Embark is still shipping. More on our COVID response, and tips for you and your dog here.

Bring the Family: Why You Should DNA-Test Your Litters

May 12, 2020

As a responsible breeder, you’re already invested in the health of your dogs: You’ve DNA-tested your breeding stock, received expert consultations on results, made adjustments. So when your next litter arrives, you may wonder, why test all the puppies? 

At Embark, we understand the cost of testing an entire litter may seem challenging, especially when you may not intend to breed from all the puppies. But there are still some very important reasons to consider it. We thought you might want to learn more—and hear about an affordable pricing option that delivers all the quality and accuracy you’ve come to expect from Embark.

Enhance your breeding program

Litter testing all your puppies can positively inform your breeding program in a variety of ways—from breed-relevant disease screening to valuable insights you can share with prospective owners.

  • Know your options. In some cases, (breeds with small gene pools, for example), you  may not be able to easily select a clear-to-clear mating—so you may choose to breed a carrier and a clear for an autosomal recessive condition. In these situations, it’s essential to test all puppies in a litter for the variant, in order to know the genetic status of each puppy.
  • Ensure pedigree accuracy. The parents may have tested clear of disease-related mutations, but an ‘accidental’ or ‘dual’ breeding can result in incorrectly recorded parentage over multiple generations. Embark’s advanced services can provide parentage testing. Please email breeders@embarkvet.com for more information.
  • Provide puppy buyers with more. An Embark DNA test is for a lifetime. Engage your puppy buyers with personalized information about their puppy. You both can receive regular updates to testing, and participate in research. 

Accelerate the pace of research

Even if you aren’t looking to produce the next champion, you can still help advance breed health by Embark-testing all the puppies in your litter. 

  • Share your dog’s data. The raw data of every Embark-tested dog contributes to the Embark database—the largest canine genetic database in the world. You also own your dog’s data, and can download it any time to share with breed clubs, researchers or archive it for future research initiatives.
  • Advance the science. Embark works with a vast network of researchers, veterinarians, breed clubs, global health organizations and partners who leverage your dogs’ genetic data into studies that improve the health of your dogs—and dogs everywhere.

We’re making it easy

To help you take advantage of these opportunities, we’ve made our litter testing even faster and easier, with new low-cost DNA tests for each puppy in your litter.

  • Thorough results—fast. Once we receive the samples back, we guarantee a 3-week turnaround. We test for breed-relevant genetic health conditions, traits, genetic COI and more. Our results are accepted by the OFA for all conditions where the OFA has an established DNA registry. Learn more about what happens at the Embark lab.
  • Litter testing—earlier. Our kit provides everything you need to cheek-swab your puppies early, so you can make time-sensitive breeding decisions. You may even be able to test before weaning (be sure to follow instructions to avoid contamination). Our sterile, soft cotton swabs provide for non- invasive sampling. Learn more
  • New Litter Package pricing—just $99 per puppy. Get health tests, a custom results consultation with an Embark expert, plus access to advanced breeding tools like Matchmaker for select breeds, all for just $99 per puppy (4-kit minimum). Have a small litter? Contact us, and we’ll try to help. 

At Embark we share your commitment to improving the lives of dogs, and we’re always looking for new ways to help you manage the challenges you may face as a dedicated dog breeder. Learn more here.

Ready to purchase Embark for Breeder DNA Kits? Shop now

Want to learn more about Embark’s DNA Testing for breeders? Learn more here