Now Available - DNA Cheek Swabs!

Looking for DNA cheek swabs?

Research supported by the SCWTCA Endowment, other Wheaten organizations, and the Wheaten community resulted in DNA testing for some diseases with hereditary components, such as PLN, Degenerative Myelopathy, and Microphthalmia. Samples are taken via cheek swabs (“cytology brushes”) by owners in their homes, and the swabs are sent to the testing lab. Results are not only useful to owners and breeders but also to researchers.

To support research and help supply owners with hard-to-find cheek swabs, the Endowment is presently making them available upon request. A Wheaten breeder or owner can request up to 20 swabs (enough for 10 dogs) by sending an email to the Endowment Secretary, Pam Tinnelly, at and including your full name, address, and phone number as well as the number of dogs being tested.

Note: At the present time, we can only send swabs to US addresses.


These are just the cheek swabs you use to collect DNA samples which you then send to a lab such as PennGen or a commercial lab of your choice. Some labs provide swabs as part of their test kits. Please see your chosen lab’s website for more information about DNA testing.

For your convenience, a list of genetic testing labs is at the bottom of this page. The SCWTCA website also has information on DNA testing at for PLN-Associated Variant Genes at PennGen. You may find the articles on this page of use to you.

We hope all Wheaten owners doing DNA testing on their dogs will help research by submitting their dog’s results to the Wheaten Health Database at, a tool our researchers use to supplement their work. It’s especially important if you use a commercial lab, since researchers do not have access to their data. All researchers need a complete picture of our breed. Many of the labs used for genetic testing will, for an additional fee, send the results directly to the OFA as well as to yourself.

DNA Testing Labs:

The SCWTCA Endowment, Inc. does not endorse any specific genetic (DNA) testing service provider. This list is provided as a convenience for Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier owners/breeders.