DNA Tests Available

Official Kennel Club DNA Testing Scheme

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA)


PRA is a disease that causes the retina of the eye to degenerate slowly over time, the result is declining vision and eventual blindness. Progressive rod-cone degeneration (prcd) is just one type of PRA that was originally discoverd in black Giant Schnauzers in America. The mutation was found to be the same as some other breeds, for which a DNA test existed via Optigen. Since then carriers of prcd-PRA are known to have been imported into the UK from Russia also. According to the Orthopaedic Foundation For Animals, their statistics show a 7.1% carrier rate for prcd-PRA in the Giant Schnauzer.

A DNA test for prcd-PRA is available via:


Paw Print Genetics

MyDogDNA  partnership with Optigen – available as an add-on option to a base panel of other tests.

This DNA test can be completed either by simple cheek swabs posted back to the appropriate lab or a blood sample taken by your vet, see the test providers websites for more information.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)This type of DCM is a serious and most often fatal heart condition diagnosed in young Giant Schnauzers, causing swelling of the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). The heart’s ability to pump blood is reduced since the heart becomes enlarged, and can no longer beat effectively. Testing of 3 UK pepper/salt Giant Schnauzer littermates diagnosed with DCM, along with their close relatives, found the same mutation as presented in Standard Schnauzers.

Giant Schnauzer breeders may order the DCM test through the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) by visiting www.offa.org

Statistics available via OFA show an incidcence rate of 6.8% carriers in the Giant Schnauzer. More information about DCM can be found on the link above.

Generalised Progressive Retinal Atrophy (GPRA) – PRA5

Another type of the degenerative blinding eye condition, PRA, was discovered in a litter of UK bred Giant Schnauzers during 2016. Three affected littermates of European pepper/salt breeding were identified as affected, and subsequent testing with the existing prcd-PRA DNA test proved that this was a different type. Samples from the affected dogs and close relatives were sent to the Animal Health Trust where a whole genome sequencing approach was used to identify the mutation (NECAP1) for this novel type of PRA. An additional 309 Giant Schnauzers were involved in the research from 3 different cohorts in the UK, Finland and Switzerland. Of these additional research dogs, a further 9 were found to be carriers, and carriers were seen in both black and pepper/salt Giants. The AHT estimate that approximately 1 in 4715 giant schnauzers will be homozygous for this mutation, and 1 in 35 dogs (2.9%) will be carriers which is lower than the incidence of prcd-PRA carriers. The full research article can be found on the following link: Whole Genome Sequencing of Giant Schnauzer Dogs with Progressive Retinal Atrophy Establishes NECAP1 as a Novel Candidate Gene for Retinal Degeneration

The DNA test is currently available from the AHT and also Laboklin.

Up to the 1st September 2019 use the discount code AHTGS2019 for a 20% discount with the AHT. Members of the KC ABS are entitled to a 30% discount on AHT tests by loging into MyKC under Special Offers for the discount code.

Order a test from the AHT (discount code AHTGS2019): GPRA – PRA5 DNA Test

The test is also available via Laboklin: NECAP1 PRA Test