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Barking Mad – DNA Testing on Pedigree Dogs


Yes, Baldrick the bald dog had to have a DNA test to prove who his owner was after a huge row blew up over who owned the little Chinese Crested puppy. It all began when a pet rescue centre in Telford advertised in a local paper for the owner of the bald dog to come forward. He was nicknamed Baldrick by the staff at the centre thanks to the fact that he is almost bald, save for a tuft of white hair on his head. Using a test on pets isn’t unusual if the animal is a pedigree.

DNA Test Proves Ownership

Baldrick was worth about £450, which some cynics might think is the reason the need for a test arose. The dog had been found abandoned and in bad shape a few months before, when a woman called to say Baldrick was definitely her dog – she had a litter of Chinese Crested dogs – and that she had given up hope of ever seeing him again. A judge agreed to give Baldrick a DNA test to see if he was from the same litter of her other Chinese Crested dogs.

Compulsory Dog Test

Meanwhile, over in Dresden, Germany, the politicians were eager to enforce a compulsory DNA test on all the 12,000 dogs registered in the city. They wanted to force the dog owners to put their dogs through a test so that any ‘deposit’ left on a pavement or a park could be tested and traced to the dog responsible. This would result in a hefty fine for the pooch’s owner. It was hoped that Dresden would become one of the cleanest cities in Germany as a result of the DNA test scheme on dogs. Many residents were unwilling to scoop up with pooper scoopers despite the threat of financial penalties. The DNA test would provide a doggy bank of potential dog-do offenders, and the owners would know the evidence against their pooch would be indisputable if a dog poop DNA test was carried out.

Canine Rights

The idea of a test for all dogs in Dresden received a majority vote among local politicians tired of putting their foot in it. The DNA test involves taking a simple swab from the mouth – providing a genetic fingerprint of the pooch. The idea that this infringes ‘canine rights’ was dismissed on the grounds that dogs had no rights over their data and could not object to the compulsory  test, unlike humans.

DNA Test for ‘Stud Book’

While over in Australia stud dogs had to undergo a cheek swab for a test in order to prove their pedigree status before being allowed to breed. Dogs used for breeding stock will need this genetic ‘stud book’ according to the Australian National Kennel Council. A test will be introduced in stages, before it becomes mandatory in January 2008. The aim of the DNA test on dogs is to prove a dog’s parentage and reduce the incidence of hereditary disease in purebreds.

Related articles about Dog DNA Testing

Canine parentage tests or canine paternity tests involve DNA analysis to confirm or exclude whether a tested dog has sired a litter of puppies. Samples from the puppy/puppies, the sire and ideally the mother need to be included. Read more about this test by clicking here.

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