Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test Review & Yuna’s Breed Reveal!

July 23rd, 2020

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An adorable dog posing in front of a Wisdom Panel dog DNA test.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for various pet products. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Considering giving your dog a DNA test?

One major player in this space is Wisdom Health. Their Wisdom Panel dog DNA tests have revealed insights into breed and health risks for more than 1.7 million dogs to date and counting!

But while Wisdom Health has been developing canine DNA tests for over 15 years, they’re still considered a relatively new technology, particularly for average dog owner consumers like you and me.

So it makes sense for us to wonder whether these tests are accurate, and whether they’re worth the investment.

Today, we’ll offer a complete look into the Wisdom Panel Essential Kit. We found that given its longer history and more comprehensive breed database compared to similar products like Embark, the Wisdom Panel is the perfect test for pinpointing your dog’s breed and family history.

In this review, we’ll cover the entire user experience, from collecting your dog’s DNA to finally receiving the long-awaited test report. At the end, we’ll show you Yuna’s results!

An adorable dog posing in front of a Wisdom Panel dog DNA test.
A beautiful snoot if I've ever seen one!

Wisdom Panel - Features

First, a look at what you’ll get out of a Wisdom Panel testing kit. The following features are listed on their products page:

  • Ancestry Results
  • Traits Results
  • Health Results

Ancestry Results

This is, perhaps by far, what most dog owners are most interested in! After carefully extracting your dog DNA sample, genotyping it, and analyzing it, the Wisdom Panel identifies your dog’s mixed breeds and produces a family tree up to your dog’s great-grandparents.

Wisdom Panel asserts that each dog’s DNA sample is compared against 17 million different family trees in their extensive database in order to find the best match.

This guarantees accuracy. Wisdom Panel tests have been used by vets since 2007 (Wisdom Panel MX), and today, many dog owners report that Wisdom Panel tests closely match results they’ve received from their vets.

In addition, Wisdom Panel tracks over 350 breeds, which is by far the most comprehensive on the market (Embark DNA Test: about 250 breeds). It is also extremely precise, pinpointing breed mix down to 1% granularity in the latest version.

This makes Wisdom Panel the absolute best test out there for mixed breed dogs.

A dog in mid-jump, ears flying in the air and looking super happy.

Traits Results

This portion contains multiple tests on traits that impact physical characteristics like coat color, body shape, and appearance. It also covers possible related conditions like hairlessness and shedding.

An ideal weight range is also estimated for your dog, although we will admit this isn’t that useful because the range provided is quite large.

Health Results

A few medical complications are tested for in the Essential Kit. These include Multidrug Resistance 1 (MDR1) and Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC).

You likely won’t get much insight into various genetic health risks or diseases with the Wisdom Panel Essential Kit.

If you’re curious about possible lurking health issues in your dog, we recommend the Wisdom Panel Premium Kit. Compared to the basic health tests in the Essential Kit, the Premium will test your dog for over 180 common health risks.

Also, Embark’s current version of their kit screens for over 175 health conditions.

Essential vs. Premium Kit - Which One To Get? Price & Other Considerations

The main difference between the two kits is the health results report, which we mentioned in the previous section. All ancestry and traits results are the same across the two Wisdom Panel kits.

For price, the Wisdom Panel Essential Kit is $99.99, whereas the Premium Kit is $159.99, so essentially you’re paying $60 for the extra tests on health conditions.

Depending on your dog, this may or may not be worth it. If you’ve just adopted a dog and are unsure about their breed and health risks, it makes sense to go for the Premium Kit.

For example, It can be extremely useful to know if your dog is predisposed to vision or mobility problems.

However, if you know your dog’s breed composition, there are a plethora of resources out there (including your vet) that can tell you what conditions are more likely to affect those breeds. In many cases, this is enough information for you to make educated health decisions for your dog’s well-being.

Personally, we went for the Essential Kit. At $99.99, it delivers the best bang for your buck while not compromising on great user experience.

User Experience - How The Wisdom Panel Works

We love just how easy it is to use the Wisdom Panel kit. Upon opening it up, you’ll find that the inner part of the opening lid contains crystal clear, step-by-step instructions.

Your only main task involves the two provided swabs (which Yuna was extremely skeptical of at first).

A dog looking apprehensive at the Wisdom Panel DNA test swab.
Starting with the swabs... Yuna looks skeptical at first.

Collecting your dog’s DNA is simple! Slide the swabs in your dog’s mouth and roll the bristles between their cheek and gums. Wisdom Panel recommends doing this for about 15 seconds–we did 20 just in case 🙂

Testing Yuna's DNA by taking saliva samples from her cheek.
Collecting Yuna's DNA!

(By the way, if you think you messed up with the DNA collection phase, don’t worry about it and just continue with the steps. If results couldn’t be obtained from your sample, Wisdom Health may send you a free replacement kit to try again.)

Once you let the swabs dry out (the kit is designed so that there are spots in the kit to place them safely), the rest of the instructions will walk you through activating your kit, re-packaging it all up, and mailing it back to Wisdom Health. Postage all covered!

Once you mail it back, all that’s left to do is wait about 3 weeks. Wisdom Panel has a pretty quick turnaround. Ours took less than 3 weeks–we mailed it out December 29th 2019 and got our results January 13th, 2020.

In the meantime, while you’re bored, try out Wisdom Panel’s fun little mixed breed recognition test online. It’s insanely difficult.

A dog examining the packaged up Wisdom Panel, ready to be sent for testing!
Just pack it all back up according to the given instructions, and send it back!

Getting The Results

Before long, your results will come online in a digital report. A detailed breakdown of breed percentage, along with all the other ancestry, traits, and health data we mentioned earlier.

Surprised? Shocked? Regardless, now you know with complete certainty how to answer what type of breed your dog is to anyone!

You even get a cute little certificate of authenticity to print and hang up in your house!

The Wisdom Panel certificate of authenticity, showing Yuna's breed breakdown.
Just pack it all back up according to the given instructions, and send it back!

Yuna's Breed Reveal...

And with that, let’s look at Yuna’s results!

(Note: these results are from the legacy Wisdom Panel 3.0 (8); the newest 4.0 series, which is the Essential and Premium kits mentioned in this article, will contain even more detailed results)

Initial Guesses

When I received the notification that Yuna’s results were ready, like anyone else, I was very excited and anxious.

Everybody has their own theories as to what their mixed dog’s breeds are, and I was no exception.

The most likely breed candidates to me were Labrador, Golden Retriever, and possibly Corgi.

I was certain that she was mostly Lab–she looked like one, and fit the typical happy-go-lucky Disney-like Lab personality.

But her coat was different from other Labs. Hers was slightly longer, softer, and more Golden in color than your typical Yellow Lab.

She was also considerably smaller than other Labs. We’ve met Labs as large as 100 pounds on walks, and Yuna weighs in at just shy of 60 pounds.

Because of that size discrepancy, I thought she might have a little Corgi in her. Her legs are shorter, and… have you seen her butt?

The back side of a yellow Lab running at the beach, showing a funny angle of her butt.

Yuna's Wisdom Panel Results

All this to say, we were in for a surprise when we saw the results…

A closer reveal of Yuna's breed breakdown by percentage, as reported by Wisdom Panel.
She's 7/8 Lab and 1/8 Golden!!

87.5% Lab, 12.5% Golden. I had always said I wanted a Golden–looks like Yuna has fulfilled that promise!

These results were both expected and surprising–I knew she was mostly Lab, probably part Golden… but then how do you explain her size? Or her butt?

This result also meant that one of Yuna’s great grandparents was a Golden Retriever.

A look at Yuna's family tree, three generations up. She is mostly Labrador, with a touch of Golden Retriever.
Yuna's estimated family tree. One great-grandparent is a Golden Retriever.

Conclusion

Was I satisfied with the results? Well, every person I initially shared the results with knows I was flabbergasted that Yuna was not part Corgi… but I love that there’s some Golden girl in her.

Was I satisfied with the product? Definitely. The Wisdom Panel solved this mystery once and for all, and now we can tell the whole world Yuna is truly a Golden Lab.

Armed with this new knowledge, you can now make educated health decisions to reduce your dog’s risks of suffering common conditions related to breed. Because of this, we highly encourage everybody to get a DNA test for their dog. Besides, it’s also super fun.

Get the Wisdom Panel Kits here!

We hope you have a great time discovering your dog’s ancestry with the Wisdom Panel!

And we hope you liked this post as well. We post daily on Instagram and Pinterest and offer free dog tips, so be sure to follow along on our adventures!

An infographic showing Yuna's breeds!
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