Genetic Diversity Testing for Labrador Retrievers


The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL), in collaboration with Dr. Niels C. Pedersen and staff, has developed a panel of short tandem repeat (STR) markers that will determine genetic diversity across most of the genome and in the Dog Leukocyte Antigen (DLA) class I and II regions. This test panel will be useful to breeders who wish to track and increase genetic diversity of their breed as a long-term goal.

Genetic diversity testing of Labrador Retrievers is now in the data collection phase. During this phase, we will continue to test more registered dogs to build genetic data necessary to provide breeders with an accurate assessment of genetic diversity in their breed. We are accepting Labrador Retrievers from the USA and Canada, as well as from other regions of the world. At time of writing, we have tested 121 Labrador Retrievers - 113 from the US, 6 from Canada, and 2 from Brazil. Although this number of dogs will probably cover 95% or more of the genetic diversity that exists in dogs from North America, the goal is to keep testing dogs until no new genomic alleles or DLA haplotypes are recognized. We are especially interested in testing more Labrador Retrievers from other regions of the world. We anticipate that they will be genetically related to their North American counterparts, but the degree of that relatedness may vary depending on duration of geographic isolation, field vs. bench, type of performance, and introgressions between these types.


$85 one test per animal
$70 when combined with a diagnostic test


Results reported as:

Short tandem repeat (STR) loci: A total of 33 STR loci from across the genome were used to gauge genetic diversity within an individual and across the breed. The alleles inherited from each parent are displayed graphically to highlight heterozygosity, and breed-wide allele frequency is provided.

DLA haplotypes: STR loci linked to the DLA class I and II genes were used to identify genetic differences in regions regulating immune responses and self/non-self-recognition. Problems with self/non-self-recognition, along with non-genetic factors in the environment, are responsible for autoimmune disease, allergies, and immunodeficiency.

Internal Relatedness: The IR value is a measure of genetic diversity within an individual that takes into consideration both heterozygosity of alleles at each STR loci and their relative frequency in the population. It is also an estimate of the genetic relatedness of a dog’s parents. Unlike standard genetic assessments, IR puts more emphasis on heterozygosity over homozygosity and uncommon over common alleles. IR values are unique to each dog and cannot be compared between dogs. Two dogs may have identical IR values but with very different genetic makeups.

Daily updated statistics are here.

See our PDF