After years of research supported by hundreds of Wheatens and their owners and breeders, Dr. Meryl Littman and Dr. Paula Henthorn at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) identified mutations associated with PLN in two genes. A simple cheek swab test to determine an individual dog’s DNA status was introduced to Wheaten owners in May 2012.

Owners can obtain a test kit from Penn, go to the PennGen website at, complete the information on you and your dog, use the cheek swabs at home, and submit your samples to Penn. When the results are available in about 2-4 weeks, you’ll receive an email from Penn, pay online, and receive your results.

Looking for more details?

We've provided guides to help you perform the testing on your dogs, as well as articles to help you understand the research and your dog’s results. You can also listen to Dr. Littman’s introduction of the test.

The Test
The Results
More from the Researchers
AUDIO:   Dr. Littman introduces the Test for PLN-Associated Variant Genes
On 5/5/12 at the Del Val SCWTC Specialty, Dr. Meryl Littman talked about the new test and what it means to the Wheaten community. Thanks to the wonders of technology, Holly Craig recorded it in its entirety. It's been reviewed by Dr. Littman and some minor editing was done at her request.
(Approximate length = 40 minutes)

Statement on Genetic Testing for PLN-Associated Variant Genes

Responsible Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breeders and stud dog owners breed for type, temperament, soundness and health. The recent introduction of the test for PLN-associated variant genes gives us an additional tool to use in the health assessment of breeding stock. Using this test should give Wheaten breeders the ability to reduce the incidence of dogs with these variant genes slowly and carefully while still maintaining genetic diversity.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, Inc., and the SCWTCA Endowment, Inc., endorse testing for PLN-associated variant genes by breeders and stud dog owners as one tool in the assessment of breeding stock.

We strongly encourage all owners to become familiar with the test and to understand the meaning of the results and their use in breeding. Resources are available in More Information above. SCWTCA neither requires nor prohibits any form of breeding beyond what is currently in the Code of Ethics.

All Wheaten owners should remember that screening for health goes beyond performing this test. Members of SCWTCA are reminded of the requirements of the Code of Ethics in regard to other testing and breeding requirements.

Request DNA Test Kits

SCWTCA no longer supplies test kits.  Test kits can be obtained directly from Penn as follows

  • For each dog …
    Send a stamped, self-addressed business envelope for each dog to:

    Michael Raducha/ PLN Test
    Ryan Veterinary Hospital – Room 4022
    University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
    3900 Delancey St
    Philadelphia PA 19104-6010

  • If you are testing multiple dogs …
    Send a stamped, self-addressed LARGE envelope to Penn and tell them how many dogs you will be testing – number of dogs, not number of swabs.
    • As a guideline, a large manila envelope that can hold enough for 10 dogs weighs about 6 ounces. You can calculate postage using the USPS Postage Price Calculator.
  • Owners living outside the US …
    Request your kit(s) from Penn as described above. Envelopes need to be self-addressed but you can include a check (US funds only) for the amount of the postage. You can calculate postage using the USPS Postage Price Calculator.

More Questions?

If you still have questions, contact the SCWTCA Liaison Pam Mandeville at


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