Your Embark Report
When your dog’s DNA analysis is complete you will receive an email from Embark containing a link to your dog’s report. There is a lot of information on the report — it can be a little bit overwhelming on first review! Our goal is to walk you through your report — to help you identify what the various parts mean, and how the results are useful to you as a dog owner or as a breeder. We will also explain how to share your dog’s data with ESBC, how it will be used, and why it is so important to the breed that you share this information!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE ONE of your dog’s report includes a table of contents along the top — links to the various sections of the report: Research, Health, Breed, Traits.
This page also has a tab labeled “edit profile.” If you click on that link, you will open a page that allows you to build a profile for your dog — add a cover photo, a short description of your dog, etc. The descriptive information is optional but adding some detail here creates a helpful record for your dog. Make sure to “Save Changes” (link at the bottom of page) when you are done.
EDIT PROFILE PAGE
The “edit profile” section of your dog’s report also includes a checklist — at the bottom of the page as you scroll down — that allows you to choose which portions of your dog’s profile will be visible to the public. This is different than the “contribute to research” option above; your privacy settings influence the public face of your report, the webpage that you can share with family and friends. The “contribute to research” option has to do with the raw data from your dog’s genomic analysis. If you want to share your dog’s webpage profile with others, choose the portions of their report you want to make publicly available, click those boxes and “save privacy settings“.
Back on the Table of Contents page, the stats at the top include 3 items: wolfiness, weight, and genetic age. Wolfiness is of no particular significance to you as a dog owner; weight and age, however, are worth noting. If your dog’s weight is significantly different from the predicted weight, make sure to fill out the “Nutrition and Exercise” survey that is under in the “Research” section of your report. Your information will help researchers identify how genetics influence body size. You might also want to make sure that your dog isn’t a little chubby if they are much heavier than predicted!
Embark includes a link explaining how they determine breed for dogs tested. Things to keep in mind are:
- Embark relies on the sample of dogs they have tested to identify breed markers – so, if only a handful of dogs in a breed have been tested, the ability to identify all the various genetic lines/variants in that breed may be limited; the more unrelated dogs in a breed that are tested, the more accurate the breed identification will be.
- There are no “breed” specific genes, all your English Shepherd’s genes are dog genes. What makes breeds different from one another is the particular combination of dog genes that breeders selected from the broad canine gene pool.
The “Health” page of your report summarizes the results of tests for specific gene mutations. This information is useful but please note:
THIS IS NOT A REPORT CARD OR A SCORE SHEET!!!
Context is important, here: ALL dogs carry some genetic mutations, only a tiny fraction of those mutations can be identified by tests at this point. An “at risk” dog does not carry more mutant genes than other dogs, just one(s) for which there is a test. Knowledge is power! Knowing which mutation(s) your dog carries enables you to manage their health care and, if you hope to breed, choose mates that will reduce the risk of producing puppies affected by those genetic disorders. You can read about the specific mutations that your dog carries by clicking on the “at risk” or “carrier” links. As you scroll down this page, you will come to a link to “full disease panel” that lists all of the mutations for which Embark tests.
By completing the various health surveys attached to your dog’s profile you can help researchers identify genetic risk factors for other conditions.