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Cooper

African Village Dog

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“Coop was from a large village in Burkina Faso (West Africa) called Solenzo where I served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. Our beloved pup passed on in January 2021 at the ripe old age of 14. His body succumbed to debilitating arthritis and cancer that prevented him from walking. He is forever in our hearts.”

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Genetic Breed Result

African Village Dog

Village dog trace breed analysis

Village dogs often have short stretches of DNA that match purebred dogs, due to a distant common ancestor or a more recent mating between a purebred and a village dog. Cooper has short stretches of DNA in common with this breed:

What exactly are village dogs?

Village dogs are the free-breeding, free-roaming “outside” dogs found around the world living in and around human settlements big and small. They are also known as island dogs, pariah dogs, or free-ranging dogs.

Many village dog populations precede the formation of modern breed dogs.

They make up about 3/4s of the billion or so dogs living on Earth today. They serve as trash cleaners, sentinels, and even sometimes companions while still retaining much of their freedom. Embark’s founders have studied village dogs on six continents since 2007 in their efforts to understand the history, traits, and health of the domestic dog. Through this work they have discovered the origins of the dog in Central Asia, and also identified genetic regions involved in domestication and local adaptation, such as the high altitude adaptation in Himalayan dogs. Embark is the only dog DNA test that includes diverse village dogs from around the world in its breed reference panel.

So what breeds are in my dog?

In a very real sense, African Village Dog is the actual breed of your dog. Village dogs like this descend from separate lines of dogs than the lines that have been bred into standardized breeds like Labradors and Poodles. If you trace the family tree of Cooper back, you won’t find any ancestral dogs that are part of any of those standardized breeds.

African Village Dog

African village dogs live in many different environments: desert, plains, forest, woodland, mountains, and more. As such, African village dogs vary as widely as African cultures. Despite their differences, they all tend to be independent and resourceful, and can make excellent companions if adopted young and raised in the right environment.

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Genetic Stats

Wolfiness

2.9 % HIGH

Predicted Adult Weight

51 lbs

Genetic Age
105 human years

Based on the date of birth provided

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Village dogs have lived just about everywhere across the world for thousands of years. Long before there were any recognized dog breeds, there were village dogs around the fires and trash heaps of early human villages. Cooper is part of this ancient heritage, not descended from a specific breed, but continuing the ancient lineage of dogs that were our first, best friends.

Embark's co-founders studied Village Dogs on six continents in their efforts to understand the history, traits, and health of the domestic dog. Through this work, they discovered evidence for the origins of the dog in Central Asia , and they also identified genetic regions involved in domestication and local adaptation. As a result, Embark has the largest Village Dog reference panel of any canine genetics company.

We compared Cooper's DNA to a global panel of thousands of village dogs. This plot highlights regions of the world where Cooper's DNA is most similar to those village dogs. The areas of darkest red reflect the greatest similarity to our village dog panel.

Village Dog Map
Similarity to village dog groups around the world. Darker red reflects greater similarity.

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Health Summary

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Cooper has one variant that you should let your vet know about.

ALT Activity

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Cooper inherited one copy of the variant we tested

Why is this important to your vet?

Cooper has one copy of a variant associated with reduced ALT activity as measured on veterinary blood chemistry panels. Please inform your veterinarian that Cooper has this genotype, as ALT is often used as an indicator of liver health and Cooper is likely to have a lower than average resting ALT activity. As such, an increase in Cooper’s ALT activity could be evidence of liver damage, even if it is within normal limits by standard ALT reference ranges.

What is ALT Activity?

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a clinical tool that can be used by veterinarians to better monitor liver health. This result is not associated with liver disease. ALT is one of several values veterinarians measure on routine blood work to evaluate the liver. It is a naturally occurring enzyme located in liver cells that helps break down protein. When the liver is damaged or inflamed, ALT is released into the bloodstream.

Breed-Relevant Genetic Conditions

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Additional Genetic Conditions

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Explore the genetics behind your dog’s appearance and size.

Base Coat Color

Base Coat Color

Dark or Light Fur
E (Extension) Locus
Can have dark fur
Red Pigment Intensity LINKAGE
I (Intensity) Loci
Any light fur likely white or cream
Brown or Black Pigment
B (Brown) Locus
Black or gray fur and skin
Color Dilution
D (Dilute) Locus
Dark (non-dilute) fur and skin
Coat Color Modifiers

Coat Color Modifiers

Hidden Patterning
K (Dominant Black) Locus
More likely to have patterned fur
Body Pattern
A (Agouti) Locus
Fawn Sable coat color pattern
Facial Fur Pattern
E (Extension) Locus
No dark mask or grizzle facial fur patterns
White Spotting
S (White Spotting) Locus
Likely to have large white areas in coat
Harlequin
hh
Other Coat Traits

Other Coat Traits

Furnishings LINKAGE
Likely unfurnished (no mustache, beard, and/or eyebrows)
Coat Length
Likely short or mid-length coat
Shedding
Likely heavy/seasonal shedding
Coat Texture
Likely straight coat
Hairlessness (Xolo type) LINKAGE
Very unlikely to be hairless
Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 2 LINKAGE
Likely not albino
Other Body Features

Other Body Features

Muzzle Length
Likely medium or long muzzle
Tail Length
Likely normal-length tail
Hind Dew Claws
Unlikely to have hind dew claws
Eye Color LINKAGE
Less likely to have blue eyes
Body Size

Body Size

Body Size 1
Intermediate
Body Size 2
Larger
Body Size 3
Larger
Body Size 4
Larger
Body Size 5
Larger
Performance

Performance

Altitude Adaptation
Normal altitude tolerance
Appetite LINKAGE
Normal food motivation
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Through Cooper’s mitochondrial DNA we can trace his mother’s ancestry back to where dogs and people first became friends. This map helps you visualize the routes that his ancestors took to your home. Their story is described below the map.

Haplogroup

A1e

Haplotype

A282

Map

A1e

Cooper’s Haplogroup

This female lineage likely stems from some of the original Central Asian wolves that were domesticated into modern dogs starting about 15,000 years ago. It seemed to be a fairly rare dog line for most of dog history until the past 300 years, when the lineage seemed to “explode” out and spread quickly. What really separates this group from the pack is its presence in Alaskan village dogs and Samoyeds. It is possible that this was an indigenous lineage brought to the Americas from Siberia when people were first starting to make that trip themselves! We see this lineage pop up in overwhelming numbers of Irish Wolfhounds, and it also occurs frequently in popular large breeds like Bernese Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards and Great Danes. Shetland Sheepdogs are also common members of this maternal line, and we see it a lot in Boxers, too. Though it may be all mixed up with European dogs thanks to recent breeding events, its origins in the Americas makes it a very exciting lineage for sure!

A282

Cooper’s Haplotype

Part of the large A1e haplogroup, this haplotype occurs most commonly in Posavac Hounds. It’s a rare find!

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Irish Wolfhounds are a consistent carrier of A1e.

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Through Cooper’s Y-chromosome we can trace his father’s ancestry back to where dogs and people first became friends. This map helps you visualize the routes that his ancestors took to your home. Their story is described below the map.

Haplogroup

A2b

Haplotype

Hc.10

Map

A2b

Cooper’s Haplogroup

A2b appears to have split a few times in succession, which means that some of the Central Asian male ancestors of this lineage went their separate ways before their respective Y chromosomes made their rounds. There is not much diversity in this lineage, meaning that it has only begun to take off recently. Two iconic breeds, the Dachshund and Bloodhound, represent this lineage well. Over half of Rottweilers are A2b, as are the majority of Labrador Retrievers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. While A2a is restricted mostly to East Asia, this paternal line is also found among European breeds.

Hc.10

Cooper’s Haplotype

Part of the A2b haplogroup, this haplotype occurs most commonly in Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Curly-Coated Retrievers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, and village dogs throughout the world.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

A2b is found in the Daschund breed.

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