Friday, October 29, 2010

DNA part 1

Happy Halloween! Isn't DNA a little scary?

K - mebbe that is a stretch...

I bought a couple canine DNA tests for Furry Husband. He'd been wondering out loud what Sammy's breeding might be. Figured it'd be interesting and fun to see. I purchased one test for each of our two mix breed dogs...

NPR did a couple stories about the canine DNA tests....

Read part one first:

And the follow up ending to the story here:

In the above story, there were a couple extra dog breeds thrown in along with the two the dog turned out to be. Blood testing is more accurate than the cheek cell test. The cheek cell test seems to get you into the ballpark of breeds your dog might be with a couple random breeds accidentally thrown in.

We had the cheek cell test.

This is Bequia (pronounced beck-way). She is our 12 yr old mix breed dog we picked up at a Denver animal shelter 11 yrs ago... we've always called her our cattle dog mix and figured there was some border collie in there. She's a medium size dog... prolly about 45lbs.

She goes after tennis balls all day long like those high energy herding breeds will do... she tries to herd the horses through the fence...seems to be a strong herding instinct going on there. In fact, sometimes Sera will paw at our gate when we are being too slow about feeding.
The tip of her hoof sticks thru the gate (don't worry, it's not big enough for her hoof to come thru). Bequia will latch on to the tip of Sera's hoof with her mouth ... mad that Sera is not listening to her herding instructions and moving along as instructed. Of course Sera can't feel a thing and there is definately no damage to the hoof or to Bequia in those few seconds.
Or Bequia will snap with a click click click of her jaws at any horse sticking it's head over the fence not listening to her imperious command to move already. She doesn't connect or jump up to attach to a nose... she is just doing what I've always thought of as herding behaviors....trying to intimidate large livestock ... she isn't formally trained in anything other than basic obedience. No herding trials or anything like that.
She is super smart and learns almost by osmosis. She loves retrieving and will fetch anything... the morning paper, the t.v. remote, if I drop a pen I can tell her to bring it to me and she will. I can give her something, Furry Husband will call her and she personally delivers whatever it is. She absolutely adores children and always has....which is no fault of ours since we don't have any. grin. I figured she must have come from a family with children before we adopted her.

What do you think Bequia's DNA results were?


Kelley said...

OH NO YOU Didn't... leave us hanging.... really!!! ON A FRIDAY???? Bad Shannon... BAD... BAD Shannon....

I still guess some sort of heeler/border collie predominant genes. And yes... DNA IS SCARY!

DebH said...

Ok...I say she has ALOT of Australian Shepherd! She sounds alot like our Chris...the smiling good natured dog of ours. They are very smart and extremely loyal to their people. And they have lots of energy for rounding things up even when their getting up in years...Now that black on her head kinda looks to be Border Collie. So I say 3/4 Australian Sherpherd an 1/4 Border Collie. But also 100% Loveable Doggie!!

Susan said...

I'm guessing Border Collie- Dingo.