Is there something a little unusual about your Frenchie?
Jokes aside, DNA testing is a simple way to understand your French bulldog’s genetic makeup. French bulldog DNA testing has become commonplace; as the breed has increased in popularity, so has the incidence of inbreeding and related genetic conditions.
Knowing if your puppy is susceptible to certain genetic conditions allows you to care for your fur baby in a proactive way rather than re-active.
Checking the DNA profile is one way to make sure that the breeder you’re adopting your pure-bred puppy from is following responsible methods to create healthy, happy fur-babies.
DNA testing is also helpful in detecting the transfer carrier genes where a condition may not be present but could be passed on to your French bulldog’s puppies if they reproduce.
Why get DNA testing for dogs?
The most common reason for DNA testing dogs is to reduce the risk of puppies affected by congenital conditions when breeding. If a French bulldog has a gene carrying a particular condition, this test will help in identifying a mate that doesn’t allow the expression of a recessive gene when they breed.
With the help of DNA testing, we can easily understand the genetics of any French bulldog. This testing can provide information about the specific conditions affecting this beautiful breed.
The main reasons French bulldog owners get DNA testing done are :
- Check if your puppy is pure bred
- Screen for genes associated with common congenital conditions in French bulldogs
- Find out their coat colour type
How do I get my dog DNA tested?
DNA testing in dogs is usually performed by taking a swab from inside the dog’s mouth, usually from the cheeks. Sometimes blood samples are taken for DNA testing but this is very rare. An experienced person is required to take blood samples for this testing. DNA testing can be performed in puppies at least 3 weeks old.
Home DNA test kits can be ordered online and the sample is sent to the companies lab for testing, jump ahead to the recommended DNA test kits for French bulldogs here.
How to Test My French Bulldog's DNA at Home
The procedure for conducting a home DNA test on your French bulldog is relatively simple if they can sit still! Keep your dog inside with you at least 1 hour before collecting the DNA sample as you need to make sure they don’t eat or drink for this period.
If DNA testing a puppy they will need to be kept separate from their mother to prevent suckling. If a sample collection of more than one dog is required, take a sample of one dog first, then wash your hands before taking the sample from other dogs with the help of a swab.
The sleeve of the swab needs to be labelled with the name and ID of the dog from which the sample is collected. Open the swab sleeve and remove the swab by its handle. Place the end of the swab in between the dog’s cheeks and gums and press gently from outside.
Most DNA test kits require you to move, rotate and rub the swab in the mouth for 15 seconds, air dry the sample for 20 seconds and then insert into its sleeve.
Put all the samples and their data forms in an envelope and post them to the company laboratory address.
Precautions for Dog DNA Testing
- Never collect a sample from a puppy when in contact with it’s mother, the genetic material of the mother in the mouth of the puppy can contaminate the sample.
- The aim is to collect cheek cells on the swab as a sample rather than just saliva.
- Do not rub the swab on the tongue or teeth of the French bulldog to avoid poor quality samples.
How much does DNA testing for dogs cost?
DNA tests for dogs cost start from $50 but can be $200 and up. The cost of the DNA test is dependent on breed, genetic makeup and the number of inheritable conditions to be detected.
What are the best DNA test kits for French bulldogs?
Number one on our list is by Embark. They are a well known and respected dog DNA testing company that have even been recommended by Oprah!
#1 Embark Breed ID Kit & Health Kit
This combined DNA test kit from Embark is recommended if you want a complete picture of your dog’s genetic makeup (breed), health risks, and inheritable diseases.
Embark’s breed database is used for many breeds including French bulldogs. This kit is designed to be suitable for almost 350 plus breeds and can detect 210+ health conditions.
#2 Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test
Wisdom DNA test kit looks for over 200 genetic conditions and is ideal for mixed breed puppies. The accuracy rate is 93 to 98%.
We rate Wisdom second because Embark uses double the number of genetic markers for there test.
- Explanations around distinguishing traits such as coat colour
- Reports mixed breeds down to 1%
- Detects fewer DNA markers from the sample as compared to Emark DNA testing kit.
What can a DNA test for a French bulldog detect?
Some of the conditions that can be detected are :
- Tendency for kidney & bladder stones
- Exersize induced collapse (EIC)
- Drug sensitivities
- Degenerative myelopathy (Spinal issues)
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (Heart issues)
Autosomal Recessive Conditions
In this health condition, a dog inherits 2 copies of an abnormal gene. One is inherited from the mother and one from the father. The Kennel Club system detects the tested dogs as clear, carrier, or affected.
Result 1 : Clear
The dogs who are considered clear, don’t have any abnormal genes. These dogs pass a normal set of genes to their offspring. These dogs are not vulnerable to this condition so they are considered clear.
Result 2 : Carrier
Dogs are classed as carriers when they have one copy of the normal gene and one copy of the abnormal gene which is associated with this condition. These dogs are not prone to develop this condition themselves but can pass one copy of the normal gene or one copy of the abnormal gene to their puppies.
This is where knowing the DNA of a breeding partner is important. You want to make sure the other Frenchie isn’t a carrier of the same abnormal gene otherwise there is a higher risk that the condition will be present in the puppies.
Result 3 : Affected
When a dog is classed as affected they have two copies of the abnormal gene for the condition they have been tested for. The dog will express this disorder and will also pass one copy of the abnormal gene to their offspring. The offspring will either be a carrier or, if the other dog in the breeding pair also has the gene, the puppy can be affected.
Autosomal Dominant Conditions
In this condition, a dog only inherits one copy of an abnormal gene either from the mother or from the father. The Kennel Club system detects the tested dogs as clear, heterozygous affected, or homozygous affected.
Result 1 : Clear
These dogs don’t have any copy of abnormal genes associated with this condition. This result means the dog won’t develop the condition themselves and will pass a normal copy of genes to their puppies. Ideally when breeding , both parents are clear of genetic conditions.
Result 2 : Heterozygous affected
These dogs have one copy of the normal and one copy of the abnormal gene. These dogs can develop this condition themselves and can pass a copy of the abnormal gene to the next generation.
Result 3 : Homozygous affected
These dogs have two copies of abnormal genes associated with the condition for which they are going to be tested. These dogs are affected by this disorder and will pass one copy of the abnormal gene to their young ones.
Wrap up on French Bulldog DNA Testing
Once you have the results of your French bulldog’s DNA test it can change the way you care for them. DNA testing uncovers not only the breed percentages but also very helpful health information that can raise your attention to potential issues.
By using well established dog DNA testing companies such as Embark you can also find your puppy’s relatives which is very important to prevent in-breeding.