What is Embark?

Sam

American Village Dog

  • Sam, my Village Dog from Mexico-now in Alaska

“Sam came from a shelter in Mexico and I adopted her in Estes Park, CO”

This dog has been viewed 761 times and been given 8 wags

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. Sam 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 Sam 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: 0.9 % MEDIUM Learn More
Predicted Adult Weight: 38 lbs Learn More
Genetic Age: 63 human years Learn More

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World Map

Traits

Maternal Haplotype

Paternal Haplotype

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. Sam is one of the lucky 1% of Embark dogs who are part of this ancient heritage, not descended from a specific breed, but continuing the ancient lineage of dogs that were our first, best friends.

We can estimate where Sam is from by finding other village dogs with similar DNA. This map shows the results. Each point represents one group of village dogs we sampled. We found dogs the most similar in the red areas, and the most different in the blue areas. Sam most likely came from the red areas.
Similarity to village dog groups around the world

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Traits

Maternal Haplotype

Paternal Haplotype

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

Base Coat Color

Dark or Light Fur
E (Extension) Locus
Can have dark fur
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

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

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

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 1
Smaller
Body Size 2
Larger
Body Size 3
Larger
Body Size 4
Larger
Body Size 5
Larger

Performance

Altitude Adaptation
Normal altitude tolerance

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World Map

Maternal Haplotype

Paternal Haplotype

Through Sam’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

A226

Map

A1e

Sam’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!

A226

Sam’s Haplotype

Part of the large A1e haplogroup, we have spotted this haplotype in village dogs in Central and South America and Papua New Guinea. Among the 10 breeds we have detected it in, we see it most frequently in Border Collies, Doberman Pinschers, and Samoyeds.

Some other Embark dogs with this haplotype:

Irish Wolfhounds are a consistent carrier of A1e.

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World Map

Traits

Paternal Haplotype

This 'Paternal Haplotype' tab is for deep ancestral lineage going back thousands of years.

For recent ancestry—"What breeds did my dog inherit from her mom and dad?"—please refer to the Breed, Family Tree, or Summary tab.

The Paternal Haplotype refers to a dog’s deep ancestral lineage stretching back thousands of years, before there were any distinct breeds of dog. We determine the Paternal Haplotype 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 Sam is a female (XX) dog, she has no Y-chromosome for us to analyze and determine a paternal haplotype.

Explore:

World Map

Traits

Maternal Haplotype