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Thread: Found some of my dog's family via Embark (DNA test)!

  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    Found some of my dog's family via Embark (DNA test)!

    I just thought this was super cool, and definitely a lighter topic than some floating around right now.

    Just some history, my dog is a rescue. He was brought into an animal shelter (I think he was confiscated from a hoarder) then pulled into rescue with 16 other Cocker mixes of varying ages. All fearful, all malnourished. I brought him home at 8 weeks (ish) old and he had a host of behavioral problems. He struggles with anxiety, reactivity, occasional fear aggression, and resource guarding (that one has improved the most). But he's so smart, tries so hard, and I love him so very much.

    Anyway, a few years back I did an Embark DNA test on him because I was curious of his breed mix - which ended up being really fascinating. They also do some genetic health testing, and they also track relatives when new ones are entered into the system. I get hits pretty frequently, usually just like "cousin level" at most, it's amazing how many cousins one dog can have

    But last week I got a hit that was "sibling/parent" level, and this week I got another one. Their owners posted where they came from and it's the same small town my boy is from, so they are definitely related. They also posted pictures of their dogs and there is a clear resemblance.

    They live in different states, and my boy is not up to meeting strange dogs/people anyway, but I was just geeking out over this as it's so cool. I was just sure his family was all gone. I may message them through the site if I ever think of something to say, it would be really cool to see if they also had the same health/behavioral problems that he does. It would also be cool to see if they adopted from that rescue or from a different one, because there was only one other dog estimated to be the same age when he came into rescue, so clearly there were more dogs that got scattered, or I suppose sold by the original owner.

    I'm probably the only person who is really fascinated/excited by this, but just think it's a really cool thing to discover.
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  2. #2
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    Jan 2016
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    Re: Found some of my dog's family via Embark (DNA test)!

    I have been so tempted to do this with one of my rescues. I think it’s awesome that you found all this!!! You should definitely reach out, if for no other reason than to try and build a health history of your pups “relatives”. Example - one of my rescues has occasional seizures. I would love to find others in his litter to see if they have experienced similar. Also DM is a pretty common problem in this breed (German shepherd) and can sometimes be tied to bloodline. So I’d also like to know if any siblings or either of his parents have dealt with this. There’s a lot of interesting things you can find out in human genealogy so let’s shouldn’t be any different lol!! This is very cool!!

  3. #3
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    Sep 2011
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    Re: Found some of my dog's family via Embark (DNA test)!

    It is really cool! I’m mostly curious about behavioral traits but I will definitely need to reach out and see if they respond.

    It’s funny, I did it for my Poodle mix as well but she gets far less hits on relatives and they’re all super distant. It seems a lot of Cocker owners do it, as nearly all of Chisum’s extended relatives are purebred Cockers.
    __________________

    I still go a little bit crazy sometimes...
    but now I don't stay near as long.


    [Mostly] managing anxiety, HA, and depression.

  4. #4
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    Re: Found some of my dog's family via Embark (DNA test)!

    I just sent one off on Tasha.... Waiting to hear the results

    FMP
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  5. #5
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    Re: Found some of my dog's family via Embark (DNA test)!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishmanpa View Post
    I just sent one off on Tasha.... Waiting to hear the results

    FMP
    Its really cool - I knew Chisum had a lot of Cocker him him, but turns out he’s also got a good deal of Border Collie, as well as Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Pyrenees, and Chow. So while familial traits and early neglect play a role in some of his issues, I wonder how many are breed traits pulling through?

    It was fun to learn Sophie’s breeds too - I knew she had Poodle, but also Chihuahua, Dachshund, Min Pin, and Jack Russell - I wouldn’t have guessed most of those.
    __________________

    I still go a little bit crazy sometimes...
    but now I don't stay near as long.


    [Mostly] managing anxiety, HA, and depression.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2013
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    Re: Found some of my dog's family via Embark (DNA test)!

    Chism is a handsome doggie for sure! We actually keep in touch with all of Tasha's siblings through the rescue's FB page (there were 8 in the litter). There's a chat group were we share updates and pics. We've been talking about getting together in a central location so they can all see each other again once the Spring comes around (we're all within a few hours of each other).

    FMP.
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

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