German Shepherd Dog > Are health clearances necessary before breeding? (79 replies)
by Felloffher on 03 February 2012 - 19:45
|Yes, health checks are important. However, just like everything else people are using them as marketing tools. How many adds are popping up were it seems the only thing the dogs got going for it, is that it's passed 12 health checks? People are also adding DM clear to the pedigree were titles are listed, this isn't a title folks. A sound, healthy dog is a good start, but it doesn't make a dog suitable for breeding based on these merits alone. If you lose sight on everything else all you will be breeding is healthy crap.|
by shepherdhope on 03 February 2012 - 20:38
IMO I would defiantly go for the more health test the better as having a dog with nearly all the conditions mentioned was heart breaking. Temperament and character are also so important. If I was going to breed a litter and all these health tests had to be done I wouldn't waste money on breeding a dog with a poor temperament or character.
by mirasmom on 03 February 2012 - 22:49
|Health testing should be used in a Breeder's "toolbox"|
Sure maybe you just need a hammer and a couple nails or a drill and
a couple of screws.....
Maybe though, you want the sawzall for the best power to weight ratio in it's class!
Just a meer metaphor.....
The thing about temperament is that sometimes you need to do certain tests in front of total
strangers that are observing you closely, hovering around close by to see if your dog is going to break, cause I know myself I sure as heck get nervous when everyone is staring at me!
The bottom line being, "Can I pet/approach your dog?"
by Jenni78 on 03 February 2012 - 23:07
by GSDPACK on 03 February 2012 - 23:56
you post made me smile!
Have a nice day!
by beetree on 04 February 2012 - 00:18
|Well, forgive me, but if there is nothing else left, wouldn't "healthy crap" be a good start?|
by Blitzen on 04 February 2012 - 00:20
If a GSD isn't healthy, does it really matter that it has a Sch 3, an IPO3, etc? DM is not a title, who said it was? Testing for DM, etc sends the message to me that the breeder is trying to do all he or she can do to produce healthy dogs.
by Blitzen on 04 February 2012 - 00:36
|Beetree, I agree.|
by GSDPACK on 04 February 2012 - 00:38
|Guys I dont think the post was meant that way at all.|
It only points out another extreme in selection. Everything should be in balance...
Then what it is if you have healthy dog that will piss at a sigh of a fly?
Extreme goes both ways.
by Ace952 on 04 February 2012 - 00:56
|good point Felloffher|
by beetree on 04 February 2012 - 01:04
|True, but it just seems, the rule of "extremes" gives a ready made out for not testing. It is so simple, and not forever, if people just do it, NOW.|
by Felloffher on 04 February 2012 - 01:46
You missed the point.
I've noticed that those who belittle their peers for testing too much are those who don't test for much or who use dogs for breeding that either failed the tests or weren't tested at all.
. It has nothing to do with belittling anyone, it's just a commentary on how some (not all) people hop on the bandwagon to make a buck. Agreed, the Sch. 3 dog with poor health isn't improving the breed. The healthy dog that isn't capable of obtaining a Sch. title would be just as harmfull to the breed would it not? Both health and character can not be fixed easly in a few generations.
by Blitzen on 04 February 2012 - 04:44
This thread is about health clearances. Discussions on character deserve their own threads.
Personally, I think that there are more ways than Sch titles to prove that dog is worthy of being bred. Making sure that the dog is healthy is step #1.
by BlackthornGSD on 04 February 2012 - 06:37
|I am all for health testing. But I think that the person doing the testing should know what they're testing for and preventing and why they're testing and if there is a real chance of the problem showing up in the breed.|
And once you do the testing, you should know how to apply that information, too--such as what does a DNA clear/clear or a clear/carrier result mean for a dog--what is "safe" breeding to produce dogs who will (should) never be affected without throwing away other valuable genetic resources.
Be informed, know what you're testing for, and what those test results mean. A CERF test on a 2 year old GSD really means nothing as far as what that dog will pass on for eye health. What's more, a CERF test is not necessary for a person to gain the info that the CERF test gives you. So far no one has been able to point me to a common genetic eye problem in the breed that isn't easily apparent on examination.
An OFA rating (or a stamp or other impartial evaluation) is important because so many local vets don't seem to be able to read hip x-rays. I know of more than one case where a vet told a puppy owner that their dog needed hip surgery--but the OFA evaluation was "Good"--so, yeah, for hips, I want to know that the rating came from some vet who knows how to diagnose hip problems. But the eye and heart problems in the breed are not hard to diagnose.
A DM DNA test is important because it is the only way to know whether the dog will be affected or carries the problem--and if the test is functioning correctly, we can *eliminate* the chance that our puppies will end up with a heartbreaking and debilitating disease.
The PF test is full of vagueness and uncertainty--it's usefulness is limited unless you are dealing with a population known to be affected by the problem. It can't eliminate the chance that a puppy will get PF.
And if you don't trust a breeder to be honest about their dogs' basic overall health, then you shouldn't deal with that breeder--because they could just as easily be lying about any number of things from the dog's temperament to the dog's diet to who the sire of the litter is.
If I am talking to a puppy buyer who is genuinely concerned, personally, I would give them my vet's phone number and invite them to call and "trust but verify."
by Felloffher on 04 February 2012 - 12:17
I was using your example to illustrate my point, fill in the blank with what type of work a dog does.
by Rik on 04 February 2012 - 14:36
|I have dealt first hand with some of the health issues that have been mentioned, hips, elbows, thyroid and a few I have not seen mentioned like mega-e and bloat. The last litter I bred in 1998 had spine issues and convinced me of the saying that it is insane to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.|
I am a believer in health checks, particularly h/e and now DM, though I never saw it. I do applaud breeders for doing what ever screenings are available. But in the real world, GSD are pretty much bred for a specific purpose. A dog can have all the health checks known and if it does not excel at the purpose bred for, whether show, sport, LE, etc, then what has anyone done other than produce healthy puppies for the pet market and the bank account.
Personally, I think one of the better ways to breed is to chose older studs whose reputations are known or can be researched through what they have produced.
by shepherdhope on 04 February 2012 - 15:05
|IMO the AF/PF is a very important test. GSD are more prone to it than any other breed. I think Corgi's have a high rate of this condition too. It is know to be hereditary. I am a pet owner and don't find it at all vague. You test CLEAR,CARRIER or AFFECTED. CLEAR is obvious the best result with the dog being at NO more risk than any other breed of contracting this horrific condition. My GSD had this condition and I know one of her half sister also had the condition. One dog with this condition is to much testing would hopefully eliminate it from being an hereditary condition.|
by Blitzen on 04 February 2012 - 15:41
Recent studies have revealed that susceptibility to anal furunculosis is associated with DRB*00101 allele. This form of immunegene was found mainly in dogs that suffer from anal furunculosis. The risk of getting anal furunculosis is 5 times higher if the dog carries DRB*00101 allele. DRB*00101 homozygote catch the disease at younger age than heterozygote. Anal furunculosis is not monogenic recessive disease and it is likely that other unknown genes are involved. This means that even if a dog carries the risk allele it will not necessarily get the disease because there might be some other genetic or environmental factors that prevent the dog from having the disease. In addition some dogs that do not carry the risk allele have anal furunculosis so this also proves that there are several genetic factors behind the disease.
However the DRB*00101 allele increases the risk of getting anal furunculosis and its frequency in the population should be lowered. Dogs that carry the risk allele need careful consideration before using them for breeding purposes
by Jenni78 on 04 February 2012 - 16:07
|Well said, Rik.|
by K-9mom on 04 February 2012 - 17:16
|Still wonder what it hurts anyone to do whatever testing is possible. I still think that those who don't, simply don't care or are afraid it would eliminate to many of their "top dogs". Being in rescue for so many years and seeing GSDs from ALL breeding variences and from many "well known" breeders, it always pissed me off to see some of these dogs surrendered with EPI, PF, DM, HD/ED, etc and when I tell the people to contact the breeder, they tell me the breeder told them to put the dog to sleep. I find out the pedigree of the dogs when I can and all I can do is shake my head. I don't care if the breeeder top Am Sho, top WG Show, or from Work line, I have seen this crap from all of them and watch the breeders continue to breed the parents, siblings, etc and YES, I do contact these breeders and rarely get a response.|
Obviously everything is only useful in balance so yes, don't simply test and not title/work. But I would still rather have a dog from tested parents than one from none tested parents if temperament was comperable. And with the eyes, since the testing is yearly, at least I know that it was recently before breeding the parents had been checked. With the heart, I know that parent had nothing that was oversighted by a common Vet. With as many people (especially people who have many dogs) who take their dogs to Petco/Petsmart clinics for shots & physicals, where it is loud and there are 40 or more dogs waiting in line, or for those breeders who administer their own shots & dewormings and their dogs only go to the Vet for sickness, it is just a security of certification that I prefer.
To each their own. If you don't want to test your dogs, don't, I won't ask you to spend any $ when I test mine. But i'll still see ya at the trial while I am competeing with my tested dogs and my work dogs from their tested parents will stall track ya down if you are involved in a crime near a PD where they work.
And just so you know, I do agree that a breeder shouldn't simply use testing to sell pups just as titles alone shouldn't be used to sell pups. It's always a common balance.