Breed identification DNA tests are a sure-fire way to make money for those who sell them, including veterinarians who are paid for product endorsement.
But do they work?
No. In fact, the results shown here are common: a pure-breed dog comes back as being a vague pastiche of three or four breeds.
Breed DNA tests are not too different from Gypsy Fortune telling, Fortune Cookies, the I-Ching, Numerology and Tarot Card reading: If you give a vague-enough answer, the believers will rationalize whatever result you give them, pounding the square peg into the round hole.
This is especially true for mixed-breed dogs. The folks sending in their dog's DNA for testing here do not care what the answer is, so long as it answers the question. Even an obviously wrong answer gives them a story to tell when someone, inevitably, asks: "What kind of dog is that?"
So what's going on? It's pretty simple: there are hundreds of breeds of dogs, but the DNA tests only definitely ID's a few dozen. The gaps are "filled in" by claiming a dog is a cross of this and that.
But what about the Mars Veterinary WISDOM Panel™ MX that the vets are selling? Surely that veterinarian-administered test works well, right?
Ughh .... NO.
But don't take my word for it.
Mars Veterinary's own web site says the test is pure crap. Or, to be more precise, they say that if you actually KNOW what AKC breed of dog you have (because you have pedigree papers for your dog going back to the start of the registry more than 120 years ago) then they cannot help you.
But if you don't know what breed of dog you have, then they can positively tell you what you have.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
You're kidding, right?
Nope. Read it yourself here:
Why can't this test detect purebreds?
The WISDOM Panel™ MX test was designed to determine the breed makeup of mixed-breed dogs. Its development involved the analyses of more than 19 million DNA markers from more than 13,000 purebred and mixed-breed dogs to best tell breeds in a mixed-breed dog apart.
In order to determine if a dog is a purebred, Mars Veterinary would ideally need DNA samples that cover all family lines for each breed of purebred dog. But since their focus was the development of a test capable of accurately determining the breeds in a mixed-breed dog, they did not focus on collecting such a catalogue of purebred dog DNA samples.
What's that mean? Not a damn thing! It's poppycock. It's typing by a monkey. It's stupid on stilts, with a side-order of bunko and larceny.
It's the get-out-of-jail card the company can point to when their DNA "test" is shown to be inaccurate, pure crap, and a complete fraud.
In fact, the question itself is paired with this question: "Is Mars Veterinary worried about lawsuits?" This is their answer: Our test is so worthless we cannot identify your breed of dog if it is pure-bred. Our test only "works" when you have no idea what breed of dog you have.
So, NO: dog breed DNA tests do not work.
Save your money. Or better yet, donate what you would have spent on this near-worthless test (about $150) to the local no-kill animal shelter.