a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Chip's Breed Results Are In!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Chip's Breed Results Are In!

SUMMARY: Biggest part makes sense, I guess but? --

...something I forgot about! And things I didn't expect!

My guesses were, in order: 1. Whippet or Greyhound 2. Golden Retriever 3. Labrador 4. German Shepherd (had to get the upright ears from somewhere! ).

His results came in quite a bit after Zorro's results, even though they went in at the same time and were received at the same time. Chip just got into the wrong line, I guess.

One of the cool things that Embark does when it sends your dogs' DNA breed results: Gives you a chance to take a quiz on what breeds showed up! The choices included:

German Shepherd Dog
Welsh Terrier
Chow Chow
Cane Corso
Siberian Husky
Bluetick Coonhound

And as soon as one particular one of those came up, I realized in an instant that I had completely forgotten about a particular aspect of Chip that I had decided 4 years ago indicated that he probably had some of those breeds in him. And so I didn't include it in my supposedly comprehensive set of photos of him, and I didn't include it in my guesses. Most people wouldn't know because you can only tell when his mouth is wide open (hint hint).

So, given everything else that you knew about Chip from me (bottom of page https://dogblog.finchester.org/2019/12/are-these-really-dogs.html), which do you think he includes? (I'll give a bonus hint: Only 3 on the list are True.)

And here's the big reveal

(scroll down)

  • Yep, one of his parents was a GSD. At least I got one of my four guesses right!
  • All those northern/working types? Siberian Husky is one of his secondary breeds. I see nothing husky about him at all (based on my experience with just one, Sheba). 
  • Chow is not the only breed that has blue/black tongues--so do other northern breeds (including huskies?) and some that aren't.
  • Supermutt: Additional breed ancestry so diluted that all they can do is make guesses. "We cannot be sure, given how little of their DNA has carried down to Chip, but we thought you might like to know our best guess anyway!"
    • German Spitz
    • Boxer
    • West Siberian Laika
So much for his original owner thinking "whippet" or other sight hound! Not a whit of that. (Although I thought it was a credible guess and included it in my guesses.)

It also includes a list of physical traits. Here's the summary:
  • Base coat color: "Can have dark fur; black or grey fur and skin; dark (nondilute) fur and skin)." It gives a bit of discussion on the various gene variants and how they can interact...  all affected by the--
  • Coat color modifiers:
    ✅Hidden Patterning/ More likely to have patterned fur
    ✅Body Pattern /  Fawn Sable coat color pattern [Bing! Bing! Bing! yep! and you can see the vertical white streak that marks his shoulder area-- really hard to tell apart from the fawn; and I believe that he also has one or more white feet]

    ✅Facial Fur Pattern / Can have black masking (dark facial fur)
    ➖ Saddle Tan / No impact on coat pattern
    ✅Merle /  Unlikely to have merle pattern
  • Other coat traits:
  • ❌Likely furnished (mustache, beard, and/or eyebrows),
      ✅Likely short or mid-length coat,
     ❌Likely light shedding,
    ➖ Coat would likely be curly or wavy if long,
     ✅Very unlikely to be hairless,
    ✅Likely not albino.
  • Other: 
     ✅Likely medium or long muzzle,
     ✅Likely normal-length tail,
     ✅Unlikely to have hind dew claws,
     ✅Likely normal muscling,
     ✅Less likely to have blue eyes
  • ❌Predicted Adult Weight:  42 lbs (that's off--he's currently about 35 but was 33 a couple of years back so that might be a healthier weight for him)


Chip has a ton listed who are 22% genetic matches ("As related as human half-siblings, aunts/uncles, and grandparents"). All are GSD except one mix--who has no photos posted.

As long as we're here--I also asked for the health screening. They tested for 181 things, and he's all clear except:
  • Alanine Aminotransferase Activity result: Low Normal  (not a risk, just something for vets to be aware of when doing certain blood tests)
  • Platelet factor X receptor deficiency, Scott Syndrome (TMEM16F): At risk, might have lower clotting strength than most dogs, something to be aware of if he has surgery or serious injury.

Vet already has copies of those reports. I am not concerned.
All so intriguing!

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