Oops!! I made a mistake and DNA proves it!

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, Oct. 20, 2023
Yeti 7.5 months facing forward.png

Whelp… time to get real for a sec.

Those cute dire wolf story emails are fun and all… and I love writing them… but sometimes we just need a little dose of reality.

So here goes!

Unless you’re new to the Dire Wolf Project’s Inner Circle, you may recall that cute, little, fluffy, white, 9-week-old puppy I have around the house right now named Yeti.

She is growing up so nicely.

Here ears are perfectly aligned to pop up any day now, too.

Yes, she is in full-on shark mode, but she’s always very expressive and sweet.

What a loving, gentle girl with a wicked quick wit and a sensitive, kind soul!

She does have her moments, like any puppy, where she gets in trouble and needs to be reminded of the rules, but she is fully potty trained, house trained, and crate trained already.

I truly couldn’t be MORE PLEASED with this sweet, little, white fluff ball with razors for teeth.

Yesterday, for example, I took her (and Vlad) to town on errands.

At the end of the trip, all three of us took some time to walk around the city park.

Vlad was the best giant silver gentleman, as always, and Yeti followed right along everywhere we went.

She loves the thick green grass and chases the fallen leaves in the cutest puppy way.

There is a small amphitheater at this city park with stairs on three sides… a perfect opportunity to practice going up and down stairs with Yeti.

Vlad showed her how to do it, like such a proud father…


Did I mention Vlad was Yeti’s dad?

I might have…


said something to that effect.


It turns out I was WRONG!


I recently received Yeti’s DNA test in the mail and…


Let’s just say some things didn’t add up.

I know!   I know!

I’m practically perfect in every way, so HOW can this BE!!!


Let me tell you a thing…

Just about 9 weeks and two months ago… hehe… Yeti’s mom Albreta was in the outside kennels with a silver male (NOT Vlad). He was young and totally immature.

This particular male didn’t seem the LEAST bit interested in the sweetest light silver girl in our kennels, but I saw she was in season.

NO biggie… females aren’t ready to breed when they first begin to show signs of being in heat.

So, at the first opportunity, I placed her in with Vlad and…

Bada bing, bada boom!

One thing led to another.

A lightening whirlwind romance.

The other immature male, left for another man, was none the wiser.

He looked completely oblivious, to be honest.

As someone very dear to be used to tell me, “You just go beboppin’ through life, don’t you?

Yeah… I tend to do that.   HAHA!

Anyway, as you may recall, two months later, after I thought Albreta had lost the entire litter, we had ONE baby white Yeti arrive in the world!

Of course, she’s the most adorable thing ever.

If you’ve seen any of her videos on our YouTube channel, you definitely know that.

As she grew, I scratched my head a few times at some of the things she would do.

For example, she talks.

I mean… she really talks.

She talks back, too, but that’s a different story. LOL

Albreta doesn’t do this, nor does Vlad. (He’s super quiet, in fact.)

SO… then why does Yeti talk to us?

It was a mystery.

Then, her tail was kinda long. Not sweeping, but longer than I had anticipated with a match between Vlad and Albreta.

I just figured genetics sometimes throws out what we least expect, so maybe its a throwback trait somewhere??? Vlad and Albreta both have sufficient short tails, so it was something unexpected.

I put it all in the back of my mind.

Then, I received a PING on my phone from Embark Veterinary.


I love those!

I opened my computer, rushed over to Embark’s website, and went immediately to the traits section to see what hidden recessives we were dealing with.

  1. Unable to show black in the coat. (CHECK) Knew that already, obviously, since she’s completely white. ha.
  2. DOMINANT BLACK! Cool! So Yeti is actually a black dog, just like EVERY Labrador Retriever, but she can’t so her blackness because she has, what I call, the “white switch”. (It’s the gene in #1 above that TURNS OFF the ability for the dog to produce black coloring in the fur. It doesn’t affect the skin.)
  3. NO dilute coloring hiding in the recessive.
  4. NO furnishings! (long hairs on the muzzle) Yahoo!
  5. WAIT! What’s this? I didn’t predict this! She carries a gene for feathering?? (long hairs in between the toes and behind the legs) THAT CAN’T BE! That shouldn’t be! As Prof. Dumbledore says… “Curious!”
  6. HUH? There’s something else hiding in the recessive… a gene for LOW SHEDDING!? Now my head is spinning. This just isn’t right. Something’s not adding up here.
  7. And lastly… a gene for HEAVY MUSCLING!!! Now I know something’s wrong, so I go back to my trait chart to see who carries these traits that might’ve contributed to this unexpected DNA result.



There it was.

As plain as day.

The culprit.

Yeti’s father IS…

  1. silver
  2. giant
  3. young
  4. immature
  5. long tail
  6. talks
  7. has feathering, low shedding, and heavy muscling in his DNA

Have you guessed who it is yet?

Here’s a link to Our Dogs page, if you want to make a guess before the big reveal:



Here’s Yeti’s UPDATED page to find out who her father really is proved by DNA:



He sure tricked me looking all innocent and shy.

And don’t forget to watch Yeti learn to master the stairs!

Her sweetness is infectious.

Here’s the link for you:


Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.