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 filling out this Swab Request Form and sending it with a stamped, self-addressed return envelope (See the Postage & Envelope Guide*).

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.

*Postage & Envelope Guide

You can avoid a trip to the post office with this Postage & Envelope Guide. Simply address the return envelope to you, add the postage and enclose it in an appropriately sized** envelope addressed to the Endowment along with your completed Swab Request Form.

  • For 1 or 2 dogs, you can use a #10 (“business”) envelope with 1 stamp.
  • If you are testing more than 2 dogs, you need a LARGE envelope.** Each swab weights 0.1 oz. You can calculate postage using the USPS Postage Price Calculator.
    1. In the 1st step, use the “Calculate by Shape and Size” option.
    2. In the 2nd step, choose “Large Envelope”.
    3. In the 3rd step, choose “None of the following”.
    4. In the results, the First Class Postage amount appears at the bottom.
**Note that the cheek swabs are about 8 3/4" long x 1" wide (similar to a dinner knife/fork in length/width) when you are selecting envelope size for testing more than 2 dogs.

If you have questions about envelopes or postage, please contact Toni at

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.