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Adventure Dogs Author Gets Surprising Embark Results


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Looking for fun activities to do with your dog that range from ordinary to extraordinary? Maybe your dog is an adventurous mountain climber, like Mason Mason. Or maybe they are more of a homebody, and you’re looking for ideas about how to entertain your dog indoors.

No matter what kind of dog you have, writer and journalist Fern Watt has a list of unique activities you can do with your dog.

Adventure Dogs

In Adventure Dogs: Activities to Share with Your Dog—from Comfy Couches to Mountain Tops, Fern Watt lists more than 50 surprising new ways to strengthen the connection you share with your dog. 

At Embark, we share Watt’s passion for research. When writing Adventure Dogs, she traveled and did research with her dog Bette, consulted scientists and behaviorists, and collected tips from canine experts. The adventures in her book are practical, with options for every budget, breed, personality, energy level, and dog parent.

Adventure Dogs will be published on April 5, 2022.

A woman wearing white shirt and overalls looking at her brown and white dog while holding an Embark dog DNA test and a book titled Adventure Dogs.
Author Fern Watt with her dog, Bette.


Bette’s surprising Embark results

One of our favorite activities to do with your dog from the book Adventure Dogs is: “Take a DNA Test.” Watt tells us what it was like to swab her dog Bette for an Embark dog DNA test and receive the results in her inbox. She was convinced that Bette is a Basenji, with her almond-shaped eyes, chestnut red-and-white coat, curled tail, and untamed personality.

But Bette’s Embark results surprised Watt.

Check out Bette’s Embark profile:

Genetic breed results for Bette, a mixed-breed dog, show 41.6% Australian Cattle Dog, 16.9% Chow Chow, 11.5% German Shepherd Dog, 9.3% Labrador Retriever, 4.5% Rottweiler, 3.7% Boxer, and 12.5% Supermutt.

It turns out that Basenji isn’t part of Bette’s genetic ancestry at all. Although the results were surprising, Watt trusts the science behind them.

“If there was anyone to trust with Bette’s genetics, it was [CEO Ryan] Boyko and the team of Embark scientists. An official research partner of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark’s mission is to advance canine-health research and increase the longevity and vitality of dogs. Through its research-grade DNA genotyping platform, Embark helps support responsible breeders and enables mixed-breed owners to learn about their dog’s breed ancestry, health, and more. Their DNA test analyzes more genetic information than any other dog DNA test available. So, they aren’t just taking guesses over there.”

A white and brown dog standing next to a book open to a page that reads "Take a DNA Test"
Fern Watt and her dog, Bette, take an Embark dog DNA test in the new book Adventure Dogs.


Dogs and people have a long history together

In Adventure Dogs, Watt shares some fascinating dog facts from her conversation with Embark CEO Ryan Boyko, whom she describes as “basically a talking encyclopedia of canine knowledge.”

“For example, the only country in the world that doesn’t have any dogs is the island nation of Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean. He also told me that the ancestor to modern dogs (“proto-dogs”) probably began separating from other wolves more than 200,000 years ago, and that by 15,000 years ago, man’s best friend was part of human society and spreading around the world.

He talked about how dogs were buried in tombs with the ancient Egyptians and with the Incas in Peru. Ancient cave drawings in the Saudi desert illustrate the first human-dog relationship… We didn’t just pick them for companions. They picked us, too.”

We couldn’t agree more. The science behind why we love our dogs reveals that our bond runs deep. Dogs and humans evolved together, and we need them as much as they need us.

Ready to discover more activities to do with your dog? Order your copy of Adventure Dogs today.


Fern Watt has written for The LA Times, Cosmopolitan, Matador Network, and Yahoo! Travel, among others. Follow her adventures with Bette on Instagram at @fernwattauthor.

Mimi Padmabandu Contributor

Mimi Padmabandu is a scientific writer and Content Strategy Lead at Embark Veterinary. She has over a decade of experience writing about science and genomics for leading biotechnology companies. She holds a bachelor's degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA and a master’s degree in Early Modern English Literature from King’s College London.

Read more about Mimi Padmabandu

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