Each cell of the dog’s body contains the unique genetic information of which one half comes from the father and the other half from the mother.
In the laboratory, the genetic information will be analyzed and stored in a database and can be presented as a barcode. This barcode is unique and is called the DNA-profile. Because the DNA-profile is connected to the microchip of the dog, one is able to determine conclusively the identity of the dog at any time. A DNA-profile is so to speak the biological fingerprint of the dog.
In 2006 the International Society for Animal Genetics organized a conference where their members agreed about the number of markers that enable to DNA-
fingerprint an individual dog.
Normally 18 markers are sufficient to identify the dog but actually, genetics have 25 markers identified.
The test that made a DNA-profile, as well as parentage verification possible, is called
the ISAG 2006 comparison test for dogs.
Unfortunately, not all laboratories worldwide are members of ISAG and are working according to their standards. For instance, Australian laboratories do not work according to the protocols of ISAG.
ALFA-Europe registered dogs are DNA-tested by the Dr. Van Haeringen Laboratory (VHL) in the Netherlands because it is an accredited and certified member of ISAG. VHL is working according to the ISAG 2006 comparison test and protocols.
DNA profiling without verifying parentage
Having a DNA-profile sounds great, but without parentage verification based on the DNA markers of the puppy as well as his parents, it is useless. The puppy buyer has to be sure that the puppy is truly an offspring of the parents mentioned in the provided pedigree.
Transparency is one of the main goals of ALFA-Europe.
For that reason, each buyer of a puppy or adult dog (regardless if it concerns a pet dog or breeding puppy) is entitled to get a reliable pedigree together with the original DNA analysis certificates of the laboratory proving that the puppy is truly an offspring of the parents mentioned on the pedigree.