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Testing Barli’s DNA

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We received an Embark Dog DNA Test for review; all statements and opinions are entirely our own.

Are you curious about your dog’s heritage? We recently received a free Embark Dog DNA test to review so we’re soon going to learn more about Barli’s background!

Barli’s shelter guessed that he’s a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix but, of course, that’s anyone’s guess! He was found alone as a stray so there are no clues other than his physical appearance–and his DNA.

We performed a simple saliva swab test on Barli. Collection is super simple:

I activated the kit and off it went in the mail. In three to seven weeks, we should have his results which tests using over 200,000 genetic markers. Embark tests for 170 dog breeds so we can learn what dog breeds make up Barli’s ancestry but it also tests for much more including the risk for 160 genetic diseases and conditions. Since he may very well be part Border Collie, we want to make sure he doesn’t carry the MDR1 genetic mutation which would mean we need to select his heartworm preventative carefully. The MDR1 genetic mutation is just one of the many tests that Embark tests for that can be a goldmine of information for your veterinarian in terms of future treatment.

Of special importance to mixed breed dogs, Embark also tests for genetic age and genetically predicted size, helping to determine your dog’s optimum weight (and an indicator of just how much more Barli might grow!)

We’ll keep you posted on Barli’s results when we get the Embark DNA results back. In the meantime, what are your guesses for his breed mix? Right now, he’s eight months old and weighs about 25 pounds. Here’s the earliest photo we have of him at about nine weeks when he was first picked up by animal control:

I think his distinctive features include his curly coat…

…his small head and face…

…and his curled tail, usually held up and over his back…

Behaviorally, he’s super smart (he learned how to ring the dog doorbells the first week in our house…without being taught!), likes to bark, loves other dogs, is really good with our cats, is a bit standoffish with new people at first then loves attention, and loves water.

My guesses have included Border Collie, Poodle, Curly-Coated Retriever, Mudi (which isn’t one of the breeds Embark tests for), Australian Shepherd, Portuguese Water Dog, Shetland Sheepdog, and more.

What’s your guess?

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