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Your Dog’s DNA Test: There’s More to the Story With Embark


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DNA testing can help improve your dog’s life and your breeding program. But did you know it can also help improve the vitality of the breed itself? Breeders who use Embark don’t just get a DNA report. They get their dog’s genetic raw data to share with researchers, health organizations, breed clubs, and others working on canine genetic health research.

What is raw data?

An Embark test screens your dog for 230,000 genetic markers evenly spaced  across the genome and identifies:

  • Individual genotypes (the specific base pairs of A, C, G, and T alleles)
  • Exact coordinates for each marker, and the A, C, G, or T’s that your dog inherited for each
  • Genetic insights, including the risk of genetic health disease, expected physical traits, genetic coefficient of inbreeding, ancestry, and more

Is Embark the only lab that provides raw data?

Embark is the only testing lab that provides breeders with ownership of their dog’s raw genetic data. No other testing lab generates data for 230,000 genetic markers and freely shares these raw data in the interest of advancing scientific discovery.

Why is raw data important?

Raw data is used to conduct research studies such as gene mapping efforts. Sharing raw data with breed clubs and health organizations can dramatically accelerate the pace of scientific discovery: Cutting-edge research can begin immediately, and important genetic data can instantly be archived. By sharing these data, you can:

  • Facilitate breed-relevant research into genetic health risks
  • Help track the state of the breed: including frequency of variants, breeding trends, and population structures
  • Support new genetic health initiatives at organizations like Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the National Institutes for Health and more

Where do you find these raw data, after an Embark test?

Accessing your data is easy: you can download it directly from your dog’s profile. You’ll see two zipped files around 2MB that expand to around 7 MB. Each file can be shared as is, or opened in a text editor or Excel for viewing. For independent review and analysis, we recommend using the PLINK tool.

Whether you‘re a member of a breed club or a supporter of genetic research, we urge you to share your dog’s raw genetic data with canine health organizations you support. Together, we can fulfill our shared mission to improve the life and longevity of all dogs through science and technology.

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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