Results Are in: Doggie DNA

The time has finally come! The results are in! (Though, to be fair, they were in a few weeks ago. Moving has just been more pressing than blogging.) Before we dive in, let's take a look at the DNA guesses that you readers sent in:


Your guesses for the big guy: made entirely of other big guys.


Your guesses for the little guy: even bigger guys.

The actual results were quite surprising. The boys' mom even wrote in to double check Grimm's results because they were so unbelievable.

It turns out that NEITHER of her boys are pit bull in the true breed definition. WHAT? Someone should tell that to whoever was trying to home those puppies under the label "pit bull". Pudge in particular is an excellent example of most shelters' inability to accurately discern a dog's genetic make-up by simply looking at him. When his mother came in with her enormous litter, they took one look at her, labeled her a pit, and called the pups "pit mixes". Now they'll all carry that potentially troublesome label around until someone double checks.

Before his mom goes off on a breed specific legislation rant, there's how the process worked:


Embark's kit comes with clear instructions on how to swab DNA from the dog's mouth. Convincing the boys to participate (without swallowing the swab whole) was the most challenging part. After that, just recap, shake, and mail it in.

And you wait...

The waiting period IS quite long. That is probably the most frustrating part of the process. To their credit, Embark tries to help pass the time by sending email updates until the results are in.

Until, finally!

After all the waiting, you finally get the delightfully comprehensive results. In addition to breed information, you also get a screening for many genetic disease markers. Through that screening, Grimm's parents learned that he carries a gene showing risk for a type of blindness. They'll be on the lookout for signs in the coming years. Pudge carries no genes indicative of the diseases tested.

At last, the results show the breed make-up of both pups. Rather than reiterate all of that information here, Grimm's mom recommends you explore the results by clicking on the pie charts below.

Have you ever considered getting your dog tested? Does this spark your curiosity? Which bit of the boys' results was most surprising to you?

Note: this post was not sponsored by Embark. Grimm's mom just really digs the product.