This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Wisdom Panel®.
Rob and I love animals. I don’t know if Rob really realized how much he loved animals until I came around but now he wants just about any kind of pet I can come up with. We’re actually going to have to move out of the city and get a spot of land for our future menagerie. First on the list? A donkey. Yeah!
Though we may not have that donkey today (which I want to name Denise, by the by) right now we’re super lucky in that we have 4 lovely creatures we get to call our little furry family including two fantastic dogs. Ollie is a chunk of fluffy stuff named after my dog loving grandfather Oliver. I got him from a shelter shortly after losing my dog of 10 years, Aggie. She was just about the greatest thing in my life for a long time and losing her was hard. But I swear Ollie and I were meant to be. It’s like he’s my animal familiar and I’m so happy to have him in my life. And now Rob’s lucky to have him around, too!
Rob and I don’t have a traditional family. We have a furry one. And one day I convinced Rob that Ollie needed a friend and that we needed a Boston Terrier. Not that it was difficult at all but I was only able to halfway convince him… we got to looking for a Boston Terrier mix! After some looking around on shelter websites and local ads we finally found her. We were sent a photograph and then I got to work convincing Rob that we needed to name her after my other grandfather, Carl. I mean, she just looked like a Carly from the get go! And again, convincing Rob of anything isn’t terribly difficult when he can tell that I really want it :)
It took some time to be able to be selected as Carly’s new pet parents and we were beyond thrilled when we took off on the hour drive to bring her home for the first time. Ollie, as it turned out, did not take to Carly quite as quickly as we did. We kept them separated when alone and Rob carefully monitored their interactions those first few weeks because I was just way too nervous. But they eventually worked it out and became the very best of friends.
As our Carly started to get older we started to have some behavioral problems, and in truth, we’re still trying to work through these issues. I swear that I have never in my whole life met such a stubborn dog and training her has been beyond difficult. We’ve gotten “sit” pretty well covered but some days you tell her to sit and she cocks that little head of hers like “are you going to make me?” and then proceeds to stand or goes straight to laying down :)
Now we’re no strangers to dog training. Just a few weeks of moving to South Texas we started taking advantage of so many outdoor activities and we found that taking Ollie around on a leash was difficult because he’d pull like crazy. We took on a dog trainer and ordered a Wisdom Panel® DNA kit to find out what kind of dog our big, fuzzy rescue was. We were shocked, to be sure, with his results but that information helped our trainer tailor his handling to go along with the common traits of his ancestry. I think we were largely shocked because the visual identification our veterinarian made was waaaay off base. As it turns out that’s not uncommon at all. There’s only so much that can be seen visually and vets are typically right 25% when only trying to determine the mix of a breed by looks alone.
The difference knowing who our guy really was made in his growth was truly amazing and we also chose to get a DNA test for Lucy, a dog we had for a time but could not keep after learning that we simply could not keep her safely with our 2 cats. But with that test we were able to give the rescue group that Rob originally adopted her from with even more information about who she was and, quite importantly, why she might have acted the way she did in certain situations. We felt it was the right thing to do because those test results could help find the forever home we hoped we could offer her, but in the end could not.
Our Miss Carly (who recently turned 6 months old – happy half birthday, babycakes!) was listed as a boshih. Now a boshih is half Boston Terrier and half Shih Tzu. Having had Bostons for most of my life I’m fairly familiar with their personalities and habits and Carly has a lot of those things in spades. But we didn’t know for a fact about her ancestry and we decided that we didn’t just want to take somebody’s word for it. When the test came in the mail Rob got up super early the next morning to swab his girl’s cheeks (to be sure she hadn’t recently eaten or played with Ollie which could mess up the test) and I dropped the mail off in the local mail box and we patiently waited.
After testing over 1800 of our girl’s DNA markers the test results came back a few weeks later and we found that our girl was in fact 50% Boston Terrier and 50% Shih Tzu just as advertised.
On Carly’s reports it’s pretty cool that her make up was broken down to the types of personality traits we might see because of her different halves. As a Boston Terrier mix she, like many, is active, playful and rambunctious, enjoying to play and partaking in activities like fetch. She also has shown to get upset with other pets, especially an older dog in the family that often growls and bears teeth when the youngsters come around. But according to common traits that is to be expected and we can deal with the situation accordingly.
Carly takes on less of the common personality traits of her Shih Tzu parent. In fact, we only really see the stubborn-ness that is causing training to be a bit difficult. According to her test treat based training will probably be the most effective and we’re finding that this girl definitely does not work for free. You want her to learn how to lay down? She’s not going to do it for the fun of it but she will do it for a teeny bit of treat!
When we got our results we also informed our veterinarian who said that knowing her exact background could help them in treating her in the future, largely because they know the kinds of hereditary issues to look out for.
To test our little Carly we were sent a free test, but you might have caught that in the recent past we’ve tested 2 dogs (our Ollie and Lucy) with kits we paid for ourselves. And there’s a good reason for that… I do my research :)
A Wisdom Panel® Canine DNA test covers over 250 + breeds in their testing which includes 99% of the breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and he test goes all the way back to the great-grandparent generation. There are currently over 12,000 breed samples for Wisdom Panel to work from and the accuracy and been shown to be 90%+. With numbers like those it isn’t surprising that Rob and I are one of the half a million people who have chosen Wisdom Panel to discover the breeds of our dogs.
For right now we’re perfectly happy with our two puppies but some day we might add a third to the mix. But not until I have Denise the Donkey! :) And when we do get another dog I can pretty much guarantee that he or she will be another rescue with uncertain heritage. But we’ll go online and we’ll order another test and Rob will get up at an ungodly hour to rub swabs inside of that pup’s cheeks and we’ll know for certain who we’ve brought into the family. Not only because it’s cool to know (because it is lots of fun and totally cool) but also because we care about the behavior and health of our pets. They’re family, after all.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Wisdom Panel®.