the way the test works is to use a best-fit model that is selected on the basis of the highest probability for each breed depending upon the analysis of markers that are found in the current dog. The final report is generated depending on the highest probability breeds found with a lower limit cut-off to ensure that the false positive reports are reduced to a minimum.

So, what is Lydia?! (besides an absolutely wonderful companion, that is!) I still think she’s an Australian Shepherd.

What do you think?

Take a guess and you might get a Wisdom Panel Insight test to find out what your dog is!

Mars Veterinary has given me an extra Wisdom Panel™ Insights to give away on the blog. So, take a look at Lydia’s pictures and leave a comment with your best guess. Once I get the results in, I’ll choose a winner from those who guessed correctly. If there are no correct guesses I’ll pick a random winner.

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I’m interested in hearing what your guesses are!

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