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The Results Are In

Sammy’s breed results are in and they are very interesting! Sammy was born into a hoarding situation so we knew nothing of his lineage. From the way he looks, we speculated many times about what breeds he could be. We settled on saying he was a Black Mouth Cur, a breed designed for hunting in the southern states. This was mostly to make describing him simple, but he very much looked and acted like every description about this breed we could find. However, as this is not a recognized breed it is not in the DNA database. So, it was simple…until now. The analysis shows he is 7 breeds but predominately 4 breeds (I won’t spoil it if you still want to guess). In some ways, you can almost see each of those breeds when you look at him, but he also looks like none of them at all. This just goes to show that once the breeds are mixed, there is no telling what traits will be represented. Anything goes. Without a DNA analysis, your guess is as good as mine. Click on the picture of Sammy at the bottom of this email to see his DNA profile. All Things Dog For the DNA tests we did with our two dogs, we used two different companies to get a feel for what they were like, as many clients have asked us about them. For Chobani, we used Wisdom Panel (see our previous Words of WOOFdom) and for Sammy we used Embark Vet. Here is our break down. Wisdom Panel was the less expensive of the two, with the basic kit costing $80 (after a $20 automatic coupon). We ordered it online. It arrived in two days. We collected the sample and shipped it back the same day. They had the results in 20 days from the initial order. A lot faster than they said it would take (3-6 weeks). The results were simple and easy to understand. They also provided a Traits Analysis, which identifies the genetic markers that account for his physical characteristics, such as nose color, hair type, coat, size, etc. This information was interesting, but not especially useful as, we can already see what traits he has. It seems more like it was to impress us that they know what he looks like without seeing him, just from the DNA. Wisdom Panel does offer a limited health screening for potentially fatal genetic diseases (29) to alert you to any issues. Fortunately, Chobani was clear of all of them. The Wisdom Panel is a very good choice, especially at the price-point. Embark Vet was a bit more expensive at $130 for the basic kit. It was ordered on the same day as the Wisdom Panel and took 24 days to be completed. Slightly slower, but faster than they said it would take (3-5 weeks). The presentation of the results was fancier, with a short video and an interactive guessing game for his breeds, but virtually the same in the ease of understanding. Embark Vet did not offer the genetic screening or traits analysis, unless you purchased the premium version at $199. What it did offer is a comparison to other dogs of the same genetic make-up, a listing of genetic relatives and their profiles, and a very detailed analysis of the various breeds and what it means to the owner. Additionally, Embark Vet offered a printable certificate, downloadable report, and even a file of the raw genetic marker data for any of you geneticists out there. The information from Embark Vet was deeper, though not as broad as Wisdom Panel, it was flashier and more fun to go through, but in hindsight, probably not worth the extra $50. What I really liked about it was the genetic relative matching as we know Sammy has a sister out there and we were hoping that she was in their system. Who knows, maybe someday she will be.

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