Once the sequence of the entire dog genome was completed in 2004, the identification of the genetic basis of inherited traits in the domestic dog has revealed mutations in dozens of genes. In addition to mutations associated with simple Mendelian traits, an ever-increasing number of genes associated with genetically complex conditions are being reported. DNA tests are available for over 80 different canine mutations, and new DNA tests are becoming available rapidly. The vast majority of DNA tests currently available are for autosomal recessive mutations associated with single-gene traits. Many are for disease mutations which are severe and debilitating.
Genetic tools available with which to dissect the canine genome are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the number of disease-associated genetic variants that will be identified over the next few years will undoubtedly increase dramatically. These mutations will form the basis of extremely valuable tools that dog breeders will use to eliminate both simple and complex inherited conditions from their chosen breeds.
Every dog has a unique DNA profile or fingerprint which can be used to distinctively identify that particular dog. Half of a dog’s DNA profile is inherited from his dam and the other half from his sire so the dog’s DNA profile can be used to verify that his registered parents are in fact his biological parents (provided DNA profiles are available from both parents).
The DNA profile can also be used to check the authenticity of a DNA sample being used to screen for the presence of disease-causing genes to be able to verify that the correct dog's DNA is being tested.