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Pala

African Village Dog

“Pala showed up on my porch one day when I was living in a village in Cameroon; I patted her on the head and gave her some food, and she never left! I feel honored to have been adopted by such a spirited, resilient, hilarious dog -- with an excellent hunting instinct. Getting her to America was one of the most stressful experiences (for both of us), but I couldn't imagine not having her here. She's a fantastic little African-American pup.”

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Genetic Breed Result

Learn how it’s done

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. Pala 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 Pala back, you won’t find any ancestral dogs that are part of any of those standardized breeds.

African Village Dog 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

1.1 % MEDIUM Learn More

Predicted Adult Weight
Genetic Age
45 human years Learn More
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. Pala 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 Pala's DNA to a global panel of thousands of village dogs. This plot highlights regions of the world where Pala'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.

Through Pala’s mitochondrial DNA we can trace her mother’s ancestry back to where dogs and people first became friends. This map helps you visualize the routes that her ancestors took to your home. Their story is described below the map.

Haplogroup

A1e

Haplotype

A228

Map

A1e

Pala’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!

A228

Pala’s Haplotype

Part of the large A1e haplogroup, we have spotted this haplotype in village dogs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the Dominican Republic. Among breeds, we see it frequently in big dogs like Saint Bernards, Leonbergers, and Great Danes. However, we also see it in small breeds including wire Fox Terriers and Rat Terriers. That’s a pretty wide size range!

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Irish Wolfhounds are a consistent carrier of A1e.

The Paternal Haplotype reveals a dog’s deep ancestral lineage, stretching back thousands of years to the original domestication of dogs.

Are you looking for information on the breeds that Pala inherited from her mom and dad? Check out her breed breakdown and family tree.

Paternal Haplotype is determined by looking at a dog’s Y-chromosome—but not all dogs have Y-chromosomes!

Why can’t we show Paternal Haplotype results for female dogs?

All dogs have two sex chromosomes. Female dogs have two X-chromosomes (XX) and male dogs have one X-chromosome and one Y-chromosome (XY). When having offspring, female (XX) dogs always pass an X-chromosome to their puppy. Male (XY) dogs can pass either an X or a Y-chromosome—if the puppy receives an X-chromosome from its father then it will be a female (XX) puppy and if it receives a Y-chromosome then it will be a male (XY) puppy. As you can see, Y-chromosomes are passed down from a male dog only to its male offspring.

Since Pala is a female (XX) dog, she has no Y-chromosome for us to analyze and determine a paternal haplotype.