Sunday, June 7, 2009


The following letter is the first note we received from Marshall's owner after she received his test results:

We recently adopted Marshall from a Golden Retriever rescue group. He was a stray and there was no history on him. He has a wonderful temperment and is very gentle, playful, and intelligent. He loves his belly rubs and doesn't like to be too far away from us. We were sure he was at least 50% golden retriever and everyone he meets comments on what a beautiful golden he is and asks what else he is mixed with. After so many questions from others, and because we were curious as well, we got his DNA tested. We expected to see some type of herding breed since he does try to herd his human brother and sister (ages 9 and 6 ). We also suspected husky or shepherd since his tail is SO thick and fluffy. We were in no way prepared to find out that he has NO golden in him at all. Everyone who knows him was shocked. Here are his results:
  • Level 2 : English Springer Spaniel
  • Level 4: Bull Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Miniature Pinscher, Shetland Sheepdog, Siberian Husky
Often when a customer receives results that show their dog is made up of a half-dozen or more breeds, we explain to them that when there are that many breeds at such low levels, the dominant characteristics of the detected breeds are often not evident. However, when we received the photo of Marshall who looked so much like a Golden Retriever, we had to dig a little deeper. We asked the lab to re-run Marshall's DNA just to be certain that the test was performed properly and the results were accurate. The second analysis revealed the same results except that Italian Greyhound fell below the threshold of reportable levels.

We shared this with Marshall's owner who had the following reply:

Thanks for the info and thanks for asking them to rerun the test. I am satisfied.. I guess it's true you never know what a dog is going to look like when all the DNA combine from the different breeds. He must get his size from the Husky DNA because he is very big. We went through a golden rescue group for temperament because we have two young children. Thankfully, he is a great dog. I guess this is a good lesson for us and the rescue groups and it explains why we didn't see some of the golden personality traits we expected when we got him. You have a great service and we have shared your website info with many of our friends.


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