A DNA profile is simply a biological 'microchip' - it uniquely identifies any particular dog.

Each dog has a unique DNA signature that we call its DNA profile or fingerprint, which can be likened to a biological microchip because each DNA profile is unique to an individual dog. The DNA profile can therefore be used to uniquely identify a particular dog. Unlike the microchip, however, the DNA profile can provide more information than this. Since a dog inherits half of its DNA from its dam and the other from its sire, this means that half of a dog’s DNA profile is inherited from its dam and the other half from its sire. Therefore we can also use a dog’s DNA profile to verify that its registered parents are in fact its biological parents, provided DNA profiles are available from both parents.

DNA profiling can be carried out cheaply and easily through a simple cheek swab. The profile gives the individual dog's alleles for at least 18 microsatellite sites.

Profiling is a simple means of checking that we are maintaining genetic diversity. In a breed with a very limited gene pool such as the Cesky Terrier, by using the information from the DNA Profile a breeder can select a sire that will increase heterozygosity in the subsequent litter. This is a more successful approach to the problem of maintaining genetic diversity than by 'out-crossing' to a dog that has no close relatives over three or even five generations, but that may, in fact, be genetically almost identical to the dam.

By comparing values at each point on the profile we can see how the genetic make-up of dogs differs. Cesky Terriers all have very similar profiles – even the different ‘lines’ cannot be distinguished. The very smallest amounts of diversity are important in this breed.

For more details of the Cesky Terrier Genetic Diversity Project please contact ceskyterrier.co.uk

Every Cesky Terrier can contribute useful information to this project. Old or young, a family pet or a top show winner, neutered or entire - all have something to tell us about the genetic make-up of our breed. Please consider adding your dog's name to the list of those that have been profiled, and help preserve the future of our breed. You can find a list of the Cesky Terriers that have been profiled to date here.

You can order a profiling kit from the Animal Health Trust.

The Diversity Project

The aim of the Cesky Terrier Genetic Diversity Project is to utilise the information found in DNA profiles in order to help maintain the genetic diversity of this rare breed, which has a very restricted gene pool.

The Friends of the Cesky Terrier are raising funds to profile 100 dogs - we need £2500 - please use the contact form for deails of our fundraising activities. You can also find us on Facebook.

Cesky Terriers are part of the Give a Dog a Genome initiative.