Embark logo

Rico

American Village Dog

“I brought him back from Puerto Rico at 3 weeks old!”

Instagram tag
@Puertoricanpooch

Place of Birth
Vieques, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Current Location
Los Angeles, California, USA
From
Vieques, Vieques, Puerto Rico

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Genetic Breed Result

Learn how it’s done

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

American Village Dog American Village Dog
American village dogs inhabit most areas of Central and South America and the Caribbean, living in both rural village and urban areas. They go by many names, including “satos” (Puerto Rico) and “potcakes” (the Bahamas).
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Genetic Stats


Wolfiness

0.8 % MEDIUM Learn More

Predicted Adult Weight
Genetic Age
60 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. Rico 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 Rico's DNA to a global panel of thousands of village dogs. This plot highlights regions of the world where Rico'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 Rico’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

B1

Haplotype

B1/13

Map

B1

Rico’s Haplogroup

B1 is the second most common maternal lineage in breeds of European or American origin. It is the female line of the majority of Golden Retrievers, Basset Hounds, and Shih Tzus, and about half of Beagles, Pekingese and Toy Poodles. This lineage is also somewhat common among village dogs that carry distinct ancestry from these breeds. We know this is a result of B1 dogs being common amongst the European dogs that their conquering owners brought around the world, because nowhere on earth is it a very common lineage in village dogs. It even enables us to trace the path of (human) colonization: Because most Bichons are B1 and Bichons are popular in Spanish culture, B1 is now fairly common among village dogs in Latin America.

B1/13

Rico’s Haplotype

Part of the large B1 haplogroup, this common haplotype occurs in Shih Tzus, Tibetan Spaniels, Maltese, and village dogs throughout the world including Central and South America, South Asia, and the South Pacific.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

The B1 haplogroup can be found in village dogs like the Peruvian Village Dog, pictured above.

Through Rico’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.20

Map

A1a

Rico’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.20

Rico’s Haplotype

Part of the large A1a haplogroup, this haplotype occurs in village dogs throughout the world (outside of Asia). It is quite common in breed dogs, occurring frequently in Golden Retrievers, Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Terriers, Border Collies, and Mastiffs.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Dogs with A1a lineage travelled during European Colonial times.