Breeding ethics. Health testing.

Discussion in 'The Breeding Ground' started by BullyVixen, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. BullyVixen

    BullyVixen New Member

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    So what do you all think about breeders who breed stunning examples of their breed, show their dogs, and complete AKC championships, BUT they do not health test.

    I've seen MANY breeders who own, produce, and raise champions but they dont do any health testing.

    I've seen this in chihuahuas. Not a big deal or bad??
     
  2. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Bad. I don't want a beautiful example of a breed if he's going be barely able to move in 5 years or need an expensive surgery. There are plenty of show breeders that are still BYBs because they are not improving the breed as a whole. For me, temperament and health should come before conformation. Yes the dog must look right, of course looks play a part in why someone loves a breed, but it should not be the only thing that matters.

    I'm even the type who thinks dogs who do hard work still need to be health tested, I like physical, documented proof that the dog is currently healthy.
     
  3. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Its bad, particularly with dogs who don't do anything.
     
  4. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    I don't know what really affects Chihuahuas and whether you can test for it. I mean health testing is ALWAYS preferable but if they have an incidence of HD like Italian Greyhounds do then I'm not going to hold it against breeders for not doing OFA/Pennhip lol. But if there's anything that is prevalent in the breed then yes it is a big deal, it would be the difference between me buying a pup from them or not, and (especially if that breeder is selling their pups for a good price) I certainly think it is unethical to not doing the appropriate testing.

    If someone in GSD's isn't testing their hips, unless they worked those dogs into the ground every day and had had the line generations back and all the dogs were healthy (and I trusted them)... I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole. And even then it would be iffy.

    If we were talking (hard working, old lines with very very low/no HD) border collies I'd be less concerned.

    I don't know if I'm just biased or if there's actually something to it, but for some reason a show/sport breeder who doesn't health test rubs me the wrong way whereas someone who has dogs for a real job (LGDs, herders, hunting) doesn't really.
     
  5. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I think it all goes down to WHY you are a breeder.

    I don't care how many champions you have, if you love the breed... you will do ANYTHING possible to make sure you are breeding the best examples of the breed and IMPROVING the breed you love

    and that includes health testing. Just my 2 cents.

    I think the excludes really older working breeders who don't really know much about health testing and things like that.. whatevever. THey work their dogs everyday all day, I'm sure they know if these dogs healthy and they kind of get a free pass because they are kind of set in their ways in many cases

    but somebody showing their dogs is obviously pretty "current" in what is out there. ESPECIALLY somebody breeding dogs as common and as ridden with health issues as the chihuahua
     
  6. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    It's pretty darn common in papillons too. The most common excuse I hear is I have the paperwork I just didn't send it in, it's such a pain to get to the cerf clinic, or I can just see the dog has perfectly normal patellas. It's really frustrating because it's so SO cheap in many small breeds compared to a larger breed dog. In most cases cheaper than a single dog show entry.

    Honestly you have to be willing to deal with it to a point because so few people people in some breeds have 3rd party confirmed health testing.
     
  7. DobeLove

    DobeLove New Member

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    I wouldn't ever go to a breeder if they did zero health testing. I think the least (for dobes) would be vWD, Heart, and hips. But the more the better of course.

    I really hate excuses. And I hate it when you ask for health tests they say "They went to the vet last week and the vet said they were healthy!"
     
  8. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I'm ok with dogs not being health tested in certain circumstances but being shown in Conformation is not one of them by a long shot. If you're breeding for show I want those dogs tested in everything that's typical in that breed; doubly so in breeds with major health concerns. I don't care how many CH's a dog has on them, that's irrelevent to me.

    Sport bred dogs? Well, that would depend I guess on the sport, the breed, the intensity and other factors but for the most part I want to see health testing.

    Now, an overall healthy breed being worked into the ground? I can certainly deal with no health testing from the right breeder if I trust them implicitly.
     
  9. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Overall I am not ok with working bred dogs either. That thinking has kept eye issues in JRTs.
     
  10. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Yeah this.

    Some breeds are very behind on health testing (most often toy breeds). There are some breeders who health test but all in all not many and you certainly won't find pedigrees of generation after generation of health tested dogs like in other breeds.

    There have been many articles and pushes I've seen to get more decent breeders health testing. So right now I am hopeful the breed will catch up with the others. All the more temptation for me to want to breed and do things the way I'd like to see it.

    Luckily they're a healthier breed especially compared to their close relatives and to be honest the things that concern me the most aren't things you can test for either (epilepsy and NAD). But they won't continue to be healthy if we don't start utilizing health testing.
     
  11. BullyVixen

    BullyVixen New Member

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    There is one breeder in particular who breeds and shows chihuahuas who does not health test, and her dogs are pretty darn healthy. They live long happy lives. Chihuhuas have knee problems and she hasnt had any dogs who have had bad knee problems. She has some gorgeous dogs. Many of the dogs shes produced are now champions, and healthy ones at that. Maybe it could be the stock shes using?? She only buys foundation stock from two other breeders, that I know of. Her mentor has been in the breed for many years.
     
  12. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    Define healthy. A lot of pet people wouldn't have a clue their pet was unhealthy unless they were in serious distress. Small dogs may have minorly noticable patella issues. Doesn't mean they aren't there. It means they aren't being noticed. Doesn't make it better or right.

    Gorgeous or not, I wouldn't pay out for a dog with a poorer chance of good health because the breeder can't be bothered to health test or does not care. That makes their ethics and morals suspect. A good breeder breeds to improve their breed. Make pretty dogs that have unknown health is not an improvement.

    Chi club of america suggests cardiac, patella and eye testing. There are a lot of nasty eye issues rampant out there. Not testing.. All of those issues can hide. Irresponsible breeding.
     
  13. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Bad bad bad bad bad.

    Health testing is crucially important, especially in pet dogs who aren't bred for any purpose besides being lifelong companions to humans.
     
  14. Tailcreek

    Tailcreek New Member

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    I personally am a beleiver in health testing. I think it is a tool that should be utilized.

    However, do be aware that most of the screening tests are not 100% black and white. The skill of the veterinarian comes into play, whether a general vet, opthomologist, cardiologist etc. Also, some heritable diseases can develop with age. Unless the test is DNA based there is always a margin of error.

    Jennifer Lee
    Tailcreek Mastiffs - English Mastiff breeders in Alberta Canada - Home
     
  15. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    The thing I often wonder about a lot of these toy breeders is why not do the health testing? It's crazy cheap compared to running Xrays on a lab's hips and elbows. It's a general exam with your normal vet on the minimum and $30 to submit cardiac and patellas to offa or 15.00 each if you submit 5 at a time. In some places a single dog show entry costs more, and it's not like they expire.

    Cerf exams are a more legit pita. They're annual, you have to find a clinic, and then hope it doesn't fill. Even with that though it's not that hard to find one. At least here we have a clinic twice a year that you can plan on, and you'll get an appointment time.
     
  16. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    depends on the testing, x-rays for hd is a waste of money in sighthounds & scenthounds from working stock as it weeds itself out. but the eye issue is a different matter for dogs that aren't expected to use them beyond the length of a den tunnel, it obviously needs to be tested for because injury could cover up what is genetic. really it depends on the health issue & how it affects the job.
     
  17. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I agree with this. I do think non-breeders (and even some breeders) have a bit of a misconception about health tests. It seems like people believe that there are dogs who are genetically normal and dogs who are "flawed" when the truth is, all dogs carry the potential to produce some less than desirable traits both physically and mentally. Most tests currently available only tell you what the dog is (some even what the dog is at this moment), not what the dog will produce.

    I still health test breeding dogs, still encourage newbies to health test because IMO the more knowledge you have the better. But health testing doesn't guarantee dogs will produce healthy dogs and not health testing doesn't guarantee they won't. Dog breeding is always a gamble. Plenty of dogs pass OFA and still produce HD or ED. And sometimes the more concerning issues in a breed don't have any health tests such as epilepsy, early cancer and bloat. To really progress further than we already have with improving the health of our breeds, DNA testing is needed. But there is a danger in that as well, as you can't just toss out every affected and carrier of any problem. That has happened with DNA testing in several breeds and in those breeds that results have been pretty devastating.

    Nothing is ever black and white. In some breeds, working breeders rarely health test (and as was mentioned in another thread, their puppies are usually less expensive than show bred puppies) but I wouldn't consider them "bad breeders" or that they are breeding bad dogs. And there are breeds were certain health issues are so widespread that health testing for those issues seems to be pointless. For example, according to OFA 72% of Bulldogs and 64% of Pugs are dysplastic and 0% are Excellent. As such it is safe to assume that most dogs of these breeds have less than ideal hips. About the only solution for that would be to outcross to another breed and likely, to then select for different structure. Some corgi breeders who are well respected will breed dogs who don't pass OFA because in their opinion, the dwarf characteristics can cause hips to look abnormal. On the flip side, IGs have 60% of dogs submitted receiving an excellent rating and 0% being dysplastic (Whippets and German Pinchers are close to that as well). If I was looking for a puppy of those breeds, not OFAing wouldn't concern me much.
     
  18. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    I feel strongly enough about health tests to test my pet dogs who were never bred. I don't think there's any reasonable excuse not to health test.

    Buzz's OFA page

    Bailey's OFA page
     
  19. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Do things weed themselves out?

    I know of one working dog who could catch kibble out of the air, but had cataracts. (he was fixed). It didn't affect him.

    Sighthounds maybe not, they tend to be a bit 'weenie' and let you know when things hurt. But many working dogs will continue to work even with a fair amount of pain. Not saying those dogs shouldn't work, but should they be bred?

    I agree with Aleron. Tests are not black and white. And even if a test comes back questionable. Ie fair hips. I there might be decent reasons to do a test breeding.
     
  20. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

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    I think it is crucial…. Esp. for specific things like eyes… Di went blind fast and hard at age 6, although she and her parents were both CERF clear… However I know the terrier Dekka is talking about and he also had cataracts but you would NEVER know it… He worked fine and as Dekka said caught treats just fine, without testing you would have never known he had cataracts…

    On the same note though, in my hometown for years and years hunters have bred assorted hounds for working ability, and I pretty well guarantee they were never tested.. They lived happy long lives working for years and retiring by their masters feet…

    I can't hold it against them, they would laugh if I told them to test, but how do you explain to them, that their often 18 year old hounds may be in danger without it?
     

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