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Dog DNA and Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is important for any breeder to make a part of their breeding program. Any time you’re looking for a new canine member of the family, be sure to ask any potential breeders if they test their dogs.

The main reasons for testing are:

- testing for potential health-related issues

- testing for compatibility between the mom and dad

- getting a better idea of coat colors and other traits

- overall information that can help guide the breeding program to be the best it can be

Following through with the test indicates a breeder is taking the necessary steps of having high-quality, healthy litters and is concerned about the success of their program and the happiness of their clients.

While dog DNA and genetics are extremely complicated subjects, here are three fun facts, courtesy of the AKC.

- If all the DNA inside one dog cell was laid out end to end, it would stretch over 6 feet in length.

- If all the DNA in the cells of one adult dog was laid out end to end, it would stretch to the sun and back many times.

- All healthy dogs have 78 chromosomes, and under a microscope, the chromosomes from each cell within a single dog and between dogs look the same. It is the actual DNA sequence where differences between breeds are detected.

Pretty cool, huh? Aren't living creatures amazing?

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