Enthusiastic, amiable, and intelligent – the German Shorthaired Pointer has been among the most admirable dog breeds for centuries.
It is the perfect active companion for trail rides, mountain bike excursions, and other outdoor activities. In fact, the German Shorthair Pointer (GSP) is one of the most loved breeds because of its intelligence, athletic personality, and affectionate nature.
That said, irrespective of whether you’ve purchased it from a breeder or adopted it, testing the DNA of your furry friend is important. It will reveal its trait information, ancestry, genetic age, and health risks.
As choosing the right DNA testing kit among tons is a mind-boggling task, we decided to review the five reliable options that are worth investing in. So, let’s take a look.
Best DNA Testing For German Shorthair Pointers
- Embark Dog DNA Test – Top Pick
- Embark Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test For Dogs
- Wisdom Panel Premium Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test For Dogs
- Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test
- Orivet Dog DNA Test
1. Embark Dog DNA Test
Does your German Shorthair Pointer lack the personality traits of its breed? If yes, then the Embark Dog DNA Test is your one-stop solution to testing its DNA.
Founded by two brothers, Adam Boyko and Ryan, the brand offers three kits for your fellow canine companion – Breed ID, Breed + Health, and Purebred+Health kits. It also offers two specialized test kits for breeders and veterinarians to help them create personalized plans based on their genetic profiles.
The tests offered by Embark are developed by veterinarians in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Want to trace the ancestors of your active canine companion? Then the Breed ID test kit is worth investing in as its genetic analysis will reveal their breed mix.
Compared to other DNA tests available on the market, it can screen more than 350 breeds. Also, the brand offers test kits for both purebred and mixed breed dogs, so make sure you take your pick accordingly.
However, if you aren’t sure whether your GSP is mixed or purebred, we suggest going for the “mixed breed” test.
But, if you wish to know more than just the breed of your dog, the Breed ID + Health test kit will be the right pick. Besides revealing the percentage breakdown of your dog’s breed, this DNA test kit lets out information on their unique personality traits, such as coat color, size, and so on.
It also discloses complete information on genetic health concerns associated with the related breeds. And it tests over 210 health risks, including bleeding tendencies, degenerative diseases, and drug sensitivities.
Speaking of the “Embark for Breeders dog DNA test kits,” it comes in handy for breed-related health screenings, measuring genetic diversity, predicting adult weight, trait insights, and so on. Interested ones can order either one or upto 20 test kits depending upon their needs. However, keep in mind the more tests you order, the more money you’ll save.
What’s more, the test results are accepted by the “Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and UK Kennel Club”, so you can rest assured that they are accurate and reliable.
On the other hand, the “Embark for Veterinarians dog DNA test kits” are designed to help veterinarians customize care plans for their canine patients on the basis of their genetics. With personalized veterinary reports and detailed breed ancestry, you’ll be able to create the best health plans for your GSP patients.
One thing we appreciate about the brand is that it lends a helping hand to animal shelters in the U.S. and Nepal by providing funds and genetic tests.
Why Did We Like It?
Launched by two scientist brothers, Embark boasts of impressive customer reviews, and for a good reason! Its tests use a research-grade DNA genotyping platform and scrutinize a variety of breeds with more than 210 genetic conditions.
Furthermore, the brand wins brownie points for tailoring tests for breeders and veterinarians. And customers who purchase the kits in bulk are in for a treat because it offers attractive discounts and good deals.
Whether you want a breed breakdown or to decode the genetics of your dog, the tests are easy to use. Simply collect saliva by swabbing the inside of your canine’s cheek pouch, activate the kit, and send the sample to the lab. Once the saliva is tested, you’ll be able to view the results by logging into your account.
Have any questions regarding the tests? Then simply click on the “Explore the Science” section, and you’ll be able to see valuable resources that will come in handy for dog owners, veterinarians, and breeders.
Speaking of the results, they are highly accurate and more reliable compared to other tests. In fact, Embark tests offer in-depth results from just a tiny DNA sample, which speaks volumes about the quality of its kits. These veterinarian-developed test kits usually arrive within three to five business days and are shipped for free within the U.S.
So, if you are looking for tests that deliver reliable results, the Embark DNA Test is perfect for DNA and genetic testing to unveil your GSP’s ancestry and unique personality traits.
2. Embark Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test For Dogs
Looking for a test that can test MDR1 drug sensitivity, glaucoma, and common adult-onset diseases? Then let’s dive deeper into the Embark Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test For Dogs.
Formulated by Embark but sold by chewy.com, it is capable of examining more than 200,000 genetic markers. With a quick and painless cheek swab, this kit can test for more than 210 genetic health risks, including degenerative myelopathy.
In addition to that, it employs a research-grade genotyping platform and provides complete information about your dog. However, its versatility doesn’t end here, as it can screen over 350 dog breeds, so you will be able to connect your furry friend with its close ones.
What’s particularly impressive about this kit is that it’s easy to use, so it can be used by both newbies and professionals. All you need to do is activate it by logging into the website of the brand and swab the pouches of the lower cheek to drench the sponge thoroughly. Next, place the sample in the bio-bag, seal it tightly by using the sticker strip and send it to the brand.
Why Did We Like It?
Developed in collaboration with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark is trusted by partners and veterinary hospitals. And of course, it delivers accurate results.
But what makes it stand out from the rest is the packaging of the testing kit. It comes with clear, concise instructions to activate the kit and the right way to obtain a sample of your dog’s swabs, among other things.
In addition to that, the package contains a “missile-grade” steel tag with a URL, which is compatible with the dog’s collars. In case your canine companion gets lost, people can use the URL and reach out to Embark to help you connect with them. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
After collecting the swab and sending the samples, rest assured that you will receive up-to-date information within two to four weeks. However, keep in mind that health results may take slightly longer compared to the breed test reports.
Also, you can access the results by logging in to the “My Embark” site. And if required, download and print them for further reference. From a doughnut chart with breed results to the traces of wolf DNA in your fully domesticated dog, the reports contain every single detail.
3. Wisdom Panel Premium Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test For Dogs
On the hunt for a reliable DNA test kit for tracing your GSP’s ancestry? Then the Wisdom Panel Premium Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test For Dogs is worth considering.
MDR 1 gene mutation, HNPK gene test, or HUU gene test – you can use it to test more than 200 genetic health conditions and take preventive measures.
As it is developed by expert veterinarians and geneticists, it scrutinizes more than 350 varieties and breeds of dogs. Interestingly, it offers 35 trait tests, which will help you understand their coat type, body shape, eye color, and so on.
More often than not, results are generated after two weeks of submitting the sample, but sometimes, it may take up to three weeks.
With the Wisdom Panel, testing your dog’s DNA is not much of a task. First off, carefully open the swab sleeve and roll the bristles between the gums and cheeks for no less than 15 seconds. Next, allow it to dry for about five minutes after putting its handle into the hole of the carton.
Subsequently, repeat the procedure for the second swab, activate the kit, and write the “Activation Code Number” behind the “Sample ID Sticker.” After that, place the dry swabs into the sleeve they came in. Just remember to avoid sealing the sleeve otherwise it will lead to bacterial growth. Finally, place the sleeve back in the carton, seal it and mail it to the test lab.
Why Did We Like It?
Formulated after more than 20 years of research and genotyping over millions of dogs, the Wisdom Panel DNA test lets out in-depth information about your dog’s traits, ancestry, and health risks.
You can identify vision disorders, mobility problems, eating behaviors, and other risks, so you can understand them better. Furthermore, it offers over 25 medical complications tests, which will help you identify underlying diseases that may pose a problem during neutering or spaying.
Interestingly, this is a multi-purpose DNA test that comes in handy for identifying the weight and size of your GSP, so you can formulate a diet plan accordingly. Thanks to the trait tests offered by the brand, understanding the physical traits of your dog has become easier than ever.
When it comes to breeds, its tests provide a detailed breakdown, allowing you to customize plans that are best suited to their personality. So, if you don’t mind spending a bit of money, look no further than the Wisdom Panel.
4. Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test
If you’re planning to breed your GSP, having a detailed analysis of their genetics is important. Thankfully, Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test is right up the street with its premium health tests.
It also offers a variety of medical complication tests, such as Canine Scott Syndrome (CSS), May-Hegglin Anomaly (MHA), Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS), and more.
Most often, some medical procedures and medications are dangerous for dogs, including GSPs, because of genetic mutations. Fortunately, the medical tests offered by Wisdom Panel come in handy for detecting conditions that may create serious issues during routine procedures.
And, since the brand has tested more than three million dogs, there’s a high possibility of finding your dog’s relatives, parents, and littermates. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
Even better, the test results predict the ideal size and body weight of your GSP, which means you can tailor their diet plan accordingly. Want to know what makes your furry friend one-of-a-kind in the world? Then trait tests are worth taking because they reveal comprehensive details about their personalities.
Much like the previous test from the house of Wisdom Panel, it is easy to use. But, even then, the brand has mentioned detailed steps along with a tutorial on its website. So, if you’re a newbie testing your dog’s DNA for the first time, don’t forget to check the website for tutorials or instructions to collect swabs in the correct manner.
Adding to that is the “Browse Breed” section that lets out everything that you need to know about your German Shorthaired Pointer. This makes it particularly helpful for all those who are petting them for the first time, so we suggest browsing the section thoroughly.
Why Did We Like It?
Out of all the available tests, the Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test kit caught our attention because of the myriad of tests it offers for dogs.
With a sophisticated algorithm, extensive breed database, and a massive number of markers scattered across the genome, it leaves no stone unturned to reveal complete details about your dog. The test results will notify you about the diseases that your GSP is suffering from or is likely to suffer in the future.
Of course, its large database will trace its ancestry three generations back, including its great-grandparents. Thus, interested ones can explore their family tree and even meet them with the help of the Wisdom Panel.
5. Orivet Dog DNA Test
Whether you wish to learn about the breed your dog belongs to or diseases relevant to it, the Orivet Dog DNA Test is a must-have for dog owners and breeders.
Similar to the previous tests, it screens more than 350 breeds, varieties, and types of active canines. At the same time, this test is designed to scrutinize over 250 diseases or health conditions and personality traits.
Consequently, the efficiency of the test is undoubtable because the test results contain more or less the exact percentage of all the breeds that make up your GSP.
Furthermore, the package is shipped with everything that you’ll need to conduct the DNA test – sterile DNA collection swabs, an information brochure with instructions, and a self-addressed pre-paid envelope. You’ll also find an exclusive life plan that will help in monitoring your dog’s health throughout their life.
Needless to say, the results are uploaded on the online account, which you can access at any time and from anywhere.
With Orivet, you can capture buccal cells without any hassles in less than a minute. Before anything else, activate the kit and then collect the sample. Next, allow it to dry for a few minutes, place it in the carton and seal it. Lastly, mail it to the address printed on the pre-paid envelope, and you’re done!
Why Did We Like It?
This industry-leading breed identification dog DNA test has been trusted by veterinarians and breeders for more than ten years. Rightly so, since the brand is a worldwide leader in canine genetic research!
From breeds to health conditions, the Orivet Dog DNA Test discloses every detail about your dog that proves helpful in formulating their meals, exercise routine, and other related activities.
And, since the test is designed by experts in the industry, you can rest assured that the results are accurate and precise. We also appreciate the LIFE PLAN supplied by the brand with its testing kit, as it is specifically formulated with options based on the age and health of your GSP.
Besides providing life-saving insight, its complete dog DNA health screen allows owners to take precautionary measures to prevent diseases from attacking their canine family members.
All things aside, the results are uploaded within three weeks on the online account of the dog owners, which means they are easily accessible. Users can use the account to maintain a record of their dog’s breed, genetics, weight, age, gender, lifestyle, and location.
Tests For German Shorthaired Pointers
Fearless, bold, and steady – German Shorthaired Pointers are excellent hunting dogs. But, for most people, GSPs are beloved family pets due to their playful spirits and affectionate nature.
While you may undertake every possible effort to keep your GSP healthy, some health issues are unavoidable. More often than not, diseases and health conditions are genetic, which means they are related to the breed your dog belongs to. But, it may also contract a few of them from its fellow mates or through the air.
Keeping in mind that not everyone is well aware of the health tests designed specifically for GSPs, we decided to put together a list of the same. So, let’s check them out.
1. Periodic Blood Tests
German Shorthaired Pointers are vulnerable to hemophilia, a genetically-related bleeding disorder. Many times, this disorder isn’t discernible unless severe bleeding occurs during an injury or surgery.
Hence, periodic blood testing or a specific DNA blood test is important to ensure your GSP isn’t suffering from any such disorder.
Cancer is another deadly disease that affects GSPs; most of them are likely to suffer from it during old age. Mast and nasal tumors are two types of cancers that cause death. Most of the time, the cancer is removed through surgical procedures, but sometimes, your GSP may have to undergo chemotherapy.
Therefore, periodic blood tests are important for the early detection of cancerous cells. Also, make sure you look for lumps and bumps regularly.
2. Tear Test
Another common disease that most German Shorthaired Pointers suffer in their lifetime is dry eye. In most cases, dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), turns into pannus, producing black pigmentation in the corneas.
Usually, dry eye occurs when the tear glands don’t function properly, which means they aren’t producing sufficient tears to keep the eyes moist. So, if you notice your pup pawing at the eye, squinting, or a thick discharge, we suggest consulting a vet as soon as possible.
However, you can avoid the dry eye condition in your dog by getting a tear test done every year.
3. Genetic Testing Of The SLC2A9 Gene
Most German Shorthair Pointers inherit hyperuricosuria from their ancestors. Basically, it is a condition in which there is a high excretion of uric acid in the urine. At times, the uric acid forms stones or crystals in the urinary tract, which can deteriorate the health of your canine companion.
GSPs who suffer from hyperuricosuria are likely to urinate frequently and may appear weak, lethargic, lose appetite, and vomit more often. Though both male and female dogs are prone to this health condition, males are at high risk because of the differences in their anatomy.
Hence, genetic testing of the SLC2A9 gene is recommended as it determines whether your GSP is a carrier of this disease or not.
4. Ultrasound For Detecting Bleeding Tumor
Besides cancer, a type of bleeding tumor, also known as hemangiosarcoma, is likely to affect your GSP at some point or the other. Though they most commonly occur in the spleen, they can affect other organs as well.
Detecting this tumor in the early stages is important, or it might lead to internal bleeding. In most cases, such tumors show no symptoms or signs of occurrence unless they amplify in size. While all ages of GSPs are affected by this disease, seniors are most likely to develop such a tumor.
Therefore, it’s important to take your dog to a vet for regular examination and make sure you get blood tests and ultrasounds done every year to detect such health conditions.
5. Annual Heart Health Checkup
Much like human beings, German Shorthaired Pointers are susceptible to various types of heart diseases. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), valvular degeneration, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are some of the most common heart diseases that GSPs suffer during their lifetime.
That is why you should take your pet for an annual heart health checkup which includes an echocardiogram (ECG), X-rays, or other related tests, depending on their age and other factors.
If detected in the initial stages, heart diseases can be treated with medications, but sometimes, your canine friend may have to undergo surgeries. However, weight control and dental care may prevent heart diseases in dogs.
6. Testing Electrolyte Levels For Detecting Addison’s Disease
Though any dog can acquire Addison’s disease, German Shorthaired Pointers are more prone to this health condition. Basically, it is an endocrine system disorder in which the adrenal glands are unable to produce sufficient hormones for the proper functioning of the body.
Treating hypoadrenocorticism or Addison’s disease is important, or it might turn fatal, affecting the health of your dog. Thankfully, there are specialized timed blood tests formulated to check the occurrence of this disorder. Along with that, get electrolyte levels examined by a vet every time you visit them to ensure your dog is safe from this condition.
7. Electroencephalogram (EEG)
Usually, dogs are afflicted with three types of seizures – reactive, secondary, and primary.
Metabolic conditions, such as organ failure, low blood sugar, or a toxin may lead to reactive seizures caused by the reaction of the brain. Contrarily, trauma, stroke, or brain tumor may result in secondary seizures.
Meanwhile, primary seizures, also known as idiopathic epilepsy, isn’t caused by a brain lesion or other ailments and is an inherited condition. When a GSP is prone to seizures, it is likely to show signs between six months and three years of age. So, if you notice any such signs, rush to your vet as soon as possible.
An electroencephalogram or EEG is often recommended as it can calculate the electrical activity of the brain of your furry friend.
Along with that, x-rays are recommended as they help reveal whether your dog has metastatic cancer or not. Besides, make sure you conduct additional blood tests to detect infectious diseases that may result in seizures.
Also, keep in mind that if your dog suffers from epilepsy, lifelong medication is necessary to keep seizures under control.
8. Genetic Testing Of The CNGB3 gene
Did you know that most German Shorthaired Pointers develop photophobia and day-blindness between 8 and 12 weeks of their birth? While photophobia refers to sensitivity to light, day-blindness means that they are unable to see in bright lights.
Usually, GSPs inherit this eye disease from their ancestors, which is why genetic testing of the CNGB3 gene is important.
Even if you’re a breeder, we suggest getting your dogs tested to determine whether they are the carriers of cone degeneration or not. In case any one of them carries this eye disease, consider breeding them with those who test negative for the CNGB3 gene.
9. Ophthalmologic Examination Of Eyes To Diagnose Entropion
One of the most common abnormalities veterinarians have noticed in GSPs is the inward growth of eyelids, causing the eyelashes to brush against the cornea. Often referred to as entropion, they likely inherit this eyelid disease from their ancestors during birth.
Eye redness, discharge, or excessive tear production – are some telltale signs that your dog is suffering from entropion. So, in case you notice any of these signs, take your GSP for an ophthalmologic examination of their eyes.
While surgery is the best solution for grown-up dogs, eyelid-tackling procedures are performed for those below 12 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How To Swab A Dog Safely For DNA Tests?
Since DNA tests are user-friendly, collecting a dog’s buccal swab isn’t much of a task. Unseal the kit, take out the swabs and rub them lightly in the inner cheeks of your dog’s mouth for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
Then let the swabs dry for a few minutes, place them back in the package, seal the carton and send it to the lab for testing. More or less, all DNA testing kits are used in a similar manner; however, we suggest reading the instructions on the package carefully to avoid making mistakes.
In case your dog isn’t being cooperative, use a treat to grab its attention, but don’t feed it unless you collect the sample.
Q2. Can Dogs Drink Water Or Eat Food Before DNA Test?
No, the dog shouldn’t eat anything for one to two hours prior to swabbing, as it contaminates the sample. However, drinking water isn’t an issue, just make sure they don’t drink anything for at least ten minutes before swabbing.
So, that’s all about the best DNA testing for German Shorthaired Pointers.
From determining your dog’s breed to identifying potential health risks, DNA test kits are truly among the best inventions of mankind. Not only that, but they also reveal their unique personality traits, helping you to understand your loyal companion better.
Overall, the Embark Dog DNA Test is our top pick because it’s easy to use and provides accurate results. However, if you’re looking for a test that provides accurate weight range predictions and an in-depth analysis of your dog’s personality, the Wisdom Panel Premium Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test For Dogs will fit the bill.
On that note, we’ll wrap our guide on the topic. Until next time!