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Hwarang

Japanese and Korean Village Dog

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“Hello, my name is Hwarang (huA-ra-ng). My name means 'Warrior' and that is what I am. I was rescued just before euthanization in a meat farm factory in South Korea. Now my forever home is in Northern VA, USA. I am a very good and loyal boy who will do anything for my mom and dad! I love playing with balls and chasing bugs! My sister sometimes annoys me, but I take care of her and keep her safe. I love meat, treats, and long cuddles. When I'm happy, I howl to the sky! 🌸”

Instagram tag
@bestboy_and_spitfire

Place of Birth

South Korea

Current Location

Falls Church, Virginia, USA

From

South Korea

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Genetic Breed Result

Japanese and Korean 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. Hwarang 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, Japanese and Korean 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 Hwarang back, you won’t find any ancestral dogs that are part of any of those standardized breeds.

Japanese and Korean Village Dog

Many years ago, when wolves began scavenging our hunting camps, they became gradually attuned to human life. Genetic changes in those wolves over time led to tameness, small body size and early age of first reproduction that soon after yielded what we see today in the Japanese and Korean village dogs.

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Genetic Stats

Wolfiness

1.5 % HIGH

Predicted Adult Weight

48 lbs

Genetic Age
46 human years

Based on the date of birth provided

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Would you like more information? Have you found a lost dog wearing an Embark dog tag? You can contact us at:

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. Hwarang 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 Hwarang's DNA to a global panel of thousands of village dogs. This plot highlights regions of the world where Hwarang'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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Hwarang inherited two variants that you should learn more about.

And one variant that you should tell your vet about.

Degenerative Myelopathy, DM

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Hwarang inherited one copy of the variant we tested

What does this result mean?

This result does not impact your dog’s health. It could have consequences for siblings or other family members, and you should let them know if you are in contact with them.

What is Degenerative Myelopathy, DM?

The dog equivalent of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, DM is a progressive degenerative disorder of the spinal cord. Because the nerves that control the hind limbs are the first to degenerate, the most common clinical signs are back muscle wasting and gait abnormalities.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy, DCM1

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Hwarang inherited one copy of the variant we tested

What does this result mean?

Our research indicates that this genetic variant is not likely to increase the risk that Hwarang will develop this disease.

Scientific Basis

Dogs with similar breeds to Hwarang are not likely to have increased risk of developing the disease. Research has indicated increased risk in other breeds that are not found in Hwarang.

What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy, DCM1?

DCM is the most common acquired heart disease of adult dogs. The heart has two heavily muscled ventricles that pump blood away from the heart. This disease causes progressive weakening of the ventricles by reducing the muscle mass, which causes the ventricles to dilate. Dilated ventricles do not contract and circulate oxygenated blood well, which eventually leads to heart failure.

ALT Activity

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Hwarang inherited both copies of the variant we tested

Why is this important to your vet?

Hwarang has two copies of a variant in the GPT gene and is likely to have a lower than average baseline ALT activity. ALT is a commonly used measure of liver health on routine veterinary blood chemistry panels. As such, your veterinarian may want to watch for changes in Hwarang's ALT activity above their current, healthy, ALT activity. As an increase above Hwarang’s baseline 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
Saddle Tan
No impact on coat pattern
White Spotting
S (White Spotting) Locus
Likely to have large white areas in coat
Merle
M (Merle) Locus
Unlikely to have merle pattern
Harlequin
No impact on coat pattern
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
Hairlessness (Terrier type)
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
Back Muscling & Bulk (Large Breed)
Likely normal muscling
Eye Color LINKAGE
Less likely to have blue eyes
Body Size

Body Size

Body Size 1
Larger
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 Hwarang’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

A2

Haplotype

A515

Map

A2

Hwarang’s Haplogroup

A2 is a very ancient maternal line. Most likely it was one of the major female lines that contributed to the very first domesticated dogs in Central Asia about 15,000 years ago. Some of the line stayed in Central Asia to the present day, and frequently appear as Tibetan Mastiffs and Akitas. Those that escaped the mountains of Central Asia sought out other cold spots, and are now found among Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies. This lineage is also occasionally found in several common Western breeds, such as German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers. Curiously, all New Guinea Singing Dogs descend from this line. These are an ancient and very interesting breed found in the mountains of Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, they are now endangered. They are closely related to the Australian dingo, so you could say its cousins are dingos! This line is also common in village dogs in Southeast and East Asia. Unlike many other lineages, A2 did not spread across the whole world, probably because it did not have the opportunity to hitch its wagon to European colonialism - or because these dogs just prefer hanging out in mountains, tundras, islands, and other hard-to-reach places!

A515

Hwarang’s Haplotype

Part of the A2 haplogroup, the A515 haplotype occurs most commonly in East Asian Village Dogs. It's a rare find!

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Dingos commonly possess this haplogroup.

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Through Hwarang’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

A1a

Haplotype

H1a.33

Map

A1a

Hwarang’s Haplogroup

Some of the wolves that became the original dogs in Central Asia around 15,000 years ago came from this long and distinguished line of male dogs. After domestication, they followed their humans from Asia to Europe and then didn't stop there. They took root in Europe, eventually becoming the dogs that founded the Vizsla breed 1,000 years ago. The Vizsla is a Central European hunting dog, and all male Vizslas descend from this line. During the Age of Exploration, like their owners, these pooches went by the philosophy, "Have sail, will travel!" From the windy plains of Patagonia to the snug and homey towns of the American Midwest, the beaches of a Pacific paradise, and the broad expanse of the Australian outback, these dogs followed their masters to the outposts of empires. Whether through good fortune or superior genetics, dogs from the A1a lineage traveled the globe and took root across the world. Now you find village dogs from this line frolicking on Polynesian beaches, hanging out in villages across the Americas, and scavenging throughout Old World settlements. You can also find this "prince of patrilineages" in breeds as different as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Pugs, Border Collies, Scottish Terriers, and Irish Wolfhounds. No male wolf line has been as successful as the A1a line!

H1a.33

Hwarang’s Haplotype

Part of the A1a haplogroup, the H1a.33 haplotype occurs most commonly in Lhasa Apsos. We've also spotted it in East Asian Village Dogs.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Dogs with A1a lineage travelled during European Colonial times.

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