DOGGY DNA

The thought of starting a blog is a bit nerve wracking! 


…which is why I thought it was appropriate that my first blog entry should be about my amazing dog Indy.

Here’s why:

1. Much like blog writing, I used to be nervous of and avoid all dogs.

2. I honestly love Indy with all of my heart and I aim to blog about things that I love and enjoy. Wether it be a travel destination, a restaurant, skin care product or an IKEA cushion!!

3. He cost a donation of £80 from DogsTrust (vet check etc). A skinny stray mongrel with separation anxiety – the biggest bargain of my life. The blog will probably feature me spending money on the things that I love but I also hope to document the bargains in my life and my journey into the world of adulting! 

4. Many of the photographs & videos I usually take are of Indy and I hope that blogging will push me to learn more as I really admire good photography and videography but I’m a massive amateur and barely get by on Auto. I’m probably most comfortable filming with my GoPro  but not so good at editing! So lots of learning to be had. 

5. Last but not least, if you hadn’t guessed from the title, this initial blog post will in fact reveal Indy’s genetic make up…and who doesn’t love make up?

To set the scene, as my boyfriends birthday was fast approaching I started to contemplate what gifts to buy for him. Naturally I stuck to the generic items, went online and filled my virtual basket with some aftershave, a DNA test for our dog, and a multipack of socks.

So…the dog DNA test! This might be one of those presents that I buy for someone else but that’s secretly a present for…me! And before you ask, it’s not to determine if I’m his maw – of course I am. It’s to reveal what breeds make up the amazing personality of our handsome mix breed Indy.

‘How To’ and review of Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test:

After a quick google search I put £60 into the hands of a trusty fave – Amazon. What can’t you buy from Amazon? The kit brand is Wisdom Panel who seem to have good reviews online, although from a bit of research it seems no matter what brand you use there’ll be a middle aged woman somewhere online claiming that the test results weren’t accurate. Betty (51) from Middlesburgh didn’t put me off though. 

The process of ordering it on Amazon was as easy as ever and it arrived within a few days. However when I saw the small sleeve at the door I assumed it wasn’t the test because it was just so tiny! Don’t get me wrong it doesn’t look shoddy or anything, you just expect there to be more of it. This isn’t really a negative as the kit seems to include all it needs to, but if you’re anything like me you’ve geared yourself up to think you’re doing some CSI type stuff and it’s not quite like that.

Enclosed was:

– A small set of perfectly good and easy to follow instructions

– A set of labels

– A small sleeve with 2 DNA swabs inside, both intended for one dog.

– An envelope to send it back in

STEP 1:

Make sure your dog hasn’t eaten in the last 2 hours.

Peel back the edges of the swab sleeve by a few centimetres.

Note your dogs joyful facial expression as he has no idea what your about to do.

STEP 2: 

Firmly roll the swab bristles between the inner surface of the cheek and gums for 5 seconds.

Note your dogs facial expression change as he now has some idea of what you’re about to do…

Haha!

Then repeat this step with the second swab. I had to get my boyfriend to take over here as Indy started to pull back a little when I was doing it. All in all though a quick and simple process so far that didn’t seem to faze him too much.


STEP 3:

Let both of the swabs air dry for around 5 minutes.

Once you’ve allowed them to air dry, put the 2 swabs back into the packet they came from. 

At this point, I just thought that putting it back into the slightly opened packet that I took it out of didn’t seem that secure. However a few seasons of CSI doesn’t make me an expert, and it does say on the instructions that you shouldn’t attempt to seal the sleeve as it will apparently help bacteria to grow. So there is the chance that they might, just might know more than me…

Step 4 – Activate Online:

Once you’ve completed the test, you need to go online and enter a few of your dogs details into the website, including date of birth (we put a rough date as Indy was a stray), weight, name and your email address. You also have to type in the Sample ID that is printed at the top of the instructions so don’t lose them! This will then generate a confirmation number for you.

STEP 5: 

The pack comes with a set of labels. Write the confirmation number that you have just generated onto this label and stick the label onto the swab sleeve. Put it into the prepaid envelope that they provide, post it and eagerly await the results!

Strangely it gets posted to the Scottish town of Ayr! I’m pretty sure it goes from there on to America. 

Step 6 – Recieve Results:

Once I had posted it I liked receiving a few email updates about the process, including one to inform me that the sample had arrived at the lab. The results are estimated to take 2-3 weeks and will also arrive via e-mail. I felt so excited waiting for the results and they came quicker than expected. 

So here goes…

Yay! So exciting!!

I knew from doing some research before hand that if there is a big variety of mix breeds in his ancestry that some of ‘the family tree’ would come up simply as “Mix Breed” because they are mixed beyond the three generations that it tests for. As you can see below some of his ancestry is like this.

Even though there are some blanks and question marks, we are so chuffed with the results! We had always thought that German Shepherd would probably be in there, but to be honest we wouldn’t have cared what the results revealed, it was just a bit of fun and quite interesting to investigate! I do always feel a bit guilty when you’re in the park and someone asks what he is and we don’t know! 

The email also includes Bio’s for the breeds which is nice as it details the behavioural traits that these breeds usually possess, the shape of their ears, nose and tail, and any health concerns. We can see that Indy is within a good weight range and were able to start guessing what physical and behavioural traits he’s taken from each one. He’s such a loveable, intelligent and energetic dog which goes perfectly with these breeds! 

Thanks Wisdom Panel for an insight into our amazing dog Indy. It was definitely a fun process and one which we both enjoyed and would recommend.

Ellen x



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