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As many of you have seen on Instagram, we have a new family member! In January, we adopted Balto from Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue in Hudson, Wisconsin. This was our first time adopting a rescue dog so it was also our first time not knowing what breed our new puppy was. Coco’s Heart had guestimated that Balto was a German Shepherd mix. We have 2 German Shepherds so I thought a mix would fit in nicely with our family. And when we saw little Balto’s sweet face we knew he was meant to be part of our family.
We brought Balto home at the end of January. He was extremely young, about 8 weeks old when he came home. But as time started to go by he started to look less and less like a German Shepherd puppy. I started to wonder what exactly Balto was mixed with. I had done Embark with my other 2 dogs, Matilda and Finnegan so I ordered an Embark DNA+Health kit for Balto to take too.
When the Embark kit arrived I could not wait to get Balto to take it. With just a few swabs of his mouth, we were ready to register the kit and send it off for testing. The whole testing took less than 10 minutes from the time I opened the kit to the time it was sealed up and ready to mail out.
I dropped the kit in the mailbox and then we waited. And waited. It felt like an eternity but in reality, it was only a few weeks. The day I received the email notification that Balto’s test results were back I was so excited! I could wait to see what he was mixed with.
With excitement and wonder, I sat down at my computer and logged in to see Balto’s results. Imagine my surprise when I saw these test results.
I was shocked! He’s not a German Shepherd mix! Balto is actually mostly an Australian Cattle dog, followed by Siberian Husky, Shibu Inu, Golden Retriever, and super mut. In the super mut it says there is trace DNA of German Shepherd and Boxer. A trace! This was not what I had been expecting.
Once I got over the shock that my precious little boy was not a German Shepherd mix I started to look into the breeds he was. After doing a little research, it’s clear he is going to be one spectacular dog! He definitely has the drive to herd the kids like a cattle dog, the prey drive and energy of a Siberian Husky, the attitude of a Shiba Inu and the loving disposition of a Golden Retriever.
When I had ordered Balto’s test I had ordered the kit with the health The Big Love kit, which means I also received insight into potential genetic health issues. I am happy to say that no genetic health issues were detected with my little Balto! But it was discovered that his liver works a little different and that his vet needs to be made aware of it. So his test results for liver enzymes need to be read a little differently, his baseline is not going to be like most other dogs. So what might not seem like a test result to be alarmed about in another dog could be pointing out a serious health concern for Balto. That gives me and the vet an advantage in helping Balto live his healthiest life.
If you have been curious as to what breeds your rescue pup is, I cannot recommend Embark Vet enough. And if you can, get the Big Love kit. The insights into your dog’s health is extremely helpful.
Save $40 on Embark Breed + Health Dog DNA Kit! Use code BIGLOVE at checkout. Shop now and save!