June 19, 2019

Embark DNA Test Results for the Ginger Sisters

I've been absent for much longer than I ever anticipated, and for no good reason other than I felt like taking a break from blogging (still very much active on Instagram where I manage FIVE different accounts!). To be honest, my last sponsored post did not go at all how I planned and prompted the decision that I would likely not do any more sponsored work on this blog, or at least not without very careful consideration. I can't say if I'm back on any regular basis right now, but I do miss my blogging community and I'm certainly not without stuff to share with you!

Boca's results with the other DNA test prompted me to get both girls tested through Embark (and let me just state right up front that I paid for these tests out of pocket and was in no way compensated or even contacted by Embark.) I have to say that I was really impressed with the whole process, and pretty excited about the results.

All this time I've been calling Ruby a Border Jack, when she appears to have more Rat Terrier than anything else. Still a bit of Jack, but that 15.8% pug was the biggest surprise of all! (Her Wisdom Panel results also showed the possibility of some pug). Now I guess I can say she's a Border-Rat, or 'Brat' for short! I have no doubt whatsoever that she is, in some configuration, a herding terrier.

Boca's results were the most important, because of her previous test identifying her as high-percentage American Staffordshire Terrier, when we live in one of the worst BSL cities in the country. I was truthfully really scared that publishing those results would expose us to trouble, which is why my "Guess the Breed" series had an unsatisfying conclusion. While Embark shows her as 21.6% AmStaff, the majority is American Village Dog - or Potcake - as you might expect with a dog that was rescued from The Bahamas! Embark is the only DNA test that includes indigenous village dogs in its database, and it can pinpoint the region as well.

I won't get too far into breed-specific legislation here, but suffice to say it is stupid. My city's is completely subjective, too, as the dog only has to look 50% like any of the banned breeds. How do you even quantify this? A neighboring city accepts DNA tests showing they are less than 50% banned breeds. Although we are considered a dog-friendly city, this won't ever be true until BSL is eliminated.

In addition to the breed information, Embark provides some fascinating genetic trait details for things such as size, coat length and coat color. I'll admit that some of it goes over my head. Most valuable of all, they test for a wide range of genetic conditions and are able to alert you to potential health problems. Boca got the all-clear for every condition they test for, but Ruby is at risk for lens luxation, which is a great thing to know should she ever have any eye issues. (Please, no more eye issues...)

All in all, having used various brands of DNA tests over the years, Embark is by the far the one I most trust. They are constantly updating their database - including sending surveys out collect more information about dogs they've tested - and they are partnered with Cornell University. There is also a very active Facebook group for guesses, reveals and discussions. It is more expensive than the others but you get so much more useful information. If you'd like to see the full profiles for both girls, I've linked them below:



DNA testing has its fans and its critics, but it's probably a tool I'll always use for rescued dogs. It helps piece together the unknowns and gives you a reply to "OMG, so cute, what breed are they?" Embark even links you to potential relatives, and I'm still hoping that a Potcake related to Boca will show up.

Have you had your dog(s) DNA tested? What did you think of the results?

If you want to try Embark, you can use my discount code to order your own test.

June 13, 2018


jack russell terrier looking over a mountain

Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom...is realizing how small I am, and unwise, 
and how far I have yet to go. 
Anthony Bourdain 

May 30, 2018

Genetically Targeted Nutrition with Royal Canin

As predicted, Boca's Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis results came back as largely mixed. Potcakes are indigenous to the islands of the Caribbean and may be generation upon generation of various mixed breeds along with the introduction of DNA from purebred pet animals that are allowed to roam. According to the provided test results, Boca has representation from the Herding, Sporting and Terrier groups. I submit that Boca is a Certified Couch Potato!