Whizbee’s Embark DNA Results

Whizbee’s DNA test results are back!

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No surprise that she is mostly German Shepherd Dog (71.0% to be exact). The 11.5% Chow Chow, 9.3% Siberian Husky, and 8.2% Boxer are more difficult to see. And there is no significant border collie or labrador retriever in there! I was so convinced that she was part labrador!

The reason I chose the Embark test over others on the market is the additional information it provides. We don’t know Whizbee’s age so I really wanted to find out if she was roughly older or younger than Severus. The rescue listed her as 4 years old, but her genetic age suggests she’s actually younger than 4! That makes me happy! More time to love my little shadow girl.
Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 11.32.55 AMGenetic Age? Wtf is that?! It’s not intuitive so I’ll just insert the Embark explanation. Embark also provided a genetic age table specific to Whizbee.

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In addition, Embark tests for 160 genetic health conditions. Thankfully, Whizbee is not at risk for any of them! She is a carrier for two conditions, progressive retinal atrophy (RTA) and degenerative myelopathy, but since she is spayed, there is no way she can pass that risky recessive allele onto future offspring.

Then, there are the “Advanced” results. They’re advanced because you have to care enough to read the explanations of the phenotype that come along with the genotype. I won’t lie; it helps if you have a basic understanding of Punnett squares from high school biology. To be perfectly honest, I almost failed my required biology course at MIT (Sorry, Mom, it was a tough semester for me), but even I understood these explanations. So high school level biology is just about right! The results we received listed tons of Whiz’s genotypes and how they relate to observable characteristics (phenotype). Here are two examples:

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I think it’s so cool that Embark is frequently updating their algorithms based on unique cases. For example, I know an acquaintance through Instagram whose registered purebred whippet came back with a 50% greyhound breed result. She sent Embark her dog’s registration and pedigree, and they used her dog’s DNA to update their breed-determining algorithms. Word on the street is Embark issues a discount to anybody whose registered purebred dog comes back with an incorrect breed result.

We also got a “coefficient” which supposedly describes the extent of inbreeding in Whizbee’s lineage. No surprise; it’s not super high considering one of her parents is a total mutt.

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Lastly, Embark is somewhat of a social media platform in and of itself so the website displays profiles of pups that have similar genetic percentages to your own dog. For example, Tilly is 53% GSD and 14% Chow Chow (among other breeds). She looks totally different from Whizbee in many ways and yet there are definitely similarities. Her ear-set reminds me of Whizbee’s ears! Am I the only one who sees it?!

Side by Side Tilly and Whiz

Let me know what you think about Whizbee’s results! Would you do a DNA test on your mixed-breed dog? Would you consider purchasing Embark for your purebred dog in order to gain insight into potential health conditions?

If you’re interested in buying an Embark DNA test for your dog, use my personal link to get $30 off! Full disclaimer, I’ll get a $20 Amazon gift card if you buy through my link.

3 thoughts on “Whizbee’s Embark DNA Results

  1. Do you know how long the link is valid? I don’t have a dog yet, but I’m hoping the adoption works out in the next few weeks. I’m definitely curious! I just ordered 23&me for myself so that will be my interesting reading in the meantime.

    Also totally random sidebar, I think I met you once on MIT’s campus when I asked to pet Sev. I didn’t realize this until you popped up on my discover page on Instagram (I follow a ton of dogs.) I wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog—I’ve gotten so many good ideas for my future dog!


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