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Hugo

Central and East African Village Dog

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“Hugo and Moe are brothers, and they also have a sister named Asha. He and his siblings were street dogs in East Africa. I rescued them when they were approx 8 weeks old from the streets of Djibouti. They are all living happily along the east coast of the US. Hugo and Moe are inseparable, and Asha visits several times a year.”

Place of Birth

Djibouti, Djibouti, Djibouti

Current Location

Massachusetts, USA

From

Djibouti, Djibouti, Djibouti

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Genetic Breed Result

Central and East 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. Hugo has short stretches of DNA in common with these breeds:

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, Central and East 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 Hugo back, you won’t find any ancestral dogs that are part of any of those standardized breeds.

Central and East 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

4.6 % HIGH

Predicted Adult Weight

44 lbs

Genetic Age
22 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. Hugo 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 Hugo's DNA to a global panel of thousands of village dogs. This plot highlights regions of the world where Hugo'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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Through Hugo’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

A234

Map

A1e

Hugo’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!

A234

Hugo’s Haplotype

Part of the large A1e haplogroup, this haplotype occurs in village dogs in South America, South Asia, and into the South Pacific. Among breeds, we see it in highest frequency among Vizslas, Boxers, and Yorkshire Terriers.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Irish Wolfhounds are a consistent carrier of A1e.

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Through Hugo’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

D

Haplotype

H7.1/6/7

Map

D

Hugo’s Haplogroup

The D paternal lineage is very common in well-known populations of dogs. Breeds belonging to the D lineage likely have direct male ancestors that can be traced all the way back to the origin of domestic dogs themselves! One popular breed that commonly sports a D lineage is the Boxer. Boxers were developed in the late 19th century from Mastiff dogs, so it is no surprise that D is well represented among Mastiffs, Bulldogs, as well as Terriers. Intriguingly, D is also found among Lhasa Apsos, an ancient Tibetan breed, and Afghan Hounds. While the presence of this lineage in Polynesia or the New World can be chalked up to interbreeding with European dogs brought during voyages of discovery or later settlement, D is also well represented among village dog populations in the Middle East and Africa. If the fact that we find dogs bearing a D lineage in the Middle East (not to mention the large amount of diversity among Middle Eastern D lineage males) is any indication of ancient residence in that region, then the presence among Oceanian village dogs is peculiar. Rather, it may be that D is part of a broader Eurasian group of ancient paternal lineages which disappeared from the eastern portion of its original range, persisting in the island of New Guinea as well as West Asia and Africa. With the rise of Mastiff breeds, the D lineage received a new life as it became common among many types of working dogs.

H7.1/6/7

Hugo’s Haplotype

Part of the D haplogroup, this haplotype occurs most frequently in mixed breed dogs.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

The D paternal lineage is common in Boxers.

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