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Celebrating 2 Million Embarked Dogs


Labrador Retriever puppies

We are celebrating 2 million Embark DNA-tested dogs. We want to thank and celebrate the responsible breeders who believe genetic health testing is a crucial part of overall health screening. Your dedication to DNA testing adults bound for breeding programs and happy, healthy puppies heading to loving homes has helped us reach this important milestone. We couldn’t have done it without you. 

New Health + Trait Tests Added 

In 2023, Embark added 50+ genetic health conditions and one new trait test, CPDA. Testing for common, rare, and very rare genetic health conditions can alert breeders to how much or when a disease is entering their breed’s population. Testing breeding adults and all puppies in the litter can ensure the entire family line is considered in the health screenings and planning for future generations. 

News You Can Use  

In 2023, Embark added the breed-specific test Stargardt Disease for Labrador Retrievers, which became the most common genetic health risk for the breed with only 79.7% clear results. Previously, Exercise-Induced Collapse, EIC, was the most common condition, with 82.1% clear results. 

Based on Embark-tested Labrador Retrievers that have opted into research in North America, here’s a snapshot of the breed today for Stargardt Disease: 79.7% of dogs tested clear, 18.8% tested as carriers (heterozygote recessive), and 1.3% tested at-risk. 

A few breed-specific Labrador Retriever genetic health conditions have shown an increased percentage of clear dogs and a reduced percentage of at-risk dogs. The common Progressive Retinal Atrophy, prcd, went from clear dogs at 86.95% in 2022 to 87.5% in 2023, and at-risk dogs declined from .6% to .5%, respectively. While the rare condition Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis, HNPK, went from 95.2% clear in 2022 to 95.5% clear in 2023. 

Based on Embark-tested German Shepherd Dogs that have opted into research in North America, here’s a snapshot of the breed today: While the most common genetic health condition in German Shepherd Dogs, Degenerative Myelopathy, DM saw a reduction in at-risk dogs from 4.28% in 2022 to 3.9% in 2023, it also showed that clear dogs now stand at 66.9% of the total in 2023 versus 65.87% in 2022. The newly added very rare condition DNA test of Ichthyosis in German Shepherd Dogs showed that 100% of dogs tested are clear. 

A very rare genetic health condition DNA test for Golden Retrievers was added – Retina Dysplasia and/or Optic Nerve Hypoplasia – with 100% of dogs testing clear. French Bulldogs added a new health condition, Congenital Hypothyroidism with Goiter with 98.9% clear and .9% carrier results. 



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Embark’s Discoveries

Because Embark believes in community science, they work with dog owners and breeders as they research new discoveries. 

Embark’s first scientific discovery, why dogs have blue eyes, followed by Roaning, Red Pigment Intensity test, and Embark’s first health discovery, Early Onset Adult Deafness in Rhodesian Ridgebacks, is a result of community science with owners adding data by completing the Annual Health Survey. 

Embark has continued to grow since its founding in 2015 and when Embark graduated from Cornell University’s Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences business incubator in 2017. The same year the Embark for Breeders product launched.  

Two Million Dogs Strong 

From our discoveries to reaching 2 million dogs in our database, let’s look at what our data has revealed about the health of the top 20 Embark-tested dogs of AKC-recognized breeds. 

For the most common genetic health condition with the highest percentage of clear dogs among the top 20 breeds, Degenerative Myelopathy, DM was first among nine breeds, with CDDY/IVDD first for five breeds, and tied for third was PRA, crd4/cord1 and PRA, prcd with four breeds each. 

Interestingly, some of the most common genetic health conditions among all breeds, appeared rarely in the top 20 breeds. MDR1 was first for Australian Shepherds, and HUU was first for Bulldogs. 

The table below contains links to an article for each breed and their breed-specific health conditions tested by Embark, the number of breed-specific genetic health conditions tested by Embark, and the most common genetic health condition based on the percentage of clear dogs in the breed. 


Ranking based on Embark-tested dogs of AKC-recognized breeds Breed-specific genetic health condition tests by breed  Most common genetic health condition in the breed among Embark-tested dogs  
French Bulldogs  6 CDDY/IVDD
Labrador Retrievers  20  Stargardt Disease 
German Shepherd Dogs  11 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
Poodles (Standard)  7 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
Golden Retrievers   11 Ichthyosis, ICH1
Doberman Pinschers Dilated Cardiomyopathy, DCM2
Dachshunds  9 CDDY/IVDD
Australian Shepherds 12 MDR1 Drug Sensitivity
Siberian Huskies  4 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
Pomeranians 6 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
Miniature Schnauzers  4 Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome, PMDS
Yorkshire Terriers 4 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
Pembroke Welsh Corgis  CDDY/IVDD
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels  5 CDDY/IVDD
Shih Tzu  4 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
Beagles  12 CDDY/IVDD
Bulldogs 3 Hyperuricosuria and Hyperuricemia or Urolithiasis, HUU
Great Danes 3 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
Bernese Mountain Dogs  2 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
Boxers  2 Degenerative Myelopathy, DM


Celebrating 2 million Embark-tested dogs in our database is a milestone to be proud of. To start your DNA testing journey, explore Embark for Breeders Dog DNA Tests. 


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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