Fun With the Wisdom Panel DNA Kit

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In my world, our pets are our family.  I’m a firm believer that dogs & cats were God’s gift to us to remind us how to love, how to find joy, and to just relax and roll with life! I cannot remember a time in my life when we didn’t have at least one dog or cat with the exception of the very sad times between when one pet would die and we would bring a new one in to love.

When we started a family of our own, there was no question that eventually a dog would join the mix, it was just a matter of what kind & when! We decided the right timing was right around the time Luke was turning one. As a baby, he was naturally drawn to puppies and got really excited any time we saw one, and he LOVED my parents’ dog, Joey.

I also knew we would be adopting our dog from a shelter or rescue group.  I hate to see the homeless dogs & cats in cages. There are so many irresponsible pet owners out there, and overpopulation in the shelters is a major problem in every city. Unless you have a very specific breed you just have to have, there is no reason why you should not consider pet adoption over purchasing from a breeder!

Sully’s Adoption Picture

I started looking through various adoption pages like and came across this adorable “little” guy who was listed as a “beagle mix.” The best part was that he would be at an adoption event that weekend about a mile from my office! I could easily run over there during my lunch to meet Matt and the boys and see what we thought.  I called the rescue group and they asked me to go ahead and fill out an application so that if we fell in love and were approved, we could take him home that day! Done!

Sully's 1st Day At Home
Sully’s 1st Day At Home

Sully was adorable! A little bigger than a traditional beagle, but surely he wouldn’t get much bigger. The boys brought him home from the event and I headed back to work. They picked up a medium sized kennel (so he would have room to grow into it), some dog bowls, toys, and puppy food! He immediately fit in with our family, and it was very clear that the boys were his boys the second he moved in. There was just one problem…

Sully's 1st Birthday
Sully’s 1st Birthday

Sully grew, and grew and grew! Around the time of his first (adoption) birthday, it was VERY clear to us that he was NOT a beagle! His face definitely had some lab in it, but he was even bigger than most of the labs we knew! Sully was HUGE, bigger than we expected, but was just the right size for 2 rowdy little boys to play with!

Ella's Adoption Picture
Ella’s Adoption Picture

A couple of years later, we found out from the same rescue that Sully came from that there was a mama lab who had just had puppies, and the puppies were in need of fosters. All of their regular fosters were already taking care of other dogs & cats so they were looking for new families to step in.  Once I saw the picture of the litter, I was a goner. Who can resist that chocolate lab puppy?!?! And we were only going to foster this time! Once again, Matt was off to pick up a puppy while I was at work!

Ella's 1st Night at Home
Ella’s 1st Night at Home

He sent me a picture when he got home with just three words: “She’s really tiny!” He was right, she was A LOT smaller than Sully was when he came home. This time though, we saw the mama and knew she was a lab. Surely she would grow! By that night, we also knew she was not leaving our home! She was Matt’s little cuddle bug!

stole Sully's bed
“Mama! She stole my bed!”

We named the new puppy Cinderella or Ella for short (all of our animals have Disney names)! Miss Ella made herself at home right away! She followed her big brother, Sully, everywhere, and immediately figured out the ropes around the DuBois house.

The funny part was, that while Sully kept getting bigger when we expected him to stay small, Ella stayed small when we expected her to get big! She grew out, and has since been given the nickname “Roley Poley” but she is not nearly as tall as a lab should be! She doesn’t let her short size get in her way! In fact, I’m pretty sure she has no idea that she is so much smaller than Sully!!!

professional food beggars
All Professional Food Beggars

Finally, curiosity got the best of me, and I had to know what they really were! I ordered the Wisdom Panel Pet DNA kits off of Amazon. The kit was really simple, consisting of just 2 swabs and an envelope to seal them up and send them back with!

Wisdom Panel Pet DNA Kit
Wisdom Panel Pet DNA Kit

Getting the sample was a bit of an undertaking! You have to take both brushes and swab the inside of the dog’s mouth! What they don’t factor in, is that you can’t really reason with your dog to sit still while you collect their DNA, and once they realize the swab doesn’t taste like bacon, they’re over it! Sully (mostly) cooperated, but Ella was another story! There was no way to hold her still and get her picture! Haha!

collecting the dna sample
Collecting Sully’s DNA sample.

Once you collect the DNA, you simply go to their website, create an account, enter the code to the sample, and then ship it off and wait! I was so surprised when I checked my email about 2 weeks later and it was already back! When we had our own DNA tested for ancestry it took more like 2 months!

Sully's DNA
Sully’s DNA

So you’re telling me he’s not a beagle?!?!?! When you go online to view the results, there really is a lot you can see! In fact, I learned more on the dog results, than I did on the human ones! It allows you to click through each breed, and learn a little bit about each one which really helps to understand your dog’s personality! We realized Sully got his extra size from the Great Pyrenees, and his gentle, loving spirit from the lab. He’s fiercely loyal to his family as the German Shepherd!

Ella’s results came in a couple of days later.

Ella's DNA Results
Ella’s DNA Results

She’s the Beagle?!?! I about died laughing when I saw this! Ella’s results were a little more inconclusive, meaning they couldn’t find all of the specific breeds but determined the groupings. I take that to mean she has lots of mutt in her! She’s definitely a herder and is the one to go round up the cats if any of them go out in the backyard. She wants her whole pack together all the time and will not settle down if we aren’t all in the same room! She is also extremely motivated by treats like a lab!

The Wisdom Panel might seem like a lot at $80 to spend on finding out what your dog’s breed is, but once you know what they really are, you can immediately gain so much more insight into their behavior and how to better train them. Our dogs’ breeds, for example, are socially driven, do best with a pack (each other & their boys), and are motivated by treats! Had I learned that they were more geared towards tasks, we would have tried again after Sully flunked out of doggy school; he was actually called Tommy Boy by the dog trainer! Big, dumb, & lovable!

a boy's best friend
A Boy’s Best Friend

At the end of the day, the Wisdom Panel DNA Kit was a really fun thing to do with our dogs and something I would recommend you do if you have any kind of a mixed breed (even if you think you knew what the mama was), if for no other reason than it was just fun to find out what they were!

Does your family have a pet? What kind do you have and why?


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