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:
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!
Here’s what Embark has to say about the various breeds they detected:
Embark measures something they call “wolfiness”, on which most dogs score less than 1%. But Lulu is not most dogs.
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:
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!
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:
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.
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:
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.
A member of the C1 haplogroup, this haplotype occurs most often in German Shepherd Dogs and Siberian Huskies.
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:
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 …