MyDogDNA News


Research performed in Professor Hannes Lohi’s canine genetics research laboratory at the University of Helsinki and Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics, Helsinki, Finland has lead to the discovery of a genetic mutation responsible for a Skeletal Disease in Karelian Bear Dogs. The work was funded in part by Wisdom Health and Genoscoper Laboratories, providers of the MyDogDNA® (Europe) / Optimal Selection™ (United States) test.


We are very pleased to announce the launch of a DNA test for Juvenile Brain Disease (also known as Juvenile Encephalopathy or Juvenile Epilepsy) in Parson Russell Terriers.

This DNA test is based on research performed in Professor Hannes Lohi’s canine genetics research laboratory at the University of Helsinki and Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics, Helsinki, Finland with the work funded by Wisdom Health and Genoscoper Laboratories, providers of the MyDogDNA® (Europe) / Optimal Selection™ (United States) test.

Genetic testing of Belgian Shepherd Dogs – what have we learned so far?

The Belgian Shepherd Dog is an alert and energetic medium size dog breed that originated in Belgium where it was used to herd sheep. Nowadays the Belgian Shepherd is a versatile sport and working dog, as well as show dog and family pet. The four breeds/ breed varieties are Tervueren, Malinois, Groenendael (Belgian Sheepdog in US) and Laekenois. The breed varieties vary in coat texture, length and color.

MyDogDNA 2018 Soon Available!

It’s time to upgrade! The new and even more comprehensive MyDogDNA® 2018 test panel will be available in our web shop starting from next Monday, December 4th, 2017. For dogs that have already been tested with MyDogDNA PASS, MyDogDNA LITE , MyDogDNA 2015 or MyDogDNA 2016 packages, we offer the possibility for cost-efficient upgrade for purchasing the new test content. The upgrade requires a new sample.

Hyperuricosuria – test validated for Schapendoes!

Clinical validations of hyperuricosuria in Schapendoes are now complete and we have concluded, that the mutation causing hyperuricosuria in many breeds causes disease also in Schapendoes. The DNA-test for hyperuricosuria is included in the MyDogDNA testing panel for Schapendoes.

MyDogDNA Breed Data: Pyrenean Sheepdogs part 2., on traits

Coat type

Furnishings – defining the coat type variety

MyDogDNA Breed Data: Pyrenean Sheepdogs part 1., colours

Pyrenean Sheepdogs (american: Pyrenean Shepherd, french: Berger des Pyrénées) are active, lively herding dogs. The following description in the breed standard describes these dogs very well: “Dog displaying a maximum of nervous energy in a minimum of size and weight. An ever alert physiognomy, a knowing air combined with great liveliness of movement gives this dog a characteristic appearance unlike any other.” In this article we focus on Pyrenean Sheepdog breed data collected with the MyDogDNA –test panel as well as on how to use this data in practice.

A novel variant in the VWF gene is associated with von Willebrandt Disease Type II

Von Willebrand disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder in dogs, caused by deficient or defective plasma von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a blood clotting protein. Five different genetic variants in the vWF encoding gene have been previously associated to different forms of vWD: Type I, Type II and Type III in dogs. The study published earlier this month, suggest a novel variant as a candidate causal variant for vWD Type II in German Shorthaired Pointer and German Wirehaired Pointer (Vos-Loohuis M et al., 2017).

The genetic differentiation of dog breeds has led to alterations in metabolism

A recently published article shows that canine breeds can be distinguished by alterations in their lipidome. The study of Lloyd et al. (2017) examined lipidome differences in 100 dogs from 9 different breeds. The study showed distinct inter-breed differences in the breeds’ lipidomes. This study highlights that the genetic differentiation of dog breeds has resulted in alterations in metabolism.

Breed-Defining Chondrodysplasia

Breed-defining chondrodysplasia, also called short-leggedness, is a favorable phenotype found in some breeds. The well-known features of this breed-defining trait are caused by the FGF4 retrogene insertion. Short-leggedness caused by the FGF4 insertion is a desirable trait, and it is caused by different mutation than the undesired dwarfism causing genetic disorder found in some breeds, such as the Norwegian Elkhound.

Cystinuria Research – Recruitment of Dogs!

Cystinuria is a hereditary condition that causes the formation of cystine stones in the urinary tract. Urinary tract stones cause pain when urinating, bloody urine, and blockage of the urinary tract. Blockage of the urinary tract is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care. Cystine stones occur predominantly in male dogs (98 %). 

Clinical Perspective: Neurological Disorders

Hereditary neurological diseases are often very aggressive conditions that reduce the quality of life of the dog significantly. Some of these conditions are so aggressive that euthanasia is the only option as symptoms progress. Fortunately most hereditary neurological disorders are quite rare.

MyDogDNA® contributes to the understanding of the breed history and diversity of the Finnish national dog

This week the Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics published a study regarding the impact of breed history on the genetic diversity in Finnish and Nordic Spitz. The study was conducted in collaboration between Genoscoper Laboratories, breed enthusiasts and the department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland. Besides combining traditional pedigree analysis and genotyping in a unique way, the work is also a rare example of citizen science.

The dog, the DNA test, and the scientist – a reflection on four years of panel screening

When we first launched the MyDogDNA® (Optimal Selection™ in the United States) DNA test in 2013, we took a giant leap into unexplored territory. To be honest (and we Finns typically are), pioneering a whole new way of thinking about dog DNA testing was not the easiest thing to do. 

If you had been able to listen in on the conversations at our laboratory office back then, you would probably have heard us asking ourselves questions such as: