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At the end of last month, I sent off a saliva swab to Embark Vet. They offer, far and away, the most information about your dog. I got the results over the last couple days and they have been quite interesting!

First, Gobo is about 14% Min Pin, the rest Chihuahua. I have read these kinds of results are quite common among street-type Chihuahuas from parts of the country that used to be part of Mexico (states along the border today). Gobo is from Odessa, TX. Many of these dogs come back as part terrier, though they overwhelmingly are Chihuahuas. The family tree says he had one great-grandparent that was a Min Pin. Gobo has pretty common haplotypes in both his mitochondria and his Y chromosome.

As far as health goes, he has one copy of a gene that suggests his normal ALT (a liver enzyme) might be lower than in normal dogs. This is very interesting because he has been testing high in ALT recently. I have forwarded this info to my vet. This makes me really glad I did this test now. I was wondering if it would shed any light on his liver issues (see my thread in the Health forum), and my hunch was right! Gobo carries PRA, which is a common genetic vision problem across breeds. This means he only has one copy, and he would need 2 to be affected, so he should be fine. He was completely free of 163 other diseases they test for!

Gobo has very low inbreeding, only 1%, which is great! He is black and tan with white, but he carries what we call fawn or cream in Chihuahuas as well as Chocolate. I have observed he has a very short coat with undercoat only on his neck, so it was no big surprise that he has genes for short hair and low shedding!

There is so much more info, but these are the highlights. Just wanted to share!
 

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Were you surprised Gobo was 14% part Min Pin?
I'm from AZ and there are so many mixes of Chihuahuas. Are shelters are full of Chihuahuas and Pitbulls. They are literally ranked #1 and #2
I also figured Texas had many Chihuahua mixes. So it would make sense.
Health wise does it mean he's in the clear?
I'm sure its exciting to get a test back of all their information
 

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I was a little surprised with the breed results, but not terribly. I will still call him a Chihuahua, but now when people ask if he is a min pin, I can say, "only a little!"

The health stuff means he doesn't have any of the diseases they currently test for. The liver enzyme thing may mean that his recent blood tests showing he has elevated ALT should be interpreted differently. If his normal is lower than a typical dog's, the elevation could be more significant than we thought it was before this added DNA information.
 

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I think its a shame to not have many real Chihuahua's left from all the mixing. Here its a very rare thing to see a real chi on craigslist, when they do show up and if the price isn't too crazy they go fast.
 

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Reta isn't active anymore?


I would ask where you live but nvm. 3 of my Chi's are mixes (possibly 4) and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm sure many other people might feel the way you do. But at the same time breeders put in a lot of time and work. So if one truly wants "pedigree" then that comes with a price.
 

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As one who believed that 'pure bred' was better than a cross, I can tell you from experience, that isn't always so. I've had 5 chi's and all have been 'pure'. Health wise One died of pulmonary problems due to being a puppy mill mama, breathing urine fumes 24/7 for 7 years. She lasted 3 years after I got her. 2 have died from heart disease, and 4 have had knee surgeries! One has epilepsy. The mixed dogs I had earlier in my life were much healhlier than the 'pure' it seems. The next pup will be a pet breeder or a shelter dog.
 

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As one who believed that 'pure bred' was better than a cross, I can tell you from experience, that isn't always so. I've had 5 chi's and all have been 'pure'. Health wise One died of pulmonary problems due to being a puppy mill mama, breathing urine fumes 24/7 for 7 years. She lasted 3 years after I got her. 2 have died from heart disease, and 4 have had knee surgeries! One has epilepsy. The mixed dogs I had earlier in my life were much healhlier than the 'pure' it seems. The next pup will be a pet breeder or a shelter dog.
I agree. There are irresponsible breeders on both sides who ignore health checks and illnesses and just breed dogs for their physical characteristics. So having a pure bred dog doesn't always mean better.

3 of my Chi's are mixes (possibly 4) and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Exactly, at the end of the day a dog is a dog and they all deserve to be loved equally. :p My Lilo is pure bred, but Rocky was a rescue/rehome and didn't come with any papers so I can't know for sure.
 
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