Is it enough to Health Test your breeding dogs?
Everyone will tell you how important it is to ensure that the Breeder you choose health tests their dogs, but is this enough? Hopefully we all know to ask that question, but we also need to dig deeper and open up that question to encompass all of the family members.
If the sire/dam of the puppies has been tested and found clear of a genetic/hereditary disorder, but his sibling has expressed the disorder, is it okay to breed the sibling who is clear? Is it okay to breed the clear sire/dam if he/she has puppies from previous litters, who have expressed disorders? Is the paperwork showing that the dogs are clear enough?
In my opinion more research needs to be done.
If Breeder A says my dogs are certified clear of all the recommended tests, but fails to inform the prospective buyer that a close relative has expressed one or more disorders, that Breeder is dishonest. By failing to disclose important information about dogs in their pedigrees, they are proving that money is more important than the health and well being of future generations.
If Breeder B says my dogs are certified clear, but there has been an incidence of X showing up in a family member, this Breeder is being honest. If they continue by saying that it is not currently clear how X is passed from one generation to another, but it is believed that it is a recessive gene and my dog may be a carrier, they are giving you information that you can take and further investigate. If they further say, after a great deal of thought and consideration, we have decided to do a test breeding. We have done a lot of studying of pedigrees and believe that the dog we have chosen to breed to is clear of this disorder and there is a very small possibility that this disorder will be expressed in the upcoming litter and as a further guarantee for the buyer we are prepared to stand behind all of the puppies and support them for life. If any do express the disorder, we will spay and neuter all of the dogs associated with the breeding. That Breeder is more concerned about the future health of the breed than the impact it will have on her bank account.
So who would you choose? I know who I would pick.
In closing I have this question to ask of all Breeders: If you are truly breeding for the betterment of the breed, why are so many of you opting out of guaranteeing that your puppies are free of genetic/ hereditary disorders for life?