Please note: due to COVID-19, orders and sample kits processing are delayed


Welcome to Darwin’s Dogs!
Participating means answering survey questions about your pet, and, if you choose, receiving a DNA Kit. The information we’re collecting will be added to our growing data banks, to be shared freely throughout the scientific world. This information will make a huge difference to the health and lives of pets and their people.

Mutts and purebreds are welcome in the study, and you can enter as many dogs as you like.

We have three levels of DNA sequencing available: a free waitlist, and two levels of for-pay processing. The free waitlist requires filling out at least 10 surveys, and is dependent on grant funding. The wait could be years long.

The survey answers are incredibly important to our work. If you choose not to have your dog’s DNA sequenced, you’ll still be contributing immeasurably to our understanding of behavior and genetics.

To find out more or to enroll your dog:


Working Dogs

Working together to develop new genomic tools for working dog programs

Working dogs fill countless, critical roles, from ensuring our national security to helping people with disabilities live more independently. While demand for working dogs and service dogs is steadily increasing, the supply of these talented dogs hasn't kept pace, with 50-80% of dogs failing to complete training programs.

Our goal is to find genetic markers for the behavioral traits that make successful military and working dogs. By using new genetic technology, and working closely with dog breeders and trainers, we want to be able to select the right dog for the right job.


Cats: Coming Soon
Cats have been our companions for centuries, yet we’ve only just begun to unravel (like a ball of yarn!) the complex and diverse genetics that contribute to their health and behavior. We’re currently awaiting grant funding to begin studying this fascinating and under-explored species.

We’ll need cat owners’ expertise to launch this project soon!

Join the newsletter to keep up with us.


Project Acari is tracking tick disease.
Together with thousands of citizen scientists, we’re working to understand how dangerous tick diseases are affecting our communities.

Hundreds of thousands of people, dogs and cats are affected by tick diseases, like Lyme disease, every year. We’re going right to the heart of this epidemic. We are studying the ticks themselves to find out where the risk of contracting disease is highest, and how diseases spread from year to year. We are also studying how other factors, like climate change and the tick’s microbiome, may affect the risk of tick diseases.

We need you to send us the ticks you find in your neighborhood, whether you’re worried about tick diseases or not. By testing the DNA of ticks from across the United States, we can build the most complete map yet of how these diseases are affecting ourselves and our pets.


By studying cancer in dogs, we’re working to help both people and dogs survive cancer.
Dogs get many different types of cancer, and many of these cancers look and behave like human cancers. Canine cancers are also treated with many of the same drugs and other treatments that humans receive. Additionally, some cancers that are very rare in people are more common and easier to study in dogs.