Puppies can be tested at any age, but do it before you breed!
It is always best to test a dog before it is bred so that you are aware of any potential genetic disorders that it could pass to its offspring. We suggest testing as an ongoing part of your breeding program, before you invest significant time and resources into training a dog for specialized work, before buying a puppy, or if your dog becomes symptomatic with a potentially inherited disease. Testing today can mean a healthier, more productive, and more valuable breeding program.
My dog is pregnant. Will this interfere with the testing?
We can test your pregnant dog, and the pregnancy will not affect our genetic testing in any way. In fact, it would be better to do it now rather than after the pups are born and mom is licking them. It is important to try to reduce contamination, so testing her right now would be ideal.
Can I test before my puppies are weaned?
Yes, but we do ask that you separate them from their mother and other littermates for at least one hour prior to collecting a sample using a cheek swab. This is to ensure we get the DNA of the puppy instead of the mom's or siblings' DNA. During this time, they should have plenty of water and should not be allowed food to avoid contamination of samples.
Is there a minimum age?
You can DNA test your dog at any age. We recommend following the above instructions if the puppy is not yet weaned. It is recommended that the puppy is handled by a professional, trained breeder to minimize the risk of the puppy becoming cold, dehydrated, or hypoglycemic.
When is the best time to test a puppy?
You can test them at any time. Otherwise, we suggest doing cheek swabs around 4 weeks of age or when the pups can safely be isolated from mom and littermates for at least an hour. If you do cheek swabs, please have someone help you hold them and give them plenty of water during the one hour wait. Insert the swab between the cheek and gum and press gently towards the outside, against the cheek. Rub and roll the swab against the cheek for a slow count of 30-45 seconds. This should collect enough cells for DNA extraction. The primary mistake that many people make is not leaving the swab in the mouth long enough to collect sufficient cells.
Note that while genetics will not change as the puppy ages, it can be very difficult to observe physical breed traits in young dogs because they are growing and developing rapidly. Most dogs will not achieve their final mature physical traits until they are at least one to two years of age.