DNA Frequently Asked Questions

1. What information does the DNA testing provide?

AKC 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. AKC DNA is not a breed identification test beyond confirming parentage if the sire and dam also have DNA on file.

2. Why did the AKC get involved in DNA?

DNA offers the AKC the possibility of ensuring the accuracy of the registry in a way never before possible.

3. What is the DNA Profile Program?

The DNA Profile Program is a voluntary program the fancy can use to strengthen their breeding programs. Participants receive an AKC letter of DNA Analysis with the dog's registration information, owner's name, DNA Profile Number, and the dog's actual genotype.

4. How can I order a DNA Test Kit?

AKC has two types of kits. The regular kit is available at no charge, and the $50 processing fee (per dog) is due when the sample is returned to the AKC. We also offer a Prepaid Test Kit for only $45 (per dog). You can save $5 per dog by paying in advance; Prepaid DNA test kits are nonrefundable.

DNA Test Kits may be ordered through the AKC Online Store, or by contacting the AKC: email: orderdesk@akc.org; fax: 919.816.4255; phone: 919.233.9767; mail: AKC DNA Test Kit, American Kennel Club, PO Box 900065, Raleigh, NC 27675-9065.

Please include your name, address, and the number of dogs you wish to test. Include $45 per dog for Prepaid Test Kits; Prepaid DNA test kits are nonrefundable.

5. Will the DNA information appear on Registration materials?

Yes, if the dog is individually registered at the time the swab is submitted to the AKC. After the Profile of DNA Analysis has been issued, all subsequent Registration Certificates and Pedigrees will include the DNA Profile Number for that dog (including those for sire and dam, grandparents, etc., if their Profiles are on record). (Note: dogs sampled during kennel inspections for the Compliance Audit Program are not DNA Profiled – DNA Profiles are not issued, and DNA Profile Numbers are not added to the registration record.)

6. How is the sample collected?

A small bristle brush is inserted in the dog's mouth, swirled against the inside of the cheek and the sample is collected. It is this simple collection process that makes it possible to use DNA on a large scale to help the accuracy of the AKC registry.

7. How are the samples processed?

For the Compliance Audit, AKC staff members collect, identify, seal and mail the samples to AKC. For the DNA Profile Program, the owner or owner’s agent collects the sample and mails it to the AKC, where the samples are entered into the database, bar-coded for reference, and batched for shipment to the laboratory (Neogen). After processing by Neogen, the resulting genotypes are transmitted to AKC for inclusion in the AKC DNA Database.

8. What is the Compliance Audit Program?

The Compliance Audit Program is a mandatory part of the Inspections program and includes the use of DNA for parentage verification. Breeders are selected on a random basis by AKC management for routine kennel inspections. All costs connected with DNA processing and analysis will be paid by the AKC, except retesting of excluded litters. An administrative fee of $250 will be charged when a breeder/owner requests retesting of an excluded litter. More information on this program.

9. As a breeder/owner/broker using AKC services, what happens if I refuse to make my dogs available during a routine kennel inspection?

Refusing to make dogs available for DNA testing is considered the same as refusing inspection and may result in action by the AKC Management Disciplinary Committee. Inspection procedures provide that the AKC has the right to inspect the records required to be kept and to examine any dog registered or to be registered with the American Kennel Club. Such examination may include DNA tests or other procedures at the discretion of the AKC. Responsible breeders with accurate records have everything to gain by incorporation of these DNA tests into the routine inspection program.

10. What was the Parent Club Program?

AKC DNA Operations staff collected samples on a voluntary basis at Parent Breed Club National Specialties. The Program increased the awareness and understanding by the fancy of both the feasibility and advisability of using DNA, and will guarantee that the best genetic markers are being used among AKC breeds. The Parent Club Program began in 1998 and concluded in 2000.

11. Who owns the DNA samples and are they stored?

All samples collected become part of the AKC DNA program and database. They will be archived at the discretion of the AKC.

12. Can DNA testing determine the breed of a dog?

No. DNA profiling can determine parentage and genetic identity, but not the breed.

13. What if I still have questions?

Please contact AKC DNA Operations.