DNA FAQ

DNA is the genetic blueprint found in every living cell. A DNA sample smaller than a grain of sand can accurately establish and verify any dogs:

A. Identity. Every dog has a unique genetic pattern. This is what we call the DNA Profile. Once a dog has been profiled, this evidence of its identity can never be changed. Your dogs DNA profile is absolutely unchangeable.

B. Parentage. Each dog inherits his genetic profile from his parents and cannot have any pattern that is not inherited from his Sire or his Dam. Genes come in pairs with each parent contributing one of the genes in each pair.

To prepare a DNA Profile, multiple different genetic locations are identified in your dog. If, for example, the first location identified on a dog has genes labeled A and B, that means that the dog inherited an A gene from one parent and a B gene from the other. When the parents are tested, that exact same location will be examined. To continue this hypothetical example, assume the Sire is AJ and the dam is BK. These two parents could have produced the four possible combinations in the table below:

A J
B| AB | JB
K| AK | JK

Since AB appears in the above list, there is a match. Just one match is not enough to be certain that this Sire and Dam produced this dog, but each time there is a match, the odds increase that these two are the parents of the dog. Suppose now, that the Sire had tested JM and the Dam BK. It is immediately obvious that neither parent could have contributed an A gene to your dog. The Sire is excluded as a possible parent but the Dam is still included as a possible parent.

When analyzed in the laboratory, a dogs DNA reveals a unique pattern-its DNA profile. DNA profiles allow a breeder to:

a) Establish a permanent record of identity for any dog.
b) Determine individual paternity for separately sired siblings.
c) Provide bitch owners with guaranteed stud service.
d) Verify artificial insemination.
e) Resolve breeding disputes.
f) Guarantee puppy buyers a verifiable pedigree.

ASCA DNA profiling is for parentage verification and genetic identity purposes only. It does not provide information regarding genetic health, conformation, performance ability, coat color, etc. It also cannot determine any crossbreeding that may have occurred by accident or design.
The ASCA DNA Program is a program the membership can use to strengthen their breeding programs. Participants receive an ASCA DNA Profile with the dog’s actual genotype. ASCA also issues the dog a certificate stating this dog has been DNA profiled and is entered as such in ASCA’s registry database which will in turn ensure the integrity of the ASCA registry.
ASCA’s DNA Program was started in order to offer breeders, puppy buyers and the ASCA registry an accurate source of pedigrees.
No. DNA profiling can verify parentage and determine genetic identity, but cannot identify the breed. It also cannot determine any crossbreeding that may have occurred by accident or design.
ASCAs DNA program is set up for parentage verification only. There are independent labs that are conducting research on inherited canine diseases and some tests have been developed. You would need to contact these independent labs for such tests.
Yes, once your dog is DNA profiled, a DNA-CP or DNA-VP is added behind your dog’s registered name. A new registration certificate will not be issued unless
requested and paid for by the owner. All subsequent pedigrees issued by the Business Office will include the DNA designation for that dog (including ancestors, if applicable).
ASCA currently offers three types of kits. The whole blood draw kit which includes the following materials: Purple top tube with EDTA, Vacutainer needle, alcohol swab, enclosed in a styrofoam protective box, a card board, labeled box and the paper work/instructions which are to be sealed in plastic; the FTA blood card kit which includes: 1 blood card, directions, plastic envelope for blood card, paperwork/instructions, and return label addressed to Therion to be placed on the mailing envelope and a cheek swab kit which contains two swabs per dog to be tested, paperwork/instructions and a mailing label. Blood kits (tube or card) are offered for the price of $45 and the swab kits are $50.

DNA Request forms are available on the forms page . Print out a copy and either fax it with your credit card number or mail it with a check or money order for the correct amount. Members without e-mail may request a form from the Business Office by phone at 979-778-1082 or fax 979-778-1898.

The collected sample should be sent directly to ASCAs approved lab along with the accompanying paperwork. The instructions you receive with your kit will provide details on collection of the sample and the address of our lab. DO NOT SEND THE DNA SAMPLE TO THE ASCA BUSINESS OFFICE. This will only delay your DNA profile and Certificate being mailed to you. If you want to know if the lab received your sample, please send it return receipt.
You should receive your dogs DNA profile and ASCA DNA Certificate approximately three to four weeks after the lab receives the DNA sample.
All sire and dams must be DNA profiled with an ASCA approved lab prior to the registration of their first litter (effective January 1, 2011)
Yes, there is. ASCAs approved lab in Germany is “Certagen GmbH“. Please contact one of the European affiliates.
The initial reason for storing blood samples was in the event that ISAG came up with a set of universal markers that were used by all labs for canine DNA parentage verification programs. Since the labs used by other registries (i.e. AKC, UKC) did not adopt these, ASCAs lab decided to stay the course with the markers that had been used successfully for a number of years for our breed.
Blood has always been and still is the best method for testing DNA. This can be done using whole blood (submitted in a purple top EDTA Tube) or using the FTA blood cards.
It is not a problem for the parentage verification program. Once your dog’s DNA test is run to completion, your dog’s DNA profile is stored in ASCA’s DNA database and is used to verify parentage.
A “Marker” refers to a specific site in the genome that the lab is examining. The “Numbers” are the number of base pairs of each of the two alleles found when analyzing a specific Marker.

For the “Adjusted by Therion” notation, the lab calibrates the ImmGen results for the litter’s Sire and Dam to correspond to the output Therions equipment generates. This is a standard adjustment that EVERY ImmGen result receives when it is compared to a Therion result.

No. ASCA’s DNA database uses a unique set of genetic markers, developed by our lab. All genotypes in the ASCA database can be compared and used for an individual dog’s profile or for parentage verification. Other labs (not ASCA approved) use different markers and cannot be compared to profiles in our database.
No. A DNA profile is forever. Once a dog has been DNA profiled, it is not necessary to repeat the process. A dog’s DNA does NOT change during its lifetime
Please contact the ASCA Business Office at PO Box 3790, Bryan, TX 77805-3790 , (979) 778-1082; FAX (979) 778-1898. Or email the manager.