Sampling - How It Works!

Sampling is an essential part of a successful DNA analysis. In order to get reliable results, it is important to follow carefully the provided instructions. Contaminated or inadequately taken samples are not suitable, because DNA testing needs to work extremely accurately. The samples should contain enough DNA without impurities. In the following text you will find some principles, guidelines and instructions regarding sampling, as well as some pictures with Maisa the Labrador Retriever having her samples taken.

Either a buccal cell sample or a blood sample is needed for a DNA test. Although buccal cell sample is easy to take, it is recommended that the sample is taken by a veterinarian or other authorized and trained person. This is particularly necessary in case e.g. the local Kennel Club requires this procedure in order to accept the results.

At least two brushes are needed to collect enough material from each individual. The buccal cell collector brushes are included in the price of the testing package and are sent to the customer after placing the order.

Before collecting the samples, it is important to make sure that the animal’s mouth is as clean as possible to avoid contamination of bacteria or other foreign DNA, for example, from other dogs in the same household. The samples shouldn’t be taken immediately after a meal. A puppy dog’s sample should be taken no earlier than one hour after breastfeeding.

Sampling needs also to be documented on a sampling form; on the form, there are fields in which to fill the required information about the dog and the sample taker. The form can be sent to the laboratory together with the brushes.

Follow these instructions:

  • Open the package. Brush the buccal surface firmly for about 15 seconds. The color of the brush doesn’t change after sampling.
  • Air dry the brushes for at least 15 minutes. This is important, because wet swabs may get contaminated.
  • Place the brushes back to their original packages and close the packages with sticky tape.
  • Ship the samples and sampling form to the laboratory.

Sampling in pictures: Maisa the Labrador Retriever having her samples taken at Genoscoper Laboratories’ trade stand at the World Dog Show 2014

Prior to sampling, Maisa’s microchip is verified. This ensures that the dog has been identified and that the information on the sampling form is correct.

The actual samples are taken with several brushes from each side. Maisa takes the situation very calmly, although she seems to be little wondering.

After sampling, Maisa is rewarded with treats and scratching. This is done only after all samples have been taken!

And then we eagerly wait for the test results! Many thanks to Maisa and her owner for the exemplary performance!

If you have any questions about sampling, you can always contact our customer service at