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Bring the Family: Why You Should DNA Test Your Litters


Bring the Family: Why You Should DNA Test Your Litters

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, and 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.

Enhance your breeding program

Litter testing all your puppies can positively inform your breeding program in various 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 select a clear-to-clear mating easily—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 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 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 on 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.

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.

Ready to purchase Embark for Breeder Dog DNA Tests? Shop now


Lisa Peterson Contributor

Award-winning writer, journalist, and podcast host Lisa Peterson is a canine subject matter expert and Content Strategy Lead at Embark Veterinary. She served as the American Kennel Club director of communications and club communications for 10 years before becoming a Westminster Kennel Club public relations consultant from 2016 to 2021. Lisa began owning, breeding, and handling Norwegian Elkhounds more than 35 years ago, and today is an AKC judge and AKC Breeder of Merit.

Read more about Lisa Peterson

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