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Inaugural Embark Breeder Advisory Board


group of dogs

Embark launched its inaugural Breeder Advisory Board with seven dedicated members from diverse breeding programs to provide input and feedback on a variety of Embark products including the My Embark for Breeders online experience. 

Decades of breeding experience 

The vast and varied dog breeding experience behind the Embark Breeder Advisory Board proves they care about improving the health and longevity of their dogs, which supports Embark’s mission to end preventable diseases in dogs. Board members come with breeding experience from five to 50 plus years and are a mix of Embark customers and non-customers. They represent purebred, designer, and crossbreeds bred for a variety of competitions and companionship. Board members live in a wide geographical area across the United States and Canada. The Embark Breeder Advisory Board members are currently serving a six-month term that ends in May 2022. 

2022 Embark Breeder Advisory Board Members 


Dr. Christine Robinson

Black Beard Black Russian Terriers

San Diego, California

Dr. Christine Robinson

Dr. Christine Robinson is a practicing industrial hygienist, environmental scientist, researcher, educator, and hobby dog breeder. Dr. Robinson completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management from Columbia Southern University, followed by a Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health with an emphasis in Environmental Management. She has her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Health Sciences as a Global Health Practitioner/ Researcher from Trident University. Dr. Robinson has served in numerous private and public sector elected and appointed positions including, standards development committees, steering committees, leadership boards, planning committees, consensus boards, and redevelopment boards.

The year 2020 marked 35 years that Christine has bred dogs, beginning with herding breeds (German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds) before moving into the Working Group in the late 1990s. The Black Russian Terrier joined her family about 12 years ago when she and her husband imported their first puppy from Russia. Key to Christine’s breeding program are education and knowledge, without which, she and her husband Stewart, would not have had such success. Her study of canine genetics, especially with modern-day innovations and discoveries, along with her extensive nurturing and socialization practices, are some of the reasons her puppies thrive.


Raina Moss

Rainsway Kennels

Portland, Oregon

Raina Moss

Raina Moss is a 24 year old devoted dog enthusiast, social media creative, and first generation preservation dog breeder of Clumber Spaniels. At 8 years old she joined the local 4-H dog program with her two Springer Spaniels. After natural success she was ready to fully immerse herself in the sport of dogs. At her first AKC dog show as a spectator, Raina fell in love at first sight with a Clumber Spaniel, and after much research, at 10 years old she brought home her first Clumber, Betty. 

With the support of her Mother, Darcy Moss, Raina began showing and breeding Clumber Spaniels under the “Rainsway” Kennels prefix. She had a very successful career in the AKC Juniors ring with her Clumbers, including scholarship wins at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the AKC National Championship, and the CRUFTS dog show. In the AKC conformation ring Raina has owner-handled her top winning Clumber Spaniels since 2014. The Rainsway Kennel aims to not only produce show dogs recognized for their merits, but predictable family companions with predictable health, temperament, structure and longevity, all while preserving the historical breed.


Helene Nietsch

Banstock Bullmastiffs

Newtown, Connecticut

Helene Nietsch

Helene Nietsch is an almost fifty year veteran preservation breeder of merit of Bullmastiffs, continually striving to breed quality Bullmastiffs that exemplify the breed standard, dogs with outstanding temperament and consistent health clearances. She is an AKC judge approved to judge four groups, Working, Hound, Sporting, Non-Sporting, Junior Showmanship, Miscellaneous and Best in Show. She has judged internationally in England, France, Spain, Japan, Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Australia and New Zealand, and was honored to judge the American Bullmastiff Association National Specialty two times.

Helene is a published author in various dog magazines both general interest and Bullmastiff specific, including the cover feature article for the AKC Gazette. Additionally, she served as the breed columnist for the Gazette for 17 years. Helene has bred more than 100 champion Bullmastiffs, including the top-winning Bullmastiff in the history of AKC. She’s garnered more than 30 Registry of Merit awards for top-producing sires and dams, including five Gold Registry of Merit awards. Helene has won the American Bullmastiff National specialty as breeder, co-breeder, handler or owner nine times, most recently in 2021 as owner, breeder and handler of her Bullmastiff bitch.

Helene is currently the President of Newtown Kennel Club and a member of the American Bullmastiff Association (ABA), where she serves on the club’s Health and Research Committee, Judges Education and Breeder Education committees. Helene also previously served as President and Director of the ABA. Helene lives in Newtown, Connecticut with her three Bullmastiffs, London, Mochi and Maizey and her Main Coon Cat, Lucy.  


Ian Crooks

Blue Cedar Sport Dogs

Pahrump, Nevada

Ian Crooks

At Blue Cedar Kennels, Ian and his wife Tooie cross purebreds through multiple generations to develop a line of small athletic companion dogs for active people. Ian grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and graduated from Champlain High School in the five-year Science, Trades and Technologies option with an honors diploma. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science where he focused on biochemistry and genetics. Then following new interests, Ian graduated from Vancouver College in Computer Electronics on the Dean’s List, and from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Process Control, Automation and Instrumentation. He went to work designing microprocessor-based control interfaces and printed circuit boards for a company that was developing smart card readers and applications for pilot projects in the banking industry.

Ian moved to Pahrump, Nevada in 2001, worked in Las Vegas on gaming equipment for a couple of years and in 2003, when he turned fifty, retired to their breeding program. The open desert and hares that run 35 miles an hour behind their property showed him what he wanted to learn about their dogs in a way that they have thoroughly enjoyed and resulted in their version of an ideal small athlete for people competing in dog sports.


Cherie Ambeault Perks

Arreau Standard Poodles

Ayton, Ontario, Canada

Cherie Ambeault Perks

Cherie has been involved in Standard Poodles since she was six. Her mom, Gloria Kyle, was a breeder under the Cherod prefix. Poodles are in her blood and part of nearly every memory she has. Cherie is a mom herself of three grown kids who are all dog lovers too. It is in the genes!

Cherie has been breeding on her own for twenty years. She is dedicated to producing healthy, biddable, good natured puppies and using health testing and diversity testing in her program. She believes in titling breeding dogs whenever possible, with the goal of developing healthier and more conformationally correct offspring with each generation.


Stephanie Elliott

Platinum Pomskies

Meza, Arizona

Stephanie Elliott

Stephanie began her breeding journey in 2015. She is now dedicated full-time to bettering both Pomskies and Frenchies. She’s been a pioneer in the Pomsky community, unifying breeders to work together towards a common goal. 

In 2019 she formed the American Pomsky Kennel Club and currently holds the seat as President. The club has provided education and support to its growing group of members. In addition, Stephanie specializes in one-on-one mentorship. An Embark breed/health test is always her first suggestion before breeding! So she’s very excited for the opportunity to be more involved.


David Hodge

Davris Labrador Retrievers

Norton, Ohio

David Hodge

David and his wife Christina began their journey over 20 years ago with their first Labrador Retriever and quickly fell in love with the breed. Through the years, they have met many new people and developed lasting friendships across many different areas in the dog world. Early on, David and Christina were fortunate to have met Carol Heidl of Tabatha Labradors who was a close friend and mentor. Their success to date is directly attributed to the strong foundation of her lines, her deep and varied knowledge in the breed, and her fierce friendship over the years.  

Davris Labrador Retrievers strives to produce outstanding temperament, structure, and breed type while producing healthy puppies through physical and genetic testing. Over the years, they have earned multiple titles with their Labradors in Obedience, Rally, and Conformation events. Outside of the show ring, their dogs have excelled in hospital visitation, hospice, and youth reading programs at the local libraries. 

My Embark For Breeders 

My Embark for Breeders is a digital platform that delivers Embark for Breeders dog DNA testing results for more than 210 genetic conditions, 35 traits, breed ancestry, and COI% among other insights. Breeders have access to a variety of customized reports, including the DNA Health Summary for new puppy buyers and veterinarians, and the OFA Submission Report. 

Robust tagging and search functions help breeders manage all the dogs in their account when it comes to making breeding decisions. The platform also provides breeders with tools to organize health certificates, registration papers, pedigrees, and other documents. In addition, breeders can complete annual health surveys which provide more research data to power new health and trait discoveries. All this lives in an easy-to-use platform with customizable privacy settings for both dogs and breeder profiles to keep them private or allow public access for sharing. 

My Embark for Breeders access is included with all Embark Dog DNA Kits


Lisa Peterson Contributor

Award-winning writer, journalist, and podcast host, Lisa Peterson, is a canine subject matter expert and Senior Content Strategist, Breeder/Veterinarian 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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