Dog Breed DNA Test Kits: Reviews & Comparison for 2018

There are several different offerings for dog breed DNA tests that you can order online.

We will be objectively be reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of each dog DNA test kit on the market, with customer reviews used to help determine which dog DNA test kit is best suited for your needs.

Our Quick #1 Pick: Embark

embark dog dna test

Embark is the most impressive dog DNA test we've ever seen. It's packed with deep detail on your dog's genetic history, offering the largest number of genetic markers available (for extreme accuracy) and even testing for wolf, coyote, and village dog ancestry.

Embark tests for hundreds of genetic issues and providing info on recommended nutrition, grooming, and training regiments tailored for your canine. There's nothing else like it on the market!

WISDOM PANEL 4.0

Our #2 Pick

PRICE

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OUR RATING

  • Weight prediction & Training Insights
  • 2,000 Genetic Markers
  • Tests For MDR1 and EIC genetic mutations
  • Coyote & Wolf Detection

WISDOM PANEL 3.0

Our #3 Pick

PRICE

$$

OUR RATING

  • Weight Prediction & Training Insights
  • 2,000 Genetic Markers

EMBARK

Our #1 Pick

PRICE

$$$$

OUR RATING

  • Custom Vet Reports
  • App Integration
  • 200,000 Genetic Markers
  • Over 160 Genetic Tests
  • Custom Vet Reports
  • Free Updates For Life
  • Coyote, Wolf, & Village Dogs

DNA MY DOG

Our #4 PICK

PRICE

$$

OUR RATING

  • General Health Concerns & Training Insights
  • Shows Dog's Great Grandparents

Embark


About: Embark is a very new, very modern dog DNA test packed with deep, valuable canine insight, as well as a healthy host of bells and whistles that are sure to impress owners.

Embark offers everything that its main competitor, Wisdom Panel does (breed family tree, weight prediction, behavior and training insights, etc) and then some.

Embark is available for purchase on the Embark website.

Our Rating:

embark dog dna test

Features:

Vet Reports

Embark provides valuable vet reports that can be shared with your dog's veterinarian. These reports provide a great jumping off point to discuss your dog's future health plan with a professional.

Full App Integration

In addition to a classic report, Embark also provides your dog's DNA data on a handy app (great for tech junkies).

Over 160 Genetic Tests

Embark runs an astounding 160 genetic tests on your four-legged pal, testing not only for MDR1 and exercise induced collapse, but also a host of other genetic issues like glaucoma and coagulopathy.

Most Breed Markers, Ever

In creating Embark, the team hired some of the best dog DNA scientists in the world to create the largest database of genetic markers ever - over 200,000 (compared to Wisdom Panel's 2,000). This promises the highest level of accuracy, and having a database like this is, in and of itself, a remarkable feat!

Coyote, Wolf, and Village Dogs

In addition to testing for coyote and wolf ancestry, Embark also tests for village dogs, which are free-roaming dogs associated with certain geographical locations around the world. The Embark team were the first to research and categorize these often-ignored mutts. Understanding your pup's village dog ancestry can reveal the history of your canine ancestor's migration and origin story.

Free Updates For Life

Embark provides free updates for life, which means you'll always be seeing improvement and new information revealed in your report. Embark is committed to growing and furthering research into dog genetic testing, and you'll always have the top of the line info.

PROS: Embark boasts an astounding array of features that other dog DNA tests don't even come close to. For owners who adore their pup's and want to know everything about them, Embark is the best of the best.

CONS: Embark is a remarkable product, and the value is reflected in the price tag. At 2x more than even the most recent addition of Wisdom Panel, it isn't cheap. However, there's no denying that it's well worth the money.

Our Assessment: Embark offers a tremendous array of benefits, features, and deep data that competitors don't come close to. The only issue is that all this added value comes at a significantly higher price point. However, if your wallet can handle Embark, we recommend it with gold stars all around. 


WISDOM PANEL 4.0


About: Wisdom Panel 4.0 is the latest and greatest dog DNA testing kit from Mars Veterinary.

Despite being the most recent edition, it is more affordable than some of its predecessors, due to the discontinuation of past editions.

Unlike Wisdom Panel 2.5 and 3.0, the most recent edition is only available for order from the official Wisdom Panel website.

Our Rating:

wisdom panel 4.0

Highlights:

Trusted Brand & High Accuracy

The Mars Veterinary team (creators of Wisdom Panel) are well-recognized, highly-regarded vet science specialist. With a enormous dog species database and 2,000 genetic markers used to detect your dog's breeds.

Great Information & Insight

Wisdom Panel 4.0 provides everything you'd expect from a sophisticated dog DNA test - you'll get your canine's family tree back to your dog's great grandparents, info on health alerts and weight predictions, as well as behavior, and training insights.

Detects for coyote and wolf

Wisdom Panel 4.0, in addition to their 250 dog breed database, also detects for coyote or wolf ancestry.

Tests for genetic mutations

Tests for the MDR1 mutation, connected to drug sensitivity in dogs, as well as Exercise-induced collapse {EIC), a genetic disorder that affect's a dog's nerves and muscles.

Traits testing

Wisdom Panel 4.0 tests for specific genetic traits (such as ear cartilage shape, coat color, and tail structure) which can be detected in your canine.

Affordable

While Embark is miles ahead of the pack when it comes to sophistication, it also comes at a much steeper price tag. Wisdom Panel 4.0 provides plenty when it comes to understanding your dog's DNA.

PROS: The latest and greatest in the trusted line of Wisdom Panel dog DNA kits, now with coyote and wolf breed detection. The 4.0 also provides additional genetic testing with the EIC (the 3.0 only offers MDR1 testing). While Wisdom Panel 4.0 is slightly more expensive than its 3.0 predecessor, it's a small difference and likely isn't enough to deter you. 

CONS: Wisdom Panel 4.0 is only available for purchase through the official Wisdom Panel website, which may be a nuisance for some owners (whereas Wisdom Panel 3.0 and other DNA tests are available on Amazon). Since Wisdom Panel 4.0 is not available from 3rd parties, customer reviews are more difficult to come by, making it hard to properly assess this product's performance.

Our Assessment: Wisdom Panel 4.0 is the most recent, up-to-date offerings from Mars Veterinary, making it a fantastic choice for dog DNA testing. It'll be specially valuable if you are concerned about Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC), found most notable in labs, or if you suspect your dog has coyote or wolf ancestry.


WISDOM PANEL 3.0


About: Wisdom Panel 3.0 is the previous generation of dog DNA testing kits from Wisdom Panel 4.0. It builds upon the earlier 2.5 version, with virtually identical features. Available for purchase from Amazon.

Our Rating:

Features:

wisdom panel 4.0


  • Mixed Breed: Reveal an adopted or "mutt" dog's breed ancestry back to great-grandparents.
  • Purebred: Helps owners obtain breed certification and level of genetic diversity.
  • Designer Dog: Provides certification that a dog is an authentic 50/50 hybrid of two different purebred dogs.

PROS: Trusted veterinary lab experts, with tons of positive reviews. They also have a great track record with customer service. Wisdom Panel 3.0 is also a bit cheaper than the newer 4.0 version, with the only major difference being the wolf/coyote testing and EIC genetic mutation testing.

CONS: There aren't many problems with the 3.0 edition, except that lacks the EIC testing as well as the wolf and coyote detection that is only available in Wisdom Panel 4.0.

Our Assessment: Wisdom Panel 3.0 is a fine choice for a dog DNA test, with a stylish redesign and cheap price (it's the least expensive of all Wisdom Panel kits). However, it lacks the genetic mutation testing and wolf / coyote breed detection found in the newer 4.0. Considering that the 4.0 isn't a huge jump up in price from the 3.0, we'd suggest going with the latest and greatest from Wisdom Panel and sticking with Wisdom Panel 4.0.


DNA MY DOG


About: DNA My Dog provides mail-in DNA testing for canines with questionable breed histories.

Despite its lackluster track record, it may be suitable for owners who aren't too concerned about accuracy, but considering that is it priced very closely to Wisdom Panel, you might as well go with the more trusted brand.

canine dna breed identification test review

Our Rating:

Features:

  • Simple, at-home DNA cheek swab kit.
  • Provides report on all breeds found in your dog's DNA by percentages.
  • Results include custom certificate and report.
  • Expect results within 2 weeks (after receiving sample).
  • Shows health concerns and personality traits for each breed found in dog's DNA.
  • Perfect for determining background from adopted, mixed breed dogs.

PROS: DNA My Dog provides you with a custom certificate including a photo of your dog, with information stating their DNA composition.

CONS: DNA My Dog doesn't have a fantastic track record - customers have noticeably more issues with DNA My Dog than Wisdom Panel or Embark. Owners complain of the quality, lack of reliability, and general disappointment with the thoroughness of the results.

Our Assessment: DNA My Dog is a mediocre dog DNA test, providing barebones information regarding your dog's breed ancestry, but not much more. Considering they are at nearly identical price points, we'd recommend going with Wisdom Panel, which has received more favorable feedback, provides more info, and uses more genetic markers, leading to increased accuracy.

Dog DNA Test Kit Comparison: Which to Choose?

Ultimately, when deciding between dog DNA tests, you should really only consider choosing between Embark and Wisdom Panel 4.0. Both are modern tests with trusted lab testing from reputable brands. The major difference lies in the amount of data delivered and price point.

#1 Pick | Embark: The Full Featured Option With All The Extras

Embark is clearly top dog when it comes to quality and sophistication. Embark is an extremely impressive, high-quality dog DNA test, providing deep data on your dog you won't find anywhere else. Despite its price tag, between the hundreds of genetic tests, unique exploration of village dog ancestry, custom designed vet reports, and free lifetime updates, we firmly believe that Embark is worth every penny.

 If your wallet can stomach it, we definitely recommend purchasing Embark!

#2 Pick | Wisdom Panel 4.0: All the Essentials At An Affordable Price

While Embark takes our number one pick, Wisdom Panel definitely is a fine choice for those on a budget.

While Wisdom Panel lacks the awesome vet reports, the impressive village dog database, the hundreds of genetic tests, and other awesome extras, it still does test for wolf and coyote ancestry, and also tests for two of the most common genetic mutations - MDR1 and EIC. 

If you can't afford Embark, go ahead and grab Wisdom Panel 4.0!​

IN A NUTSHELL: So basically... go with Embark if you can afford it. If you can't go with Wisdom Panel 4.0!

Have you ever used a dog DNA test? What were your results? Is your favorite dog DNA test kit listed here? Share your story in the comments!