Dog DNA Tests Reviews 2018: DNA My Dog vs Wisdom Panel vs Embark vs PetConfirm

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Have you been dying to know what breeds make up your one-of-a-kind pup? Are you concerned about certain hereditary diseases your dog might develop one day?

DNA dog tests are a fun and informative way to get to understand who your pooch is — and to help you develop a better health plan for his future.

Article Overview

How Does Dog DNA Testing Work?

A dog DNA test is easier than you might think! All you have to do with at-home dog DNA tests is order the test online, take a simple cheek swab from your dog, place the swab in the provided container and mail it back in a prepaid envelope.

In just a few weeks, you’ll receive a report that includes your dog’s DNA results. Depending on the company, you’ll see the percentage breakdown of your dog’s breeds and risks for developing some hereditary diseases. Some companies also offer parentage testing and purebred and designer dog testing.

What’s the Best Dog DNA Test

We’ve chosen several of the best DNA dog tests on the market and given you detailed information about what you can learn from each one. All of our DNA dog test reviews are at-home cheek-swab tests, but each test differs in the type of results you’ll receive.

Embark Review

Embark box#1

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The Embark Dog DNA Test takes our top spot as the best DNA test for dogs. Embark DNA is a comprehensive dog DNA test that screens for breed identification, traits, ancestry and genetic disease risk (for 160 known canine genetic health problems).

Your test results even include a detailed vet report to help you and your veterinarian plan the best care for your dog. Embark partners with scientists from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine to conduct ongoing research into dog genetic testing — and you have the option to include your dog’s DNA data in their research.

What’s more, Embark contributes funding and genetic testing to animal shelters in the U.S. and Nepal! The downside? Embark’s dog DNA test cost is significantly higher than breed-only DNA tests.

Pros

Cons

  • Offers 20 times more genetic information than other tests
  • Genetic mutation testing for over 160 canine health conditions
  • Free replacement swab if yours gets damaged
  • Charitable work with animal shelters
  • Live chat or email available if you need help interpreting test results
  • Positive customer feedback that Embark is the most accurate dog DNA test
  • Website has blog, FAQs and newsletter signup
  • Ability to get raw DNA data
  • Expensive
  • Tests for 175 out of 187 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) – fewer than Wisdom Panel
  • Test results take 3-7 weeks (longer than Wisdom Panel our #2 pick)

Pricing

Coupon

Embark is offering Canine Journal readers $20 off with code: PAL20 now through 12/31/18. Just use this link to get started.

Read our Embark DNA Review

Wisdom Panel Health DNA Test Review

Wisdom Panel Dog DNA kit#2

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Wisdom Panel Health comes in a very close second. Wisdom Panel Health is similar to Embark in that it tests for breed identification, traits, ancestry and genetic disease risk.

Wisdom Panel covers more than 250 breeds, types and varieties, including 99% of AKC-recognized breeds (more than Embark), but they don’t test for quite as many disease risks as Embark. This company also offers a less expensive Wisdom Panel 4.0 breed identifier test.

Pros

Cons

  • Test covers 99% of 180 AKC-recognized breeds
  • Comes with 2 swabs, and they’ll replace for free if damaged
  • Charitable partnerships with animal rights groups
  • Results back in 2-3 weeks (quicker than most)
  • Phone, email customer service for any questions
  • Good website resources about canine DNA testing
  • Expensive
  • Genetic mutation testing for fewer health conditions than Embark
  • Results aren’t as detailed as Embark

Pricing

  • Wisdom Panel Health (Breed & Disease Detection): $149.99
  • Wisdom Panel 4.0 Canine Breed Detection: $99.97

Coupon

Wisdom Panel is often offered at a discount from the MSRP price on Amazon.

Read Our Wisdom Panel Breed Detection Test Review

HomeDNA Orivet Dog DNA Tests Review

HomeDNA Mixed Breed Identification Package#3

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HomeDNA offers two dog DNA tests, one for mixed-breed identification and the other for health screening. Each $125 test comes with a personalized life plan that you can share with your vet.

Because of the cost of each test, it makes the most sense to choose one of the two (otherwise we suggest Embark for the all-in-one test). If you only want health screening, however, HomeDNA’s DNA Test Kit Health Screen is a better value than Embark or Wisdom Panel.

If you’re only looking for breed information, you should consider HomeDNA’s test. Although pricier than DNA My Dog, it is far more accurate due to their huge database of recognized and developing breeds.

Pros

Cons

  • Health screening test is a good value
  • Genetic mutation testing for over 150 canine health conditions
  • 235+ recognized and developing breeds in their database
  • Health risks classified based on likelihood and impact
  • Consumers report excellent customer support
  • Expensive (for both tests)
  • You have to order two separate tests to get both breed and health results
  • Results can take a month or longer

Pricing

  • $125 for Mixed-Breed Dog Identification DNA Test and Life Plan
  • $125 for Dog DNA Test Kit Health Screen with Life Plan

Other Dog DNA Tests Reviewed

DNA My Dog | Paw Print Genetics | PetConfirm DNA Test

Although the following tests didn’t make our top three list, they’re popular options you may want to consider.

DNA My Dog Review

DNA My Dog envelope

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The DNA My Dog breed identification test just doesn’t have the bark for your buck to make our top three. Although you get a report on your dog’s dominant breeds, personality traits and health concerns (based on breed only), DNA My Dog is mediocre compared the breed and trait information you’ll get with our top picks.

DNA My Dog has far fewer breeds in its database, meaning you’re not going to get the level of accuracy you would with Embark, Wisdom Panel or HomeDNA’s Orivet tests. And many Amazon reviewers agree that their test lacks accuracy. But if you’re on a budget, DNA My Dog is the least expensive alternative.

Pros

Cons

  • Least expensive test we reviewed
  • Comes with two swabs and free replacement if they get damaged
  • Charitable shelter program donates funds to U.S. and Canada shelters
  • Phone and email customer service for any questions
  • Get results in two weeks
  • Only 96 breeds in their database
  • Doesn’t offer genetic mutation testing for health conditions
  • Many customer complaints about their dog DNA testing accuracy
  • Several consumer complaints about delayed results
  • Minimal website resources about dog DNA testing

Pricing

Coupon

[dna-my-dog-coupon]

Paw Print Genetics ReviewPaw Print Genetics logo

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Paw Print Genetics is an excellent choice for breeders or people with purebred dogs who want to test for breed-specific diseases. You can order a single test or a panel of tests to assess the risk of your dog developing or passing on the diseases. Their website allows you to search by breed, disease/trait or symptom.

They also offer parentage tests and a DNA profiling test you can use to ID your dog in the event he gets lost or stolen. Paw Print Genetics has a very limited number of mixed breed tests, and they don’t do breed identification.

Pros

Cons

  • Analyzes each mutation with two independent methods to provide you the highest accuracy
  • Offers 155+ genetic mutation tests for health conditions
  • Genetic counseling available and excellent customer support
  • Includes Pedigree Report and Genetic Health Certificate
  • Partners with many dog clubs and associations
  • Results available in 2 weeks
  • Can get expensive if testing for multiple diseases (but they offer discounts)
  • No breed identification tests
  • Very limited mixed breed tests
  • Can be confusing to figure out which test(s) to order for your dog

Pricing

  • Starts at $80 for 1 disease test with discounts for each additional test disease ordered
  • Starts at $80 for 1 coat color/trait test with discounts for each additional coat color/trait test ordered
  • $49 Paw Print DNA Profiling test
  • $30 Paw Print Parentage test (puppy, dam or sire)
  • $19 Paw Print Clear by Parentage test
  • View all options

PetConfirm DNA Test Review

PetConfirm DNA kit contentsVisit Website

PetConfirm is one of many health-related testing kits produced by Confirm BioSciences (most are for humans). The PetConfirm dog DNA test is nearly identical to the DNA My Dog test regarding the company’s breed database and the results you’ll receive.

Like DNA My Dog, PetConfirm gives you a breed percentage report, a custom breed analysis certificate and an outline of the generic health concerns and personality traits for every breed found in your dog’s genetic profile.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable
  • Two swabs included and free replacement
  • Phone and email customer service
  • Get results in under two weeks
  • Only 96 breeds in their database
  • No genetic mutation testing for health conditions
  • No information on website about charitable animal work
  • Several consumer complaints about delayed results
  • Minimal website resources about dog DNA testing

Pricing

What Breed Is My Rescue Dog?

Unless you’ve gone through AKC’s Rescue Network, where you can find purebred rescue pups, you likely don’t know what your rescue dog is. That’s where a dog DNA test comes in handy! Check out the following video where some rescue dog parents learn about their pup’s breeds.

Dog DNA Test Infographic

Learn more about how Dog DNA Tests work in this infographic:

Infographic - Guide to Dog DNA Tests

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How Can A DNA Test Benefit My Dog’s Health?

Learn About the Benefits of DNA Testing For Dogs

Knowing your dog’s breed mix can help you and your vet devise a better health plan for your dog. If you get genetic mutation testing, you’ll know your dog has a genetic predisposition for certain diseases he could develop in the future.

But even knowing what breeds are in his mix can inform you about genetic health concerns associated with each breed. Then you’ll know to look for early warning signs, and you can take precautionary measures before it’s too late.

If you are interested in a DNA test for yourself, checkout our best DNA ancestry test article on our sister site, Exploring Life’s Mysteries.

What surprises did you find after having your pup do a dog DNA test?

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Sally grew up in a feline-only home, but cat allergies in her early 20’s made it an easy transition to dog ownership. And she couldn’t be happier with her canine shadow, who’s been at her side (literally) for years. No longer a cat person for obvious reasons, Sally is now a true bone-ified dog lover.

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Kiki
So we did the Wisdom panel and results were 50% Lab and 50% Amer Staff Terrier. It occurred to me, especially after having read comments on this site, that bc testing only goes back 3 generations that perhaps recessive genes going back farther in time cld account for anomalies being expressed by dog owners. Our results didn’t entirely surprise us BUT since he is also a lot taller than AST and Lab combo and his paws are very thick and he is extremely mellow (most of the time) … the vet felt he has Dane somewhere in his ancestry … those factors iprompted us to have him tested. So, is there a test that can peer farther back than 3 generations?
Thanks
Kiki
Kimberly Alt
Great question! If you read this article you’ll see that Embark goes back 3 generations as well. Since Embark and Wisdom Panel are the “big players” in this category, I’d assume that others don’t go back farther than 3 generations. However, you know what assuming does 😉 I suggest reaching out to other companies and asking if they go back further than 3 generations. Best of luck!
Dan
I found out that both of my dogs are pure breeds. They are 100% dog
Arya
This was updated February 2018,and yet you still do not include the review of Wisdom Health, which is both the breed and disease detection similar to Embark (at a cost of $150 vs. Embarks at $200). Wondering how they stack up against each other?
Kimberly Alt
Great question! We’ll consider looking into that during our next audit!
Julie M Pollock
If you’re going to test your dogs, you have to use Embark. After reading everyone’s responses I am totally sure that Embark is the best DNA testing out there and I am so happy I didn’t opt for one of the others or I would have been screwed. I breed Havanese and was really interested in health genetics and their color dna…what colors my dogs can reproduce. Their testing is awesome…plus, because I couldn’t understand some of the Allele information, one of the scientist set up a phone appointment and called me. She spent well over an hour giving me instruction on how to read some of the testing. One of my dogs testing came back in one area a tiny bit low so when my vet got the report, she called me so we can double check with blood work. By knowing my dogs pedigrees and the colors of their ancestors, I can tell you that Embark is very accurate. I did 3 of my dogs and I plan to do 3 more in the next month. I’m now a genetics believer!!
Ty Thomas
I just got my Wisdom Panel results back… and they are laughable at best. They told me that my 35 pound dog is a mix of American Staffordshire Terrior, German Shepherd, and Boxer… again… she’s smaller than any of these 3 breeds.
KEVIN SMITH
We bought a online testing kit with Viaguard to find out the breed of our dog,they advertise on the net and amazon.
We paid the money and received the swab kit.
Results were to come in 14 days.
It is now 22 days, i have sent several emails and no reply,a bit of research and it seems many people are in the same boat,looks like we and many others have been scammed,
Lesia Mortensen
Did you ever get a result?
Bre
If you look on Wisdom Panel’s social media, you’ll see that the do donate free kits to shelter.
Kimberly Alt
I’m sorry, Bre, I’m not seeing any mention of donating free kits to shelters on Wisdom Panel’s Facebook page. Could you be more specific where you saw these mentions (social media platform, etc.)? Thanks so much!
Marine
I had a good laugh with DNA My Dog.

My dog’s mother is a full Border Collie. My dog behaves like a Border Collie. You can physically see that she’s got some Border Collie in her. We did the test to learn more about the father and did not submit a picture or give any clue about her mother…

Results :
Level 2 Belgian Malinois
Level 4 Boxer
Level 4 Alaskan Malamute

I asked them how come they did not find Border Collie in her and attached a picture. They replied very promptly (the only thing they did well!) and simply claimed it was NOT POSSIBLE her mother was a BC because it would have showed in her DNA (duh!) and then proceeded to describe how they could perfectly see the Belgian malinois and alaskan malamute in her.

I guess I should inform the owners of the mother that their dog is not a Border Collie and suggest they should send her DNA to Dnamydog to find out what is her breed. I am sure they will come up with Chihuahua instead.

Prairie Dawn
Maybe her mother is not Border Collie. Border Collie is number 1 misidentified dog.
Nica
DNA My Dog SUCKS. I feel they toss breed names in a hat and pull them out, then send that to you. They did a first test that was totally off. We knew for sure my dog is part Doxie. They did not figure that in either time they ran the test. After I complained for several months, they reran the test on the same dog. Came up with 3 totally new breeds from the first one, and also VERY wrong. Said she is 1/2 Golden Retriever. An 18lb Doxie mix. They put 2 very large breeds and 1 medium. I complained again so she asked for pictures. I was like, pictures really? Why so you can guess from the pictures? I then used Wisdom. First time they figured the LH Doxie. Also said Shih Tzu (which is what our vet figured) and Fox terrier. We don’t see the Fox terrier so much but that at least seems in the right area of her looks. DNA My Dog refuses to communicate with me further. I have asked for a refund now for 2 years. They are horrible and being in a different country protects them. NEVER use that company.
Sadie Cornelius
Nica, so sorry to hear but thanks for sharing your experience!
Dogsrule
Nica, if part Golden seems odd for the size of your dog, don’t rule it out. I had a Corgi Lab mix, short legs like a Corgi. Cute.
Mark
Absolutely terrible test. If an imbecile from another planet were to suggest the breed(s), then these would say it was a shar-pei when it was a Great Dane. Don’t waste your money.
Angela
I used DNA My Dog and received the result yesterday. Wish I would have read the review here first. Since our dog is a rescue we only know that her mom was a lab. When I took her to the vet for her shots, he was sure that her dad must have been German Shepherd (and she totally looks like one). But the result from DNA My Dog listed Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Irish Wolfhound as other breeds, besides Lab. What a joke.
Tad
We have tested three of our dogs with two different kits. The first used I can no longer recall, and they have since been purchased/taken over by another company. We tested our first two dogs with that kit, one dog coming out as a Schnocker(Schnauzer/Cocker Spaniel mix) which is quite evident with her appearance. The second dog could not be determined as her DNA(terrier mix) was not decipherable among the various breeds of terriers, and they retested her for free to see if they could make a better determination. The second test yielded the same undetermined results, and again showed a grandparent which had been a Labrador Retriever, which accounts for her webbed feet. The funny thing being that she absolutely dislikes getting wet.
Our third dog has been tested by Mars Wisdom panel. Her results came back quite detailed and noted many breeds which make up her unique appearance. Some of these breeds are obvious by looking at her too. She came back as a mix of Chihuahua, Toy Poodle, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, and American Bull Terrier. Again, quite the mix, but she displays traits for many of these breeds in her behavior and appearance.
We’re thinking of having the undetermined terrier mix tested with Mars Wisdom panel now that there are many more breeds determined since we first had her tested almost a decade ago.
Kimberly Alt
I had so much fun discovering my dog’s DNA results. Hope you enjoyed learning more about your dogs!
Linda Pierce
I was very disappointed with Discount Dog DNA. They ask what breed I thought my dog was and I checked one box. The test came back and said my dog was only that breed. Not true. He is mixed. It went on the further say precaution was needed for his short nose. He has a long nose! Nothing else about my dog was listed! I do not trust this company at all! Save your money!
John
Just got my dog’s DNA test back from Banfield (Wisdom Panel 4.0). At first I was going to order the test from Mars’ website directly, until I found out that Mars owns Banfield (our vet). The difference being, the website version is a cheek swab and the Banfield version was a blood sample, but the price was the same. We were told when we adopted her that she was a Pitbull/Mastiff mix. Her results came back, Pitbull/Boxer mix. However, only one of her great grandparents were Boxer and the rest were 100% American Staffordshire Terrier. Meaning, she’s pretty much a Pitbull. I will say this too, being that the Am Staff and Am Pitbull are from the same lineage, they cannot test for both and only the Am Staff. I’m told this is due to the DNA markers being identical for both breeds and some even go as far to say they are one breed (another discussion for another day). We are happy with the results from Mars and I would recommend them.
Shawna
Hi, so there would be no reason to dna test if you’re trying to find out if your dog was an AmStaff (AKC breed) vs pit bull? They wouldn’t be able to tell me that?
Thank you
Kimberly Alt
Hi Shawna, Embark tests for 175 breeds including American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier. So if you opted to purchase that test, you’d be able to learn which one your dog is or has in their family lineage. Wisdom Panel does not test for American Pit Bull Terrier.

If you need further help let me know, I’d be happy to help! 🙂

J.J.
I am considering Embark, Wisdom Panel or another reputable canine DNA testing service for my dog; I suspect, but don’t know for sure, that she is a mutt or mixed, which is part of the reason why I want to take the test.
Her previous owners were shady / weird, and I wasn’t told anything about her details at the time of acquiring her (it was essentially a 3rd party deal), other than that she is a Jack Russell terrier, and she was 3 months old; but then I later discovered that there was a discrepancy in her recorded birth date (barely any records were given by her previous owners) by a few months! My dog’s unclear background and the small hints of unfit ownership I got from that brief transaction at the previous owner’s house made left me forever concerned about my unusual-for-a-Jack-Russell, not-exactly-small, not-quite-medium, doesn’t-look-like-any-Jack-Russell-I’ve-seen, unique girl.
More recently, I found about the Chilean fox terrier, and other similar fox-rat terriers, notably the Brazilian fox terrier and Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz (something like that)–and immediately, I saw my dog! The distinct markings and patterns on her face and back, which were comparable, but significantly different from, hundreds of images of Jack Russell terriers seen through the years, was immediately recognizable from the first few, pictures of the mentioned fox-rat terriers that I saw.
For years, searching web images of Jack Russell terriers, after seeing several encountered ones and the ones in movies, showed that they looked like each other, but not my dog. That bothered me. To me, my dog deviated from the Jack Russell in appearing like a “Doberman” (the facial shape, weight, typical “melanistic mask” pattern), Chihuahua (for having less of a bearded squared-off snout), kind of Papillon, at times a larger pointy-eared breed, almost a beagle, sometimes a “bull-” breed. Then I see that some other breeds look a lot more like my dog than the breed that I was told that she is. This has been a long-time mystery and frustration of “not knowing” my dog, adding to some infirm despair of suspecting that the previous owners didn’t take care of her right (they passed on a mostly-empty large bag of “Ol’ Roy” brand adult dog food specifically for large breeds–she was the only dog in that house, and was said to be 3 months old; my first impression of her at the time being that she was “the tiniest dog I’ve seen”), a large not-new looking plastic food bowl and not much else….plus, oddly, the children in the house seemed mostly indifferent that the dog was leaving.
The point is, I am sincerely interested in a DNA test for my dog, and the breed detection accuracy and ideally, health insights that a test can provide is very important for me. I don’t know if my dog is mixed or purebred, and her now being old and showing experience-related and other telltale illnesses, a genetic health screening is worth it (money is an issue). Should I wait for technological improvement (old girl is getting old)? What is the most appropriate DNA test service for my situation?
Kimberly Alt
Great question! If you’re definitely wanting to learn more about your dog’s health, Embark is more detailed than Wisdom Panel.

In terms of the breeds you mentioned that your dog may be (Jack Russell Terrier, Chilean fox terrier, Brazilian fox terrier, Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz, Doberman, Chihuahua or Papillon), Embark and Wisdom Panel test the following.
Embark:
-Jack Russell Terrier
-various Fox Terriers (not Brazilian)
-Rat Terrier
-Doberman
-Chihuahua
-Papillion
Wisdom Panel:
-Russell Terrier
-various Fox Terriers (not Brazilian)
-Rat Terrier
-Doberman
-Chihuahua
-Papillion
As you can see, they practically test for the same breeds that you listed however, Wisdom Panel does not test Jack Russell Terrier specifically.

I tested both Embark and Wisdom Panel on my Sally and wrote a comparison article. It may help you decide which test you’d like to move forward with. You can read the article here. Let me know if you have any other questions I can help you with!

Guest
Embark, what a cute name!
Ellis
Whoa! I had no idea you could test your dog’s DNA, I’m going to sign my dog up STAT.
Hans
It’s the 21st Century, just about anything is possible! Hell, you can even CLONE your dog now.
Greerdogs
Cloned dogs has not been accomplished as yet. There are lots of banks, waiting for it to happen but it has not been successful.
Susan
According to Barbara Streisand, she currently has dogs cloned from a previous pet.

Pets can be cloned through ViaGen Pets.

Crissabear
This is not true. Korea (I believe South) cloned an Afghan hound. He was born in 2005. Lived about 10 years. I believe they also bred him with other dogs. His name was Snuffy.