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FAQ - DNA Collection

Protocols for DNA Collection

If you are required by Dogs Victoria to provide DNA samples or arrange for your dog(s) to be DNA tested for any reason, the following information will assist you in successfully achieving the required outcome. If you have questions as to the process or how to complete the requirements, do not hesitate to phone the Compliance Department on 9788 2500.

  • There are two DNA testing laboratories in Victoria; you may be told which one to use, if not then it is your choice as to which one you use. The important thing to remember is if there is more than one dog involved in this process (eg you are providing DNA of the sire and the dam, or the sire, dam and offspring) then the samples of all of the dogs must be tested by the same company. This is because the two companies use different DNA markers and the two sets of markers are not compatible. They are like apples and oranges and cannot be compared.

    These are the two DNA companies with website links:-

    Animal Network - (Previously known in the dog world as GTG)

    Orivet - (Previously known in the dog world as ASAP)

With both companies you can go onto their website and order testing kits to be sent to you.  If you know exactly what tests are required and the cost is your responsibility then you can pay for those tests online at      the time of ordering the kits. If you believe that the cost is not your responsibility, then you need to confirm this arrangement with Dogs Victoria.

  • All tests done in these processes must have a ”Certified Result”, which will be written on the final report. There are two main aspects to what makes up a “Certified Result”

    • Firstly, the DNA samples MUST be taken by an authorised collector. All veterinarians are authorised collectors and each laboratory has a list of authorised collectors, other than veterinarians, on their website. You may find that there is an authorised collector living close to you that may be able to take the sample, thereby avoiding a visit to the vet. Under no circumstances are you able to take your own sample, nor have a friend (who may be an authorised collector) take the sample.

    • The other aspect is that the dog MUST be positively identified at the time of sample collection i.e. the dog’s microchip must be scanned and written on the collection form that is filled out and submitted with the sample by the authorised collector.
  • The samples are usually in the form of “buccal” swabs, which are cheek swabs taken with a large cotton bud or brush, just like you see in TV shows. It’s non invasive and fairly easy to achieve, as long as the dog doesn’t eat the cotton bud!

    • It is important to not feed the dog anything for at least an hour before the sample is taken. This is to ensure there is no contamination of the sample.

    • In the case of a multiple number of dogs being swabbed at the same location, it is important to keep all dogs separate from each other to avoid cross contamination. These protocols should be observed by the vet/authorised collector.

    • Sometimes, but rarely, it may be necessary for blood samples to be provided. In this case, you would be notified and obviously a vet would need to collect the sample.

    • If you need to provide samples for the two parents and a litter of puppies, then you will need to send a testing kit to the owners of each dog/puppy. You can order the kits to be delivered to your address and then send them on to each of the people that need to have their dog swabbed. Inform them that they must take their dog and the testing kit to an authorised collector or a vet in their locality. Or you may send the kits directly to the person’s nominated vet.

  • Each testing kit that you receive from the laboratory will include an explanatory leaflet, a collection form, some swabs and some bar codes for identification of the samples. The explanatory leaflet gives all necessary information for the collection process to be legitimate. On the certificate, you will need to specify what test you wish to be done; it will most likely be “profile” or “parentage confirmation”, depending on what the certificate actually says. In the case of “parentage confirmation” you will need to fill in on the certificate the names of the dogs that are possibly the sire and the dam. If you are not sure about this, please phone Dogs Victoria for advice.

  • In some cases. Dogs Victoria will require you to make dogs available for inspection by a Field Officer and for DNA samples to be taken. The Field Officer will be an authorised collector and will follow the protocol explained above. Again, if you have any enquiries, don’t hesitate to contact Dogs Victoria.