What Went Into That Dog: The Game Show, Featuring Lulu’s Results!

Producer Smurf: “Welcome back! Is everyone ready to smurf the results? Let’s get started!”
Spicoli: “What results are we looking at again? Did some dude take an exam?”
Mr. Nibbles: “Lulu’s genetic testing breed results, friend Spicoli.”
Spicoli: “Oh right. I remember now. Hey, wait, weren’t we going to make s’mores?”

Dada’s Note:

The Embark results are quite extensive and comprise a number of sections, some of which appear as images below. To access Lulu’s full report online, you can click here. And now, on to the actual results! The big one, of course, is the breed summary:

Mama & Dada’s accurate guesses provided by Wevenone

The breed results are:

  • 50% Alaskan Malamute
  • 16.9% Siberian Husky
  • 12.9% German Shepherd Dog
  • 10.9% Cocker Spaniel
  • 9.3% Samoyed

Let’s have a look at the “Guess Lulu’s Breed” poll results!

All of Lulu’s actual breeds got at least one vote, except for cocker spaniel. And she sure does look like she’s part coyote, doesn’t she?

Here’s what Embark has to say about the various breeds they detected:

Amicable companion? Check. Well-furred body, erect ears, and brush tail? Check. Notable intelligence? Check. Loving family pet? Check. Sleeping on top of the owners? Uhhh, not so much. Hauling a sled? Fuggedaboudit.

Embark measures something they call “wolfiness”, on which most dogs score less than 1%. But Lulu is not most dogs.

Aaaaooooo, werewolves of O’side!

What is “wolfiness”, you ask? Well, it doesn’t mean the dog runs in a pack hunting large game. It’s just a measurement of certain genes, like everything else in the Embark results:


WOLFINESS SCORE

HOW WOLFY IS MY DOG?

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.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR MY DOG

Your dog’s Wolfiness Score is not a measure of recent dog-wolf hybridization and does not necessarily indicate that your dog has some recent wolf ancestors. (If your dog has recent wolf ancestors, you will see that in the breed mix report.) Instead, 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 may be 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 SCIENCE

Your dog’s Wolfiness Score is based on hundreds of markers across the genome where dogs (or almost all of them) are the same, but wolves tend to be different. These markers are thought to be related to “domestication gene sweeps” where early dogs were selected for some trait. Scientists have known about “domestication gene sweeps” for years, but do not yet know why each sweep occurred. By finding rare dogs carrying an ancient variant at a certain marker, we can make associations with behavior, size, metabolism, and development that likely caused these unique signatures of “doggyness” in the genome.


The results also include Lulu’s estimated family tree:

Purebred Alaskan Malamute on one side, “Friendly Stranger” on the other.

Based on their genetic testing, Embark also provides some guesses as to Lulu’s traits. Being guesses, they are not 100% accurate, but they do hit a lot of nails on or near the head. If you visit the actual results online, all of these results are individually clickable to get specific information about the genes involved, but those are details that are probably of most interest to you mad scientist types out there.

Lulu does have mostly dark fur, and her light fur is yellow or tan. Mostly. She does of course have one white paw that we call her “glove“, and of course she has that white blaze on her nose that led us down the incorrect Australian Shepherd path.
There’s the white paw and the white blaze on the nose.
Short or mid-length coat? Oh noooooo. Very unlikely to be hairless? Oh yessssssss. Also, TIL that an animal with a mustache, beard, and/or eyebrows is called “furnished”.
Spicoli: “Dudes! Did you see that? You’re both furnished!”
Charlee: “That makes it sound like we’re an apartment.”
Producer Smurf: “Hey! Peanut gallery! Smurf it down during the big results reveal!”
Blue: “I haven’t been served any peanuts. Worst game show ever.”
Accurate.
We’re not exactly sure what’s “intermediate” and what’s “larger” for a body size, but we’d call Lulu “medium” (she weighs around 40 pounds), so … mostly accurate?
We haven’t taken Lulu into the mountains, so no clue about her altitude tolerance. But we do know what high food motivation looks like (*cough* Tucker *cough*) and she isn’t that.

Finally, Embark provides information about the dog’s haplotype showing her rough geographic origin and lineage. Being a lady dog, Lulu, of course, only has maternal haplotype information in her results.

In addition to the map, Embark provides specific information about the haplotype:


C1 

LULU’S HAPLOGROUP

Congratulations, C1 is a very exotic female lineage! It is more closely associated with maternal lineages found in wolves, foxes and jackals than with other dog lineages. So it seems dogs in this group have a common male dog ancestor who, many thousands of years ago, mated with a female wolf! This is not a common lineage in any breed, though a good number of German Shepherds and Doberman Pinchers are C1. It is also found in breeds as diverse as Peruvian Inca Orchids and Pekingese; it is rarely found amongst Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, Siberian Huskies, or Cocker Spaniels. Despite its fascinating origins, it is widely distributed around the globe, and even shows up frequently among Peruvian village dogs. It almost certainly survived at low frequency in Europe for millennia and then was dispersed outside of Europe by colonialism, though not as successfully as some other lineages.

C27/37 

LULU’S HAPLOTYPE

A member of the C1 haplogroup, this haplotype occurs most often in German Shepherd Dogs and Siberian Huskies.


Chaplin: “No wonder Lulu wants to flirt with the coyotes. She is one.”
Lulu: “Hey, now, it says wolves, foxes, and jackals. It doesn’t say coyotes.”
Charlee: “Coyote, jackal. Po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to.”
Mr. Nibbles: “Can someone explain the differences between them?
Mouse: “I’m glad you asked, Mr. Nibbles. As you can see, I took the liberty of preparing some materials in advance …”
Spicoli: “Whoa, dude! ‘Cowardly’? Feeds on carrion? ‘Piercing and dismal howling’? Judgmental much? Also, H.P. Lovecraft called, he wants his descriptions back.”
Blue: “Oh are we placing an order for carrion? I could go for some of that.”
Producer Smurf: “Would you and your presentation kindly smurf yourselves the smurf off my stage?”

And that’s a wrap for Lulu’s breed results! Tune in next week for “What Went Into That Dog: Java Bean Edition”!


By the way, if anyone out there is interested in getting their own dog’s genes tested, Embark sent us a link that can be used to get $50 off a kit:

https://www.talkable.com/x/mlnjEx

This link is valid until July 20th, 2022. If it is used to purchase a kit, Embark will give us a $10 Amazon gift card, but Embark did not sponsor and is not associated with this post in any way, and would probably be borderline horrified if they saw it.


Meanwhile, in the Green Room …

Producer Smurf: “Hey, Bean, heads up, you’re smurfing on stage soon, and then Riley will go next.”
Java Bean: “Okay.”
Blue: “Psst, are you guys going to eat the rest of those biscuits?”
Riley: “Back off, funny-looking chicken.”
Producer Smurf: “Blue! Smurf back to the audience area!”

18 thoughts on “What Went Into That Dog: The Game Show, Featuring Lulu’s Results!

  1. WOW. imagine having a purebred dog and doing this and finding out that he’s several different breeds that would be amazing! I’m so tempted to do this!

    Like

  2. NAK says like DUH!

    And NAL says DUH!!

    What a pawesome bunch of ingredients in THAT DOG!!!

    Of course, I thought NAK was a Siberian with MAL in her package for she had the FLOOFY tail and was more barrel chested that a Siberian – and of COURSE, THE BROWN EYES!

    And we knew NAL was at least 50% Cocker spaneil thanks to her dad DOMINO – a B&W CockerSpaniel!

    Happy KhoyoteJackal FrEYEday!

    Now for The Bean Khrop!

    H&K&W,
    Willow and Phyll

    Like

  3. We were surprised to see that Lulu is half Malamute but now that we think about it, she does resemble one with all her floofyness. We can’t wait to find out what Bean is made of.

    Like

  4. Wee mew Lulu was Shepherd an Husky/Mallymute…BellaSita Mum said Sammy-oyd butt mee did not think so…shee iss so clevurr!
    Now where DID THE Cocker Spaniel coem from??? Mew mew mew…….
    Lulu you are purrfect!!!
    ~~~head rubsss~~~ BellaDharma~~~ an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum

    Like

Leave us a woof or a purr!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.