Monday, 30 March 2009

find out the genetic heritage of your bitser dog

Penny is definitely a bitser.
If you don't know this word, have a look at this Australian English dictionary - just scroll down till you find it. It does use the synonym 'mongrel', but no way is Penny a mongrel!! She's too much of a lady to go by that name.

Well, usually...

Anyway, I heard on the radio yesterday that genetic testing to determine heritage is now available in Australia at a reasonable cost. It seems I would take a cheek swab from Penny and then receive an analysis of her parentage for a few generations back, plus information about typical health issues for those breeds and suggestions for activities suitable for those breeds.

But what if she's got many breeds in her parentage? Will I have to worry about every known medical problem? (Champion worrier speaking here!) Perhaps it's best not to know, not to feel constrained by others' expectations of her.

I did post about this topic in October 2007 and decided not to do it, but this time it is the highly reputable Lort Smith Animal Hospital promoting the test. They will receive 20% of the AU$ 125 it costs.

Hmmm... interesting.

However, I did once post about a highly critical article discussing the dangers of possible misuse of this technology.


curator said...

So do you think you will do it, Parlance? I always heard the general wisdom as "mutts are hardier than the breeds they come from" - and there seems to be a lot of truth in that.

parlance said...

Curator, I haven't done it yet (April 14th), because I started to wonder if it might limit my view of Penny and what she can do or be.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing, I happened to come across your blog while looking up the meaning of bitser, which I read in an online news article about a microchipped dog returned to her proper owners after 9 years.
When I saw the picture of Penny I was shocked - she looks so much like my puppy, Einstein!
He's what some ppl refer to as a 'designer dog' - a purposeful mix of two breeds and at the cost of a purebred.
He's called a 'maltipom' - a mix of a maltese and pomeranian.
He's just 5 months, so he still has mid-length wooly puppy fur, not what looks to be long silky fur on your girl but his size, shape, colouring, nose, paws, tail length etc. all appear identical to your dog.

parlance said...

How big is Einstein? Penny's quite long and almost a medium dog rather than small. She's 15 kilos.

Penny's breeding was a 'mistake'. The story told to us was that the mother met a charming rascal in the car park of McDonald's. Funny to think if the owner had decided to call her a 'designer dog' she'd have some fancy breed name.