Can Dog DNA Tests Show Pit Bulls? The Best Dog DNA Test for Pit Bulls

Opposing the common notion, you can’t correctly identify a dog breed with looks. Everyone has a distinct view of what a certain breed is and should look like, particularly Pit Bulls.

The truth is the only way to tell if a dog is one of these breeds is to do a DNA test on it—and since today’s DNA testing isn’t that accessible and cheap, most people identify “pit bulls” primarily on their own visual judgments.

Can dog DNA tests show Pit Bulls? Dog DNA tests can show if your dog is considered a Pit Bull if your dog has any breed heritage that includes certain breeds. The term “Pit Bull” does not refer to one specific breed of dog; it is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of breeds, all of which can be identified with a DNA test.

Keep reading to learn more about how dog DNA test work and what are the best DNA tests for Pit Bulls.

Can Dog DNA tests show Pit Bulls? 

Most people believe any dog with a specific “look” to be a Pit Bull, which is defined by a square-shaped head and a hefty body. This isn’t particularly accurate. As Pit Bulls aren’t a breed, it’s a mix of other breeds.

As said before, a Pit Bull is a general term that contains a mix of various breeds. The following breeds mix to produce a pitbull:

  1. Bull Terrier
  2. Bullmastiff
  3. American Staffordshire Terrier
  4. American Bulldog
  5. American Bully
  6. Mastiff
  7. Boxer
  8. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

So, don’t expect the DNA test to have “Pit Bull” written in the breed field. It can, however, definitely tell you if your dog has any breed lineage from the breeds listed above, which are commonly linked with the name “Pit Bull.”

How Do dog DNA tests work?

DNA testing allows you to learn more about your dog’s genes. These tests can tell you if your dog is most likely to be affected by particular disorders or if it will pass on the genes connected with these problems if bred.

So, if you woke up one day and decided to get your dog tested for DNA, it might be useful to know how exactly it works. The first step on your side would be getting a cotton swab to collect a sample of your dog’s saliva to send it to a specialized lab.

The professionals take it from there. The test analysis is focusing on something called microarrays, which are small biochips that react with the DNA sample and may identify hundreds, if not millions, of genetic markers simultaneously. 

After reading the DNA, it is checked with the reference database for breed identifications or employed to detect markers that signal illness alterations. The technology behind DNA tests for dogs is equivalent to that underlying human DNA tests, with the difference that the microarray chips are tailored to the dog genome.

Can I Take a Dog DNA Test at Home?

Thanks to the DNA kits available now, you can take a dog DNA test at home. Here are the simple procedures of how you make it happen:

  1. Order any DNA kit online. We recommend Embark’s kit for faster and more reliable results.
  2. Swab your dog using the supplied swab in the kit, and collect a sample from the inside of your dog’s cheek. Put the swab in its container immediately after swabbing so as not to mess up the sample of saliva in it.
  3. Seal the supplied package and mail it to the lab addressed in your ordered kit. Don’t worry about delays. If you shut your DNA collection tube, the liquid within will stabilize and keep the saliva sample for six months to up to a year under all weather conditions.
  4. Wait for the results. It might take four weeks to get the final results. Embark guarantees faster results revealed within 2-4 weeks, with the possibility of professionals calling before that in the case of unexpected or worrisome results.

Here’s a reminder in case you found any health issues in the results of your dog’s DNA: a genetic test is not a replacement for a veterinarian, and it will not identify the existence of a disease.

If the results are worrisome, we advise you to visit the vet. While most owners are aware of this, more education is required if some people misuse genetic testing.

The Best Dog DNA Test for Pit Bulls

a photo of how can dog DNA tests show pit bulls

The best dog DNA test is the one that tells you the most about your dog. The more information you get, the better.

Embark, one of the two largest testing businesses, says that their tests search for over 200,000 genetic markers.  The kit was created in collaboration with Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

You’ll obtain information on your dog’s breed breakdown and genealogy back to great-grandparents.

Embark didn’t stop there; they added a useful component that can make the kit hard to resist.  All of the obtained data from the test are available on Embark’s website in a neatly designed dashboard, or you can download a report, which is useful if you want to discuss the results with your veterinarian.

If you’re a vet who needs to run a DNA test on a dog, Embark got you covered as well. Embark for vets is designed by veterinary geneticists.

The report you receive for each patient is designed to be read by a medical professional and contains high-level overviews, in-depth clinical suggestions, and what to do with the information. 

Does Embark Test for Pit Bulls? 

Embark can test for Pit Bulls by identifying the dog breed and if it has ancestors from other breeds such as Bull Terrier, Bullmastiff, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, American Bully, Mastiff, Boxer, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Embark’s breed database includes information on most dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club, as well as several street dogs and the gray wolf. Their breed findings are 95% to 99% correct. 

Moreover, Embark examines twice as many genetic markers as the competitors, resulting in more reliable findings. It’s highly unlikely that you will fail to identify your dog’s breed with their test.

Related Questions 

Is an American Pit Bull Terrier a Bully? 

The American Pit Bull Terrier is not particularly a Bully. There are two different breeds despite their huge similarities. The key distinction between Pit Bull and American Bully is that the American bully is a Pit Bull breed extension.

Does Embark Test for American Bullies?

Embark does test for American Bullies. It’s one of the most popular dog breeds among the 250 breeds the test can identify. American Bullies can differ in appearance, which can make them hard to identify. That’s why taking a DNA test is useful to check for their breed.

Do Pit Bulls Make Good Pets?

Pit Bulls make good pets and excellent family dogs. According to the American Canine Temperament Test Society, this breed has one of the most steady demeanors of any purebred. Pit Bulls also love kids and are eager to please, making them ready to play and entertain most of the time.

PitbullsHome Personally-Tested Picks for Pitties:

Helpful Resources 

Dog DNA tests: How Accurate Are They, and What Can You Learn? 

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