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What are “Related Pair?”
“Related Pair” are based on the percentage of breeds the two dogs have in common. For example, two dogs that are both
27% Golden Retriever and 73% Poodle will have a score of 100%. Sometimes dogs with high scores look alike, and
sometimes they don’t — either way the comparison is based on each dog’s unique DNA.
How wolfy is my dog?
Most dogs have wolfiness scores of 1% or less. We find populations and breeds with higher scores of 2-4% occasionally, and unique dogs with scores of 5% or above more rarely.
What it means for my dog
Your dog’s Wolfiness Score is not a measure of recent dog-wolf hybridization and does not necessarily indicate that your dog has some recent wolf ancestors. (If your dog has recent wolf ancestors, you will see that in the breed mix report.) Instead, the Wolfiness Score is based on the number of ancient genetic variants your dog has in our unique Wolfiness marker panel. Wolfiness scores up to 10% are almost always due to ancient wolf genes that survived many generations, rather than any recent wolf ancestors. These ancient genes may be a few thousand years old, or may even date back to the original domestication event 15,000 years ago. They are bits of a wild past that survive in your dog!
Your dog’s Wolfiness Score is based on hundreds of markers across the genome where dogs (or almost all of them) are the same, but wolves tend to be different. These markers are thought to be related to "domestication gene sweeps" where early dogs were selected for some trait. Scientists have known about “domestication gene sweeps” for years, but do not yet know why each sweep occurred. By finding rare dogs carrying an ancient variant at a certain marker, we can make associations with behavior, size, metabolism, and development that likely caused these unique signatures of “doggyness” in the genome.
What is a Doggy DNA Relative?
Doggy DNA Relatives come from our geneticists’ analysis of your dog’s DNA, analyzing how much DNA your dog shares with another dog. The pups that you see today are the top dogs in Embark’s database, based on the percentage of DNA they share with Taco.
We’ll tell you how that translates to a human family relationship and how much DNA certain relatives, like siblings or cousins, share.
So, what does it mean when you say ‘as related as human’ relatives?
When DNA is passed through generations, it goes through a process called recombination. Recombination, in humans and canines alike, shuffles the DNA carried by parents before it is passed to offspring. But many stretches of DNA remain intact, allowing geneticists that look at hundreds of thousands of genetic markers in each animal to identify the relatedness between individuals.
But we know that dog evolution is different from human evolution in ways that can affect the amount of relatedness between close relatives. Read more about genetic relatedness in this article by Embark's scientists.
In humans, before DNA is passed from parents to offspring, the two chromosome pairs are shuffled randomly in a process called recombination. That’s why you and your siblings share about 50% of your DNA.
Recombination works essentially the same way in dogs as it does in humans, but it’s important to understand that because of the history of dogs and breeding practices, dogs are more highly inbred than humans are. Therefore, two dogs that mate today typically start off with some degree of relation, unlike humans.
I want to reunite my pup with his or her relatives. How can I get in touch to set up a playdate?
You can reach out directly to Taco’s Doggy DNA Relatives’ owners via our Chat function, which you’ll see with every match.
What happens if Taco’s ma or paw (we couldn’t help ourselves) is tested in the next month, or in the future?
Your current Doggy DNA Relatives are just the beginning! As more and more dogs Embark with us, we'll send you updated relatives, uncover new discoveries about your dog's extended family, and further enable you to connect other dog owners to your dog's distant relatives. Because every dog that Embarks with us becomes our family, too.
Know a possible relative of Taco’s? Refer them to get tested with Embark, and you’ll get a special treat!
Still have questions? Send an email to email@example.com and our team will be happy to dig in with you.