Doggy DNA Testing

Soooo… I DNA tested my dogs. Yes, I’m THAT girl. Let me start with how each of these hooligans came into my life.


I picked Shadow. I had just bought my first house and was a single twenty-something living alone. My parents came over, we went to the pound and started looking around. When I walked past his kennel, I knew. As it turned out, Shadow had a rough start in life. He was found tied to a tire, with bad water, and when he came home he had Giardia (a parasite that causes diarrhea). He was two years old and I was in love. The pound had told me that he was a lab mix of some sort… perhaps with some sort of pittie breed in him. He’s now 11 years old.

Happy 10th Birthday Shadow!

Brady, on the other hand, picked me. He showed up at the ranch one day and over a period of time slowly moved in. He would stay the night and then started bringing his toys over. He got along really well with the other seven dogs at the ranch. One more, though, was not really an option. One day I had gone over to the ranch to visit and went to leave… as I was pulling down the driveway, I saw a blur of dust in the field behind me in my rear view mirror. I stopped to get out and send him back up, when he jumped in my car. We chatted with his owner, who agreed to give him up, and the rest is history. He was definitely a lab, but with something else mixed in… turns out he was a pound puppy before his prior owner.

Meet Brady!

I thought it would be fun to DNA test both of them and try to figure out what they’re mixed with. Here are the results:

Shadow: 62.5% Labrador Retriever, 12.5% German Shepherd, 12.5% Rottweiler, 12.5% unknown

Brady: 62.5% Labrador Retriever, 12.5% Border Collie, 12.5% Shetland Sheep Dog, 12.5% unknown

While you may look at both of them and just think they’re labs, I find the results both fascinating and telling. Brady is easier to see – he’s definitely got the lab body, but the lighter eyes and longer muzzle of the border collie (and the fur length). In Shadow, while I don’t see it outright, the rottweiler is definitely in there – in the set of the ears and the shorter muzzle.

I used the Wisdom Panel kits (on Amazon) and it was totally a blast! It also tests them for genetic predisposition to drug resistance/allergy, which was kind of cool too!

Brady’s New Friends

Today I headed over to my parents house with Brady to introduce him to their two pups, Tucker, the lab and Gracie, the golden retriever. They literally had the best time three dogs could have… they raced around the yard, swam, and chased each other.

The boys swimming:


My sweet boy swimming:


Brady got a little tired and decided to chill out for a while:


He was very good about sharing his toys too!


I took a couple videos too… I haven’t seen Brady do much swimming in a pool, but he clearly knows what he’s doing! In fact, no matter where he was, when I said “jump” he dove into the pool!

Finally, every good day has to end with a little treat on the way home. For me, it was a number 2 with no onions and a Diet Coke. For Brady, it was a no-salt hamburger patty. Life is good!

Meet Brady!

My husband is learning faster and faster that I’ve got a big soft spot when it comes to animals. Our count is now two dogs, two cats, nine chickens, two parakeets, one horse, and a handful of fish.

Through a series of fortuitous (for me, at least) circumstances, Brady came into our lives. He most definitely chose me… basically hopped into my car at the barn and never looked back. He’s amazing… loves to romp around, but completely submissive to Shadow (who is very much the alpha of our house). He is four years old, is great with just about any dog, kids, and even small animals. He likes to chase the chickens and the cats (he’s treed Felix twice and chased Mask up the banister), but doesn’t hurt them. He is well mannered (need to work on that recall!), loves to swim, and is pretty good with the horses at the barn. Ok, maybe not pretty good… he’s very trusting and walks where he shouldn’t… the pony stepped on him the other day and he almost got kicked by a pissed off mare, but he’ll learn. He also got himself skunked the other day… once again, need to work on the recall.

He’s a really good traveler too… he goes with me to the barn and went out to a couple different ranches the other day as we helped clean up after and take care of some of the evacuated horses. If the fires clear up and we’re able, he’ll head out with me to the cabin this weekend for the 2015 Cowgirl Posse trip. I love having a pup that can go everywhere with me!

Meet Brady!
Meet Brady!

Shadow is still getting settled with having a “little” brother (Brady outweighs him by 10 pounds). For the most part, they get along really well… Shadow has been an only dog for 10 years now and this integration has gone way better than I thought it would. They even unite to bark at the UPS guy:

Two Buddies
Two Buddies

I’m so happy to be a two dog family now! Life is good!