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Dog-Play

The Responsible Breeder and Making a Difference


Thoughts on Responsible Breeding

Considering breeding? If you breed even one litter you are, by definition a breeder. The question is what kind of breeder are you? Whatever your motives for wanting a litter of puppies I'll bet that you really want to be a "responsible breeder", someone who has the love of dogs at heart. This page is intended to help you think about what it takes to become that caring and responsible breeder. It isn't as obvious as you might think. When I first started hearing about truly ethical and responsible breeders I was amazed and very pleased. Since I don't breed this is my contribution to increasing the percentage of breeders that are caring, ethical and responsible.

Considering getting a dog? There are lots of different sources for dogs. It doesn't much matter whether you are looking for a pet, or looking for a performance or show dog. The standards for a good breeder are pretty much the same. When you get a dog you can choose to (1) get one from a shelter or rescue to avoid supporting a breeder you believe is unethical, or (2) carefully select an ethical breeder.

The animal shelters are overrun with dogs produced by irresponsible breeders. I encourage most people to take a chance on dogs from shelters or from rescue. Many, if not most, can make wonderful companions. You can get a wonderful dog at your local shelter. If, however, you really want a higher degree of predictability of temperament, health, working ability, size, coat and other factors you can increase that by seeking a well-bred dog from a responsible breeder.

If you are looking for a dog and want one from an ethical breeder the first step is to decide what qualities make a breeder "ethical". Ultimately this is something only you can decide, but it helps to know what the possibilities are. And let me make this very clear: Just because someone has a reputation for winning lots of shows, and having beautiful winning dogs does not make them a responsible breeder. A responsible breeder is judged by their care and concern for their dogs and dogs in general as demonstrated by their breeding decisions. So first explore the qualities of a responsible breeder. Then you might want to review the checklist for the responsible breeder .

Wondering what makes a "responsible breeder"? Well I have my own opinion, but perhaps you will get a better idea if you look at some samples from the codes of ethics of various breed clubs. I think some are terrific, I think some are worthless, and there are a few that are so pitiful I would not include them at all. A Code of Ethics is a slippery concept. Try reading "Breeders' Ethics, Myths and Legends" for some cautions. I also include links to sites that specifically discuss responsible breeding, or how to identify a responsible breeder . Below I will provide a description of the most important points of what I think makes a responsible breeder.

And if you, like me, are willing to take the increased risk of problems of the untested dog, and the carelessly bred dog, check out the Mixed Breed Dog (since most don't come from responsible breeders I take them up on another page). Both my dogs are mixed breeds of undetermined heritage. One came from the street, one from the pound. With all those dogs losing their lives in shelters across the USA no one should breed a dog unless the breeder is willing to make every effort to avoid adding to that sad population.

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Consider the Responsible Breeder

A small piece of my own standards:
  1. Care about each dog you bring into this world. Treat it as part of your extended family when you place it in a new home.
  2. Take positive steps to make sure the dogs you create will never land in a shelter or in rescue. Take the time to become familiar with shelter dogs. Volunteer and you will be able to help some dogs and have clear vision about what kinds of dogs end up in the shelter. Do what you can to make sure your dogs don't end up dead before their time.
  3. Take positive steps to ensure that the dogs you produce are a source of joy, not sorrow.
  4. Make sure that the dogs you produce are capable of a full and happy life, sound in mind, body and temperament. Recognize that good physical health is not enough; the dogs should be raised to be great companions too.
  5. Ensure that the necessary time is invested to produce puppies that will make good companions.
  6. If you don't want to have the same responsibility for the progeny of your dogs then insist the dogs you produce be spayed or neutered. Remember, you are the one in control. You can require agreement by contract. If someone insists on irresponsible breeding you don't have to be a part of it. Use your power of contract to educate, and to enforce your role as a responsible breeder.
  7. Contribute to the future well being of dogs. Support and participate in programs designed to collect and maintain standardized information on the health of dogs. Centralized data collection will provide a tool to better enable thoughtful breeders to spot and avoid problems.
  8. Don't breed a very young dog. Mere physical ability to bear puppies is not enough. The dog needs to be completely physically and mentally mature. In most breeds that means at least two years old.
  9. Learn the risks before breeding. Decide whether your goals are worth risking the life or health of your dog.
  10. Never sell without a written contract. Make sure the contract is clear to both of you. Make sure the contract is fair to both of you. Think about it from both sides - the seller and the buyer, and always keep in mind the best interests of the dogs. Here is a sample of a guarantee from a contract.

  11. Make sure the buyer has an opportunity to review the contract without feeling pressure. Send it to them in advance, or otherwise insist that they review it before they commit to taking a puppy home. Ask them to write down any questions or concerns so you can go over them together. That protects both of you. You want the person to understand both their rights and their obligations.

  12. Don't expect the buyer to read the contract on their own even if you do give it to them in advance. Go over the most important provisions with them, and have them initial that location in the contract. Try your best to make the buyer feel comfortable about asking questions.

  13. Make sure you know the laws and rules that may affect you. Check to see whether a Puppy Lemon Law , local regulations and ordinances or the rules of your breed registry will affect you.
  14. Consider a checklist to review responsible breeder qualities.
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More on the Breeding and Finding Responsible Breeders

What is a Responsible Breeder?
http://www.iupui.edu/~ihls400/responsible_breeder.html
A distillation of some posts from the newsgroups describing the qualities of the responsible breeder.
The Open secret to reduceing canine genetic disease is knowledge
http://www.working-retriever.com/library/openreg.html
Our increasing interest in reducing canine genetic disease together with increasing ability to detect and treat it gives the impression that the problem is increasing. Well, it need not. Sharing knowledge is the key to successful reduction of genetic health problems.
Red Lights, Green Lights: Questions to ask the breeder
http://www.pageweb.com/graenit/breedfaq.htm
Written for those looking for a Weimeraner breeder, but generally excellent for most breeds
Interviewing breeders
http://www.gdr.com/current/novcbrdr.html
Research is the easy part. Once you know what you'd like to see in a good breeder, how to you check out a breeder? This page deals specifically with the Great Dane, but it deals well with the specifics. It helps a lot, I think, to have two of you talking to the breeder. Or rather one talking and one listening. Often a person just listening and not thinking up the next question and not involved emotionally can hear a lot more.
Breeding Your Dog FAQ (Cindy Tittle Moore)
http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/breeding.html
Explores reasons often given for deciding to breed. Covers concerns about heredity problems and general breeding and whelping guidelines.
Great Pyrenees: Cost of Selling Pups
http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library/coleart.htm
Can you be a caring breeder and make money? Maybe, but here is one breeders dose of reality.
What could possibly go wrong?
http://www.pbrc.net/misc/breeding2.html
If you have a healthy bitch you shouldn't have any problems, right? Wrong. Giving birth is one of the most hazardous of "natural" activities. Our dogs are far enough removed from natural selection that birth is even more risky. But what could possibly go wrong? Read this and find out.
What Questions Should I Ask a Breeder?/What if I Want to Breed My Dog
http://www.cluebus.com/holly/breeder.html
Ok, so you know that too many times "purebreds" are crippled, and too many dogs are dying in shelters, but you really want a purebred. Here is how you can get that purebred dog, and still be doing your small part of not adding to the problem. The questions are specific to the German Shepherd so may need to be adjusted depending upon the breed. If you don't know why you are asking a question then gather your courage and ask in the newsgroup rec.pets.dog.breeds why that question is important. Or e-mail the author or myself. Doing it in the newsgroup is better just because you will be helping more people than just yourself.
I just want a nice pet
http://www.dog-play.com/justapet.html
So here you are thinking "Geez, I don't need a show dog. All I'm looking for is a nice pet.". This is a short article I hope will help you toward that goal.
Just pets
http://www.rottlover.com/rescue/dogs/TheEnd/
So here you are thinking "Geez, I don't need a show dog. All I'm looking for is a nice pet.". Now my question is, are you going to take the trouble to find a breeder who cares? Or are you going to let your money go to a breeder that doesn't know how to keep dogs out of the death pile? Or maybe you will take the dog from that irresponsible breeder out of the shelter and save a life. Which way do your ethics point you?
What Makes a Responsible Breeder
http://dachsie.org/breeding.html
This is a pretty standard outline. A good outline that ought to be understandable by anyone. The bottom line? Just because you don't want a show dog doesn't mean you should have to give up good health. This page mentions dachshunds specifically but it applies to any dog.
Commercial Breeders
http://www.katewerk.com/puppymill.html
How do you feel about a breeder prefers meeting consumer demand for a puppy over focus on the best interests of the dog? Here is one opinion.
CyberScots Breeding Discussions
http://www.cyberscots.com/BreedingDiscussion.htm
Here is your chance to "listen in" on a discussion about exactly what responsible breeding means in producing wonderful pets.
Mastiff Health
http://devinefarm.net/health/
When you are researching a breed, trying to learn what a breeder should test for, this is exactly the kind of information you want to find.
Breeding Shelties, What to consider
http://www.assa.org/shouldI.htm
While it is true that Sheltie rescue is overflowing and many are dying in our shelters that doesn't mean we should stop breeding. The question is, though, what kind of breeding is worth sacraficing that dog in the pound. If you think your dog is "very healthy" and ought to be bred, read this and find out what it really takes to breed a healthy sheltie.
Dog Owner's Guide: Much Ado About Poo
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/poodogs.html
Nothing wrong with mixed breed dogs - unless they are being hawked by breeders who are less than honest or knowledable about what they are selling. Before you purchase that cockapoo, or Yorkie-Pom, ask yourself - am I comfortable encouraging the practices of this breeder? Does the breeder know enough, and care enough, to do the best for dogs?
Is your breeder experienced?
http://members.aol.com/amcahome/exper.htm
Very nice article on identifying a thoughtful educated breeder.
Dog Owner's Guide: Guide To Classified Ads
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/clasfied.html
Dog Owner's Guide: Responsible Breeders
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/responbr.html
Dog Owner's Guide: Should You Breed Your Dog
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/hvpup1.html
Another thoughtful and complete articel from Dog Owenr's Guide.
Breeder - Buyer Responsibilities
http://pon.com/fyi/breeder/bbresp.htm
 
 
Myths and Mistakes in Finding a Good Dog
http://members.tripod.com/antique_fcr/goodbreeder.html
There are a lot of mistaken beliefs in how to find a healthy good dog from a breeder. Can you tell which common beliefs are true and which are myths?
Responsible Breeding
http://www.goldendox.com/tdn/breeding.htm
A discussion about the typical reasons people choose to breed, followed by a question and answer format. Even "pet puppies" deserve to be healthy, loved, and wanted.
Issues to discuss before you breed your dog
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Flats/7244/index2.html
If you don't care about the health of the mother dog, if you are willing to risk her life and the lives of her puppies, then breeding is easy. If you want your bitch to live and be healthy, and if you want to have healthy puppies, you will have to learn how.
Is Your Dog Breeding Quality?
http://members.aol.com/aactchruss/breeding.html
 
Italian Greyhound
http://members.aol.com/KARENKATO/index.html
Although some of the information is breed specific much of it is applicable to all dogs. Some of the articles on the site include:
How to Read Classified Ads
Understanding Pack Behavior
Breeding for Proper size
Breeding for Temperament

Selecting a Responsible Breeder, Bernese Mountain Dog
http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/
A pamphlet written with the help of a lot of people on the Berner-L mailing list, it targets the first time buyer and attempts to educate them on the importance of finding a reputable breeder. Although some of the information is specific the the Bernese Mountain Dog, most of it is useful for all breeds.
Letter to a Prospective Lhasa Apso Breeder
Solid advice applicable to the owners of any breed.
The Question--Breeding
http://www.sunnysidefarm.com/breeding.html
Although the focus is on great danes the advice here applies generally to most breeds. The article discusses good and bad reasons for deciding to breed, choosing a mate, and general breeder responsibilities.
Interested in Breeding Your Dog?
http://members.aol.com/tcmsc/breeding.html
From the Twin Cities Miniature Schnauzer Club. Very nicely written article. It includes information often glossed over about the health risks to the bitch. Really gives a good explanation of responsible breeding decision making.
How Not to Advertise on Usenet
http://www.dog-play.com/badad.html
How you write your ad, and where you advertise, will be the first thing people learn about you, as a breeder. Have you presented yourself well? Or have you given the appearance of being a careless breeder?
What does AKC mean?
http://www.dog-play.com/akc.html
If you buy an AKC dog are you assured your dog will be healthy? Will it be a good representative of the breed? Not necessarily. Explore what the AKC can, and cannot, do to help you in selecting a healthy dog.
AKC Responsible Breeder, Getting Started Series
http://www.akc.org/breeds/breederinfo/breeder.cfm
 
Border Collie Breeder's Guide
http://www.duke.edu/~awho/bc/bcbreed.htm
Good breeding guidelines for breeders of all breeds.
An Open Letter to Prospective Breeders
http://magpage.com/~kdee/letter.html
 
Should I Breed My Dog?
http://doggiedoor.com/tobreed.htm

Choosing a French Bulldog Breeder
http://www.frenchbulldog.org/choosebreeders.html

PugsCom talks seriously about finding the right breeder.
http://www.pugs.com/breeders.htm

I like the tone of this page, but I also like that it explains that show breeders can be good or bad, just because a breeder shows (and even wins) does not make them a responsible breeder. Combine this one with Pug Breeders Guidelines (http://www.pugs.org/education.htm) and Pug Dog Club of America Code of Ethics (http://www.pugs.org/ethics.htm) and you start to get a sense of the ethical breeder.
 
 
Should I breed my Dog?
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Meadows/1442/Breed.htm
An article by Lori Whitham on the breeding decision.
Considering Breeding Your Wonderful Dog?
http://www.dog-play.com/breeding.html
Of course you love your dog; Now do you know enough to be a caring breeder?
What is a Breeder?
http://www.angelfire.com/nc/clearviewrottweiler4/breeder.html
An article written in 1969 by Peggy Adamson from a speech given before the Annual Symposium of the "National Dog Owners and Handlers Association" in Feb. 1969; and published in their newsletter. A lot has changed since then, but a there is some wonderful thinking here.
Breeder comparison: How to choose a breeder of a quality puppy.
http://www.dog-play.com/breedercomparison.htm
A chart comparing backyard breeder and responsible breeder qualities point by point. Guest article by Victoria Rose
Where to find a responsible breeder
http://www.dog-play.com/where.html
Understanding how to identify a responsible breeder isn't much help if you can't find one in the first place. Here are some ways of locating responsible breeders.
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What Dogs End Up in the Shelters?

Take a look at some of these links and consider what you can do to help reduce the number of dogs dying in shelters.
Owner ignorance populates shelters with abandoned dogs and cats
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/surrend1.html
 
Breakdown of National Shelter Statistic survey
http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/PR/releases/news/national-shelter-statistic-survey.html
 
Why pet owners take animals to shelters and how many find new homes
http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/PR/releases/news/pet-owner-survey.html
Same information on a different site (Critterhaven) http://www.critterhaven.org/critterchat/whyowners.htm
Why Do Pets End Up in Shelters?
http://www.healthypet.com/Library/bond-12.html
Discission based on above resources.
Canine euthanasia risks
http://www.naiaonline.org/body/articles/archives/euthrisk.htm
 
The Longest Walk A Day In The Life Of A Humane Society Employee
http://bcrescue.net/long_walk.htm
Are one of your puppies going to be there to be chosen or rejected?
National shelter census
http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jan97/s011597h.html
This site talks about attempts to gather meaningful information on shelter populations.

Come on. If your only knowledge of what goes on in animal shelters is what you have read you have no business breeding. Get out there, help out a few dogs. Find out what shelter dogs are really like then decide.

Rescue and Shelter dog links A short list of some of the web sites that list shelter, humane societies and rescue dog organizations. There are more of them, but I can't keep up. Anyway I don't want to duplicate the work of others. Its more efficient for me to point you to the better collections rather than collect my own

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These aren't really related, but I thought they were interesting.
Dog Owner's Guide: The Mixed Breed dog
http://www.canismajor.com/dog/mixed.html
 
 
 
Don't Buy A Bouvier by Pam Green
http://home.sprynet.com/~bouvweb/dontbuy.htm
 
 
Thanks From a Petshop Owner
http://www.dog-play.com/petshop1.html
My criteria for pet shops is exactly the same as for breeders. Including (but not limited to) (1) Ensure that the dogs come from health checked parents with a healthy genetic background (2) Work hard to ensure the person taking the puppy home is both willing and able to meet the needs of the dog (as both a puppy and an adult) - understands the needs of the breed as well as dogs in general (3) agrees to take back a dog at any time in its life if the person who bought the pup cannot or will not continue to provide for its needs. These three things are not the only criteria, there are many more including proper socialization, good general health etc. But those three things are just as important to the welfare of dogs as the usual items covered by puppy lemon laws . This story, while fictionalized, may help explain just why a pet shop can never be the place where the caring and knowledgable person buys a puppy.
Puppy Lemon Law States
http://www.malteseonly.com/lemon.html
A very nice collection of various laws intended to protect puppy buyers. Too bad they don't provide a reference to the code or statute number, but at least if you know the law exixsts you can look for it.
What to do if your Puppy is a lemon
http://www.nolo.com/encyclopedia/articles/ctim/nn179.html
It's a sorry thing to think of a sweet puppy as a "lemon" but it still reflects the sour disappointment when that rolly polly ball of fluff turns out to be sick, crippled or with serious behavior problems. This page is written by Mary Randolph, author of "Dog Law"
The "Pride Pups guarantee" was first listed here as the "famouse (sic) Shake a Paw guarantee". The page disappeared for a while, and now has reappeared. The guarantee lists some of the most common reasons people get rid of a dog - and it makes it quite clear that none of the reasons are grounds for returning the "animal" to the store. The owner of this web site is quite proud of their pet store and its policies. I hope that whether you are breeder or buyer you can do better by dogs.

The "Shake a Paw" name is no longer associated with this site. Interestingly when "Shake a Paw" put up a new site they decided to omit their guarantee. I guess they didn't like the idea that someone might actually be educated about their "guarantee" in advance. Nope, to see their guarantee you have to go to the store. Can you say "hard sell"?. That is the technique used of not letting a customer be in the best position to think about the information presented. First get the customer emotionally committed to the purchase, then make sure you use all the buzz words the customer wants to hear, but also make sure the customer never has the opportunity to really think it over.

Look, its simple, if the motivation of the seller is profit then that is where the attention will lie. Hobby breeders breed because they have goals of producing better dogs. Sure, they charge money. The purebred dog hobby is expensive. But if the primary motive is love of dogs and doing what is best for dogs then the costs take a back seat to those goals. If the primary goal is making money then doing what is best for dogs takes a back seat to the goal of profit. Which breeder do you want to support? The one in it for the money? Or the one in it to breed a healthier, more fit, more capable dog?

Want a clue as to when a breeder is motivated by profit? If the breeder is USDA licensed and inspected they are in it for the money. If the seller of a puppy proudly brags about how their breeders are licensed and inspected by the federal government (USDA) you know you are dealing with a puppy mill. What is a puppy mill? There are different definitions. Some people mean only puppies raised in abusive conditions. That is not my definition. My definition is puppies raised primarily for profit, that is puppies as a business. The best interests of dogs will always take a back seat if the motive for puppy raising is profit. Note, I did not say proift making is bad. The point is what is the primary goal of the breeder. If a decision needs to be made between one goal and another which one wins?

A breeder who actually cares about the dogs that he or she breeds will take back a puppy for any reason including (maybe even especially) " changed my mind ". Forget the buzz words - ignore claims of using "responsible breeders" etc. Instead focus on what they actually do . Do they test the breeding stock to avoid genetic disease? If they say "yes" make them prove it you want certificate numbers, and you want to see the certificates and you want the name of the organization that issues the certificates so you can make sure the certificate is issued by an independent party, not someone controlled by the seller.

What is a USDA dealer?
http://www.nopuppymills.com/database.html
What does it mean when a peson says they are "USDA" licensed? Does that mean you should trust them as a breeder? A USDA breeder breeds puppies for money. Learn more by following the link the the "No puppymills" website.
USDA APHIS Animal Care
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture regulates commercial animal breeders. Being USDA licensed is not a sign that the animals are cared for in a way appropriate for pets. Care requirements are minimal. Care of the animals is that appropriate for livestock. The site contains lots of useful information about their regulations and standards.
Class A dealers list from USDA
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/lists/lista.pdf
Where did your puppy come from? This is a list of breeders who breed for commercial purposes and are subject to USDA licensing.
Class B dealers list from USDA
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/lists/listb.pdf
Where did your puppy come from? This is a list of brokers and resalers who acquire animals for commercial purposes and are subject to USDA licensing.
Pet Action League Presents "Animal Trade Businesses"
Is your dog from a mass breeder? This site gives you access to lists of people who raise/sell so many dogs that they come under government regulation. Although to some people a "puppymill" is always dirty with poorly kept animals in my mind a puppynill is anyplace that churns out the puppies without taking adequate care for their genetic health and future placement. Virtually all the places on this list will come under that umbrella (actually I would call all the places on the list puppymills except I'm trying to keep an open mind - maybe someone can convince me otherwise)/
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
http://www.offa.org
The official OFA site the site includes a database allowing you to research the OFA status of a dog.
Canine Eye Registration Foundation
http://www.vet.purdue.edu/~yshen/cerf.html
The official Canine Eye Registration Foundation site includes a database allowing you to research the CERF status of a dog.
American Dog Owners Association
http://www.global2000.net/adoa/
An organization of dog owners promoting responsible dog ownership, education, and balanced fair legislation.
Canine Inherite Disorders Database
http://www.upei.ca/~cidd/intro.htm
An ambitious project to provide information about various inherited problems in dogs. The goal is to provide information on how to avoid these problems. Although the information is far from complete what is there seems more realistic than some canine disorders lists.
VetGen - Purebred Animal Genetic (DNA) Disease Testing and Profiling
http://www.VetGen.com
 
 
 
GenTest-Veterinary Genetic Services
http://www.ozemail.com.au/~gentest/
 
 
 
Optigen
http://www.optigen.com/
Diagnostic lab service and information for genetic diseases in purebred dogs
Shelter Adoptions
http://www.clickandtreat.com/dfogb8.htm
 
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Resources for Breeders

Basic genetics

The following resources are about human genetics and I've selected them specifically to point out why genetic testing is necessary. An important part of any medical training is genetic counseling to give prospective parents some idea of what can be done to predict the risk of genetic problems in their children, and what steps might be taken to reduce the risks. Genetic testing is an important part of decision making, whether you are talking about people or dogs.
Genetics, Birth Disorders and Pregnancy
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1996/5/96.05.06.x.html
Understanding Gene Testing
http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/AEPC/NIH/gene12.html
Gene Basics
http://www.acad.swarthmore.edu/bio5/tong/Gene%20Basics/gene_basicmains.htm
Again, this relates to humans. Again, I included it not only because it gives an understandable description of technical issues but to emphasize that checking for genetic problems isn't limited to dogs.
Center for Inherited Disease Research
http://www.cidr.jhmi.edu/
Talking Glossary of Genetics
http://www.nhgri.nih.gov/DIR/VIP/Glossary/pub_glossary.cgi
A "talking glossary" designed to better explain genetic research.
And on genetics and dog breeding
Peas and Pups - Part 10
http://www.shorthair.com/psnpups/part10.htm
An introduction to the strengths and weakness of inbreeding. You may find the presentation to be technical, but that's not a bad thing for the skilled and thoughtful reader.
Peas and Pups - Part 1
http://www.shorthair.com/peasnpups.html
This is the beginning of the series of articles on genetics and dog breeding. The information on this site has not been oversimplified. It is designed for the serious reader.
Eliminating Genetic Disease
http://www.netpets.com/dogs/reference/genetics/elimgen.html
This article on NetPets by Gary Mason is an excellent starting place for the breeder to get an understanding of why breeding pets requires a basic understanding of genetics and a specific understanding of genetic disease in your breed. Remember, people wanting "just a pet" are just as deserving of a healthy dog as someone looking for that top competition dog. This article is reprinted in a number of places. Here is one of them http://acmepet.petsmart.com/canine/genetic/article/eliminat.html
Net Pets Links to Genetics Articles
http://www.netpets.com/dogs/reference/genetics.html
A collection of links to a variety of articles on the web covering genetics and dog breeding (and some book resources).

Books

"Successful Dog Breeding" by Walkowicz and Wilcox
A good source of specific information.
"Breeding Better Dogs" by Battaglia
"Born to Win: Breed to Succeed" by Craige
Good information on exploring the decisions to be made, which bitch, which dog and why, but not a how-to book as such.
"Canine Reproduction: A Breeder's Guide" by Phyllis Holst, DVM.
Specific and technical information important for any breeder.
"Dogs and How to Breed Them" by Hilary Hamar
Especially good for the novice. Good (if explicit) pictures of dogs mating and suggestions on how to handle different breeding problems.
"Genetics for Dog Breeders" by Malcolm Willis
Basic canine genetics, helpful in making thoughtful breeding decisions.
"Control of Canine Genetic Disease" by George Padgett
An excellent book for anyone concerned about the influnence of breeding decisions on the long term health and welfare of dogs.

Canine Genetics Information on the Web

Brucellosis
Brucellosis
If you don't know what brucellosis is then you are risking the life of your dog by breeding it. This is just a quick introduction to the disease.
Canine Eye Registration Foundation
http://www.prodogs.com/chn/cerf/index.htm
Explains what a CERF test is, why it should be done, etc.
Canine Medical Information, Part II
http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/medical/medical-info.02.html#HD
Explains what hip dysplasia is, how it affects the dog, how incidence can be reduced, and how to help a dog that is affected. Also discusses other dog diseases.
Veterinary Medical Database / Canine Eye Registration Foundation
http://www.vet.purdue.edu/~yshen/
The official home page for the Veterinary Medical Database / Canine Eye Registration Foundation. You can use this site to learn more about genetics testing or to research the CERF status of a dog.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
http://www.offa.org/
The Official web site. It includes information on their programs and policies. Also of interest to those researching breeders is the Database query page.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
http://www.prodogs.com/chn/ofa/
OFA isn't just about hips. Check out the information on hips, elbows, thyroid, Congenital Heart Disease, and Patellar Luxation.
PennHip Hip Dysplasia Diagnosis
www.canismajor.com/dog/pennhip1.html
PennHip is a test for hip laxity. Some of wonderful folks are doing both OFA and PennHip which is going to be very useful in comparing and evaluating the two different methods of hip tests.
Medial and lateral patellar luxation
http://workingdogs.com/vcpatlux.htm
An excellent easy to understand article about this problem.
Thyroid Funtion in Dogs
http://www.ahdl.msu.edu/ahdl/thydogs.htm
Many breeds of dogs are affected by tyhroid disease that can be reduced by careful breeding. The problem has become so prevalent in some breeds that breeders have taken a head in the sand approach. If you plan to breeed you can do better than that.
A Day in the Life of a Holter Monitor
http://www.boxerunderground.com/apr_bu_99/holter.htm
The Holter monitor is one method of detecting heart disease. It is a problem common in a number of breeds. This article describes the process.
What is the BAER test?
http://www.lsu.edu/guests/senate/public_html/baerexpl.htm
Just because you think your dog has normal hearing doesn't mean its hearing is normal. The BAER test can find out if a dog has unilateral deafness so a breeder can make a better breeding decision. The BAER test also allows a breeder to test puppies, even very young puppies. That can save the puppy buyer an unpleasant surprise. For more complete information on deafness in dogs and cats see: http://www.lsu.edu/guests/senate/public_html/deaf.htm .
BAER testing
http://www.terrier.com/breed/baer.php3
From the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, a discussion of the BAER test and how to reduce deafness in dogs.
BOXER CARDIOMYOPATHY
http://clubs.akc.org/abc/boxer_cardiomyopathy.htm
Control of Genetic Disease
http://workingdogs.com/doc0031.htm
Information based on the work of George A. Padgett, V.M.D.on the causes and effects of canine genetic disease. Look for the book by the same title published by this author. It is excellent.
A New Age: Veterinary Molecular Genetics
http://www.amchessieclub.org/a-MolecGen.htm
A very technical resource that describes how new technologies are improving gathering of genetic health information. A review of this site clearly demonstrates why a simple veterinary exam is not sufficient to discover important genetic problems. This site is designed for the educated and intelligent reader comfortable with technical information. The most important part of the site, however, may be the discussion of open and closed registries.
Metabolic Screening for Genetic Diseases
http://www.vet.upenn.edu/penngen/testing/metdiseases.html
Very interesting, but techinical. Lists metabolic diseases and possibly affected breeds.
Canine Hip Dysplasia Resources
http://workingdogs.com/doc0090.htm
 
 
 
The Working Dogs Book Store - BREEDING/GENETICS
http://workingdogs.com/book005.htm
 
 
 
Canine Genetics Resource @ Acme Pet
http://www.acmepet.com/canine/genetic/article/
 
 
 
Canine Genetic Primer
http://www.acmepet.com/canine/genetic/article/primer.html
 
 
 
Practical Genetics for Dog Breeders
http://home.flash.net/~dby/practicalgen.htm
 
 
 
Optigen
http://www.optigen.com/
Diagnostic lab service and information for genetic diseases in purebred dogs
Vet-Gen: Research and detection of genetic disease in purebred dogs
http://www.vetgen.com
 
 
 
Linked Marker Test to Help Reduce the Incidence of Renal Dysplasia in Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
http://www.vetgen.com/renaldys.html
Just one example of how new genetic tests can discover that a healthy dog carries a significant genetic disease. Carrier (healthy) + carrier (healthy) = high risk of affected (sick). For this disease sick usually means death.
The Nature of Genetic Disease
http://www.lhasa-apso.org/health/gendis.htm
  An explanation of what role genetics has in the occurrence of genetic disease and why genetic screening is necessary even for perfectly healthy dogs. Another source for the same article is http://www.netpets.org/cats/reference/genetics/gendis.html
Genetics and General Health Information
http://www.interlog.com/~nvision/health1.html
 
 
 
Canine Gene project
http://www.akc.org/love/dah/hn/genemap.cfm
A research project focusing on the canine genome and health issues in purebred dogs.
Dalmatian Dilema-white coat colour and deafness
http://www.shoal.net.au/~ndcdalmatian/cattanach.html
What is a breeder to do when the breed ideal conflicts with good health?
Sue Ann Bowling's page on animal color genetics
http://bowlingsite.mcf.com./Genetics/Genetics.html
It is critical for breeders to understand that something that appears superficial, like coat color, can have important health consequences. As astonsishing as it may seem deafness and blindness are both related to color inheritence.
White Boxers and Deafness by Bruce Cattanach (American Boxer Club site)
http://clubs.akc.org/abc/white-deafness.htm
More important information on the consequences of color genetics.
Genetic Diseases and Problems That Run in Breeds
http://www.raot.org/genetic.htm
A list of genetic problems by breed. I don't know how accurate this list of genetic problems is but it seems a lot more realistic than some I have seen. Back to the Table of Contents

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June 6, 1997
Updated August 20, 2000

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