Last month I wrote about sending our dog’s DNA away to be tested in order to find out what breeds she is a mix of. The results came in before Christmas but rather than sharing them right away with our family I printed them off without looking at them and wrapped up an envelope as a gift from Maple to the family.
Family Guesses and the Reveal
Before the big reveal, we discussed our guesses on breeds without really factoring in percentages. I guessed she would be mostly Great Pyrenees and Labrador Retriever and wondered if she had any Australian Shepherd in her. My husband added Akbash and Husky to his guess without guessing any “mostly” breeds of the four. The kids both thought she’d be Great Pyrenees, Labrador Retriever, and Husky.
It turns out my husband was the closest in his overall guess of breeds. Maple is mostly Great Pyrenees at 27%. Next is Labrador Retriever at 14.4% and Catahoula Leopard Dog at 14.0%. The Catahoula Leopard dog was a surprise breed as well as interesting that there’s the same amount of that breed compared to a Labrador Retriever. In the Supermutt category Embark indicates there are small amounts of DNA from distant ancestors who were American English Coonhound, Chow Chow, and Golden Retriever.
Maple also scored a 3.4% Wolfiness. Embark’s site says this, explaining the trait, “Most dogs have wolfiness scores of 1% or less. We find populations and breeds with higher scores of 2-4% occasionally, and unique dogs with scores of 5% or above more rarely.”
They also further explain the Wolfiness Score saying, “The Wolfiness Score is based on the number of ancient genetic variants your dog has in our unique Wolfiness marker panel. Wolfiness scores up to 10% are almost always due to ancient wolf genes that survived many generations, rather than any recent wolf ancestors. These ancient genes maybe a few thousand years old, or may even date back to the original domestication event 15,000 years ago. They are bits of a wild past that survive in your dog!”
The results of Maple’s DNA testing didn’t change anything with regard to how we treat, train, or think about her. It was an interesting thing we wanted to do because we wondered what breeds are in her genetic makeup. We were pleased with the process of getting a sample from Maple and the quickness Embark had results back to us. We would definitely use them again for testing any other dogs we adopt.
We chose not to pay the extra money for the extended results that included health and traits. We used the Embark Breed Identification DNA Test. There’s also an Embark Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test where health traits can also be uncovered. (Links to these tests are affiliate links.)