DNA Archive at The Animal Health Trust

What is it?

The DNA archive is simply a collection of DNA samples from different Smooths that are to be stored indefinitely by The Animal Health Trust with a view to using it for research purposes when it is needed. One important use for the DNA is to identify mutations responsible for inherited diseases; these may be ones that are known about now or that might arise in the future. The Smooth Collie DNA Archive belongs to the Animal Health Trust.

Why Do We Need it?

We need it to help to keep Smooths healthy into the future. Some breeds have large databases already. If a gene is found in a different breed, for an illness which also appears in Smooths then the Smooth Collie DNA in the archive can be analysed to see if it has the same mutation. If we need a piece of research in the future it is important to have a bank of DNA ready to use.

How You Can Help

By donating your Smooth’s DNA using a painless and easy to take cheek swab. The AHT supplies the swabs & all the information you need to take it from your Smooth Collie and send it to them. You will need to include copies of any health certificates and be willing to update the AHT should your dog’s health change significantly in the future.

Will My Record be Private?

Absolutely. Both dog and owner information is kept in the strictest confidence, although the AHT might, periodically, distribute a list of the names of dogs whose DNA is stored to breed club representatives, for the purposes of sample monitoring.  Only the names of dogs will be distributed and no other information will be included.

What is the Club’s Involvement in this?

The Club has earmarked some Club Funds to pay for the banking of DNA from some priority groups. 

These are dogs and bitches:       

  • that have been or are likely to be bred from
  • with genetic health conditions and cancers
  • that are known to be closely related to dogs that are affected with inherited conditions
  • veterans over 7 years of age

If you have one or more Smooths that fit into the categories above, and you live in the UK, please apply for your free swab kit from the Health Co-ordinator.

If your Smooth doesn’t fall into these priority groups, or if you don’t live in the UK, please still consider contacting the AHT and purchasing your own swab kit to contribute to the Smooth Collie DNA Archive. The contact is .

Is the DNA of Healthy Smooth Collies Useful?

It is extremely useful. DNA from any Smooth can be stored, but it is especially useful to store DNA from dogs that have been or are likely to be bred from and DNA from healthy Smooths that are closely related to any dogs that are affected with an inherited condition.