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Blog /Relatives
Breed and Genetics March 01, 2023

New Relatives 'Messaging' Feature: discover your dog’s family tree.

Use this Wisdom Panel™ feature to message your pup’s birth parents, littermates, distant cousins, and other family members.

To date, Wisdom Panel™ has DNA-tested over three million pets. And there’s a good chance some of your dog’s genetic family members are among them.

With the new feature on Relatives, you can message, see photos, compare DNA results, and learn more from your pups’ family (and maybe even arrange a playdate).

If you’re open to connecting with your pup’s family, enable relative messaging in your Wisdom Panel user settings.

Two sibling dogs beside their Wisdom Panel™ Relatives results.
Click or tap on a relative’s card, and you’ll be able to view their breed breakdown, approximate location, and more. Enable messaging to receive messages from other pet parents!

The experience: Discovering your dog’s relatives.

When you visit the Relatives tab of your dog’s Wisdom Panel™ results, you’ll notice three types of relationships: close, extended, and distant.

Here’s a brief definition of each:

  • Close relatives share 20% or more DNA. This group includes parents, offspring, and siblings. It may also include grandparents, grandpups, half-siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
  • Extended relatives share 5–19% of the same DNA. Examples of these family members include first cousins and the “greats” (great-grandparents, great-nephews, great-aunts, etc.), as well as half-uncles, half-aunts, half-nieces, and half-nephews.
  • Distant relatives have 1–4% DNA in common with your pup. So, this is a rather large family group that includes relationships beyond (and occasionally well beyond) first cousins.

Note: These categories refer to the percentage of DNA that is identical by descent (i.e., comes from shared ancestors). For instance, a parent and their pup would show 50% because the offspring inherited half of their DNA from each parent.

Wisdom Panel™ Relatives results beside two mixed-breed dogs that look like they could be related
To ensure reliable results, Wisdom Panel™ uses stricter standards than similar services when determining genetic relatives.

The science: Making accurate matches.

If you trace virtually any breed back to its origin, you’re likely to find a population bottleneck. Establishing a distinct breed often requires some degree of inbreeding to refine and reinforce particular features or traits. As a result, dogs within a breed ultimately come from the same ancestors.

And if you’re trying to identify a dog’s more recent relatives, this early genetic link can be misleading. So, when scanning our database for your pup’s family, we filter out the shorter DNA segments often shared among dogs of the same breed.

That means you get more accurate estimates of true family relationships.

And because we’ve DNA-tested more than 2x as many dogs as leading competitors, you’re more likely to find those true family relationships with Wisdom Panel™.

Relatives is available on Wisdom Panel™ Premium, Wisdom Panel™ Essential, and Wisdom Panel™ Breed Discovery. (If you don’t want to participate, you can opt out via the sharing settings in your dog’s profile). Please not, relatives is not currently available for Wisdom Panel™ Complete for Cats.

Ready to explore your pup’s extended pack?

Find Their Family