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Health Testing and Breeding

Discussion in 'Dog Debates' started by odnarb, Jul 8, 2011.

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  1. FransterDoo

    FransterDoo Big Dog

    What if you tested that dog and turns out they have crappy hips?

    I guess I'm a little confused. These dogs were bred to keep going no matter what. Yet breeders and owners who are anti-health test use the dog's working ability as the primary reason they choose not to health test. So couldn't one hypothesize that these dogs could simply be working through the pain?

    My lurcher will complete a racing heat even if he's burned all of his pads and starts bleeding on the mats. He's a tough guy when it comes to being in drive - pain or discomfort is not there when he's racing.

    I just wonder what everyone's afraid of. Health testing doesn't have to be a yes/no answer with regards to breeding a dog. Working ability, titling, temperment, structure and health testing should be used to make an educated, balanced assessment of a dog's breed worthiness.

    But why keep turning the screwdriver when you cold grab your drill? Use the tools that you have available. Whether it's some fancy machine or a hand plane. (sorry but we've been remodeling a lot lately).
  2. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    without reading everyone else's posts...I health test Peanut so that i can feel comfortable with letting him do sports and so that i know he is good to co with future sports.
  3. cliffdog

    cliffdog Good Dog

    Like I said, if the dog can work that's all that matters, even if it has crappy hips. If it gives out, pat it on the head and cull it, then move on to another dog. Now my dogs are pets also so I would health test them. But not necessarily buy from only health-tested stock. (Within the APBT breed I mean. I will get Dobes from health-tested parents.)
  4. retro

    retro Little Dog

    the ataxia test has only been around for a few years, so that's not really the right question to ask. of all the things that will be the downfall of this breed, ataxia, while on the list, is certainly not at the top. i am curious though, how many breedings of confirmed affected dogs do you know of personally? i can't imagine it's happening all that often. and trust me, i am one of the least forgiving critics of staf breeding programs in general.
    aren't dobermans working dogs??
  5. cliffdog

    cliffdog Good Dog

    Dobes are much less healthy genetically than APBTs... prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, a multitude of congenital heart defects, vWD, Wobblers... I would hazard to say that they are one of the least healthy working breeds alive today.
  6. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    just curious..has anyone read the statistics put out by ofa and the likes on breeds? they only post the negatives for breed if owner gives permissions. (OFA i know does this for sure)
    when i had Peanut tested his hips are good his elbows and patellas are both normal. that is as far as i got so far with his testing
  7. odnarb

    odnarb Little Dog

    Actually, their hip dysplasia rate is lower than that of the APBT.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  8. cliffdog

    cliffdog Good Dog

    They probably don't have as much bloat as other breeds either, but they are affected so I listed it... their worst problems are DCM, vWD and Wobblers...
  9. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    that is actually true odnarb
  10. kady05

    kady05 Krypto Super Dog

    I like this post.

    I get the mentality of "well, if they break down, get another dog", but, why would you keep breeding THAT dog if it had crappy hips and continue passing that on, for example?
  11. Cynthia

    Cynthia Good Dog

    Kady that is exactly my point as well for the carrier argument.

    The only reason I can get is the gene pool is limited.

    So we will be "responsible" Not everyone is. So you still are putting it out there.

    And to specify. The APBT in OFA are majority UKC dog's. Which are heavily Am Staff influenced.
  12. Sagebrush

    Sagebrush Good Dog

    • Jerold S Bell, DVM
      Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine

      This article originally appeared in the “HealthyDog” section of the June, 2001 AKC Gazette.

    • Every breed has genetic disorders. Finding tests that identify carriers of the genes which cause these disorders is a goal in all breeds. Once a genetic test is found, however, it is a double-edged sword: Its use can enable breeders to improve a breed or devastate it.

      Without genetic tests, the number of dogs that can be identified as carriers is low, even though many dogs may be suspected of being carriers because they have relatives that are known to be affected. Without tests, though, genetic-disease control involves breeding higher-risk dogs to lower-risk dogs. Dogbreeds have closed gene pools; in other words, the diversity of genes in a given breed is fixed. The number of dogs removed from consideration for breeding based on concerns regarding a specific genetic disease is usually low, and therefore does not greatly alter the breed’s gene pool, or diversity.

      However, once a genetic test is developed that allows breeders to positively determine if a dog is a carrier of a defective gene, many owners are likely to remove carrier dogs from their breeding stock. Although doing so is human nature, this temptation must be overcome. Any quality dog that you would have bred if it had tested normal should still be bred if it tests as a carrier.

      In such circumstances, carriers should be bred to normal-testing dogs. This ensures that affected offspring will not be produced. Carrier breeding stock should be subsequently replaced with normal-testing offspring that exceeds it in quality. If the only quality offspring is also a carrier, then use that offspring to replace your original carrier. You have improved the quality of your breeding stock, even though the defective gene remains in this generation. It is certainly true, though, that the health of the breed does depend on diminishing the carrier frequency and not increasing it. You should therefore limit the number of carrier-testing offspring that you place in breeding homes. This does not mean, however, that you should prevent all of them from being bred. It is important to carry on lines. A test that should be used to help maintain breed diversity should not result in limiting it.

      Consider All Aspects
      We know that most dogs carry some unfavorable recessive genes. The more genetic tests that are developed, the greater chance there is of identifying an undesirable gene in your dog. Remember, however, that your dog is not a single gene, an eye, a hip, or a heart. Your dog carries tens of thousands of genes, and each dog is a part of the breed's gene pool. When considering a breeding, you must consider all aspects of the dog - such as health issues, conformation, temperament and performance - and weigh the pros and cons. When a good-quality dog is found to carry a testable defective gene, there is a better option than removing that dog from your breeding program. That option is to breed it, so that you can keep its good qualities in the gene pool, and then replace it in your program with a normal-testing dog.

      There are breeders who contend that no more than 10 percent of carrier dogs should be removed from breeding in each generation. Otherwise, they say, the net loss to the gene pool would be too great. In fact, less than 10 percent of all dogs in a breed are ever used for breeding. Dog breeds do not propagate according to what is known as the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, where all members of a group reproduce and pass on their genes to the next generation. Breeders already place tremendous pressure on their gene pools through selective breeding decisions. Indeed, breeders who focus their selective pressure on the more elusive traits in their dogs, rather than on testable and predictable single-gene conditions, are right to do so.

      The Dangers
      It is important that breed clubs educate their owners on how genetic tests should be properly interpreted and used. History has shown that breeders can be successful in reducing breed-wide genetic disease through testing and making informed breeding choices. You should remember, however, that there are also examples of breeds that have actually experienced more problems as a result of unwarranted culling and restriction of their gene pools.

      These problems include: reducing the incidence of one disease and increasing the incidence of another by repeated use of stud dogs known to be clear of the gene that causes the first condition; creating bottlenecks and diminishing diversity by eliminating all carriers of a gene from the pool, instead of breeding and replacing them; and concentrating on the presence or absence of a single gene and not the quality of the whole dog.

      Breeders are the custodians of their breed's past and future. "Above all, do no harm" is a primary oath of all medical professionals. Genetic tests are powerful tools, and their use can cause significant positive or negative changes. Breeders should be counseled on how to utilize test results for the best interests of the breed.
  13. MJJean

    MJJean GRCH Dog

    Since my comments kinda sparked this, I guess I should weigh in.

    In my opinion, I agree with the working dog comment. Assuming you aren't breeding until at least 2 years old and assuming you have the sense God gave a turnip I don't think it necessary to test working stock that actually works. If the dog is scaling 7 ft walls and running miles then WATCH it move. If you know your dog you'll know if it is in pain or having trouble. Signs may be subtle, but they are there if you look. If you see an off gait or other problem then you know to take the dog in and not breed it until you know what you are dealing with. Could be injury, could be genetic issue. If it is genetic, spay/neuter or PTS.

    For working stock that is not actually being worked, then I think you should test. For show stock, I think you should test because show dog lines seem to have higher instances of genetic health problems thanks to people who breed just for conformation.
  14. kady05

    kady05 Krypto Super Dog

    This kind of reminds me of the HYPP debate in horses.. the only way to completely get rid of this horrible disease (YouTube it if you've never heard of it) is to STOP breeding ANY horses that carry the gene. Seems kinds of similar to the Ataxia debate.
  15. VonKromeHaus

    VonKromeHaus Good Dog

    Cliff- Did you not see the oart in my post where I said the dog that was climbing 7 ft. walls and running miles was DYSPLASTIC????? So, you're saying that it would be OK to breed that dog, am I reading that right? Very odd when you have a problem with breeding un-titled but health tested dogs......but have no issues with breeding a Dysplastic dog as long as it can work.

    I'm really at a loss with the whole....well if it's working then it's fine mentality. A TRUE working dog has heart and sometimes UNLESS you health test them, you'd never know there was an issue. My TD had a Rottie that was SEVERELY dysplatic and at 9 years old, that dog was still scaling fences and wanted to run/play etc. Had he not had OFA done, he would have never known that there was even anything wrong....but that dog(I saw the xrays) had one of the worst set of hips I've ever seen.

    A dog with heart and drive isn't always going to go lame or show you he has problems.
  16. cliffdog

    cliffdog Good Dog

    An un-titled dog hasn't proven it can work. A dog that is dysplasic and still works, well, can work.
  17. It is NOT like HYPP at all. An animal that is H/H is affected with HYPP and will probably die from the overabundance of Potassium. Ataxia is not a disease where a carrier will have ataxic symptoms and problems. HYPP in horses means that a N/H horse who is a carrier WILL at some point have an attack be it the skin crawling or the down on the floor rigid muscle spasms. 2 different diseases with 2 different modes of inheritance so can not be used to compare. And yes we had Impressive bred horses, N/N clear by parentage. AQHA will no longer register H/H foals and all Impressive breds have to be tested prior to registration.
  18. kady05

    kady05 Krypto Super Dog

    That's why I specifically said "kind of reminds me.." ;)
  19. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    i think i am confused. are you just refering to it being able to work or a dysplasic dog being able to work can still breed? imo those are 2 far different things.
  20. Cynthia

    Cynthia Good Dog

    With the Ataxia debate people are assuming that everyone is responsible. And that is not the case. Not everyone is testing and not everyone is breeding clears to carriers. Not everyone is going to do the "right" thing.

    Also I wonder if only the people that own carriers argue that it is "ok" to breed. Maybe to make themselves feel better? Who knows.

    Like I said I have seen debates on AmStaff boards. And many breeders do feel that you should not breed carriers. And it seems the ones that are saying that it is ok are the ones that are trying to rationalize it because they have a carrier dog.

    Ok if people say that it is a limited gene pool. The why don't breeders do the breeding of a carrier x clear. And then cull all the carrier pups. You still are replinishing the gene pool but eliminating the affected (carriers) pups.

    I do not own AmStaffs nor do I ever plan on owning them. What you do with your dog's is your buisness.

    My only stance on breeding is do not breed a known health issue or young dogs. But that is my belief. If it is known don't do it.

    I had a chance to breed Vaya to a Son of 2 Eyes. I really wanted to but the only way to do it because the dog was old as dirt. But I decided against it because it would have been when Vaya was 9 months old. Yes it would have beena preservation breeding. No they would not hav got straws either. I just could not do it. So I lost my chance the dog died. But I feel I made the right decision.

    Your dog's are YOUR property.
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