Thursday, January 5, 2012

Who's your daddy?

I'll get to my Christmas and NYE re-cap later on. Still have a boatload of pictures to upload from my fabulous new Canon Rebel T3 (my Christmas present from Mike and my parents and the beginning of a new project for me. More on that to come as well...).

In the meantime, we did receive a cool little present right around Christmas time - Penny's DNA results! When we got her from the Humane Society, we were told that she was a basenji/beagle mix. There was absolutely no doubt she's a basenji of some sort. Her markings and characteristics are VERY basenji. At one point, we thought she might be full-breed but a dwarf basenji since the only real characteristics that strayed from the typical basenji is that she's a little smaller and has shorter legs. Here's what a full-breed basenji looks like:

Completely Penny, right? We saw NO signs of beagle in her whatsoever. At first, we thought she might be part dachshund because she has a slightly longer body. As she grew, we saw a little Jack Rusell since her ears started to flop down a  little and she has a lot of terrier traits. To kill the curiosity, we bought a DNA kit. These things are starting to become quite popular among mixed-breed dog owners. Our local newspaper did a story about it, followed by one of our local news channels. The company is called WisdomPanel Insights and you can buy their kits online, at PetSmart and now our local Humane Society sells them (where I got our kit from). It's pretty easy. All you do is fill out your info followed by the dog's sex, birthday and name. Then you swab the inside of their cheek with the 2 provided swabs, seal them back up and send it out. That's it. No descriptions, pictures, etc. are given, so they have no clue what your dog looks like. About 2-3 weeks later, you get a detailed report with a breakdown of the DNA they found in the dog, tracing back to the dog's great-grandparents. A friend of ours did it for her dog that she found on the street, and was completely surprised at what it came back with. It was pretty neat. About 2 weeks later, we got Penny's results back and would have never in a million years have guessed what else she was mixed with...

Her majority is basenji (obviously). She has full-breeds on both sides. Here is how her breakdown works:

Parent A:
Great-grandparents #1A: Basenji, Basenji
Great-grandparents #2A: Newfoundland, mutt
Grandparent #1A: Basenji
Grandparent #2A: Newfoundland mix
Parent A: Basenji/Newfoundland mix

Parent B:
Great-grandparent #1B: Basenji, mutt
Great-grandparent #2B: Basenji, German short-haired pointer
Grandparent #1B: Basenji mix
Grandparent #2B: Basenji/German short-haired pointer 
Parent B: Basenji/German short-haired pointer mix

Crazy, huh?? Since Great-grandparent #2A mated with a mutt and Great-grandparent #1B mated with a mutt, they gave a breakdown of the list of DNA found in those dogs since they were both mixes. Here is what they found:

Clumber Spaniel
Black and tan coonhound
Pyrenean Shepherd
Dachshund (woo-hoo! One correct guess. Sort of)
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

No clue what 3 out of 5 of those dogs are, but they sound fancy.

Here's a picture of the main report we got. It was 7 pages so I won't bore you with the whole thing. If you click on it, it'll bring up a larger image.

I'm glad we did the test. It killed the curiosity and also lets us know why she carries so many of the basenji traits. 

Oh yeah - when we were in Jupiter for Christmas, she discovered she can bark. We've had this dog for almost 6 months and never heard anything but a wimper or a pathetic growl. However, since it takes a lot of effort for her to bark, she lets out one or two at a time and that's it for about a week. She's still the world's worst guard dog :)

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