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Thread: Health certifications Gone too far?

  1. #1
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    Default Health certifications Gone too far?

    I am sure this will be responded to with a fair amount of righteous indignation, but Archerís question about line breeding and in breeding got me to thinking if we may have gone too far on the insistence of OFA certified joints and CERF certifications on eyes.
    If a potential stud or dam exhibits great traits such as marking, water attitude, tractability but has a minor genetic defect, it seems that dog is avoided like the plague for breeding purposes. What about a dog with a minor joint or eye issue that was HT titled at a young age, is a consistent performer with a high pass rate % but has a hip that may be OFA fair or mildly dysplastic. Dog has a great personality, high intelligence, great training attitude, etc. and all the things that a trainer or handler would look for but he/she may not be bred for the above stated reasons. Letís assume the dog lives to 10+ years old with no obvious physical problems. Just the usual stiffness and aches and pains associated with old age in dogs and people for that matter? Have we done the breed a service or not?
    One of the very best hunting dogs I have ever trained, I got as a washout for a very low $ because he had a retinal fold. He consistently retrieved thousands of ducks and geese for several years with a large commercial outfitter in N. Alberta and I personally saw him on several occasions mark sailers that went at least 300 yards in large flat grain fields. He could see very well, retinal fold or not. He could run very long blinds and we very rarely lost a bird. He was a beautiful dog, wonderful with the hunters and also with other dogs. He had an outstanding competitive pedigree but was never bred.
    Are we really doing the breeds a justice by not breeding these type of dogs?
    Just being a devilís advocate for discussion purposes.
    MP
    The pain of regret is much worse than the pain of hard work.

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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Mike

    I agree with you 100%. If we were discussing genetics and crop plants you probably wouldn't have an argument, not from me anyway. If a breeder has a breeding program with a long term goal why not carry an undesirable trait with the goal of eliminating it in future breedings? How about test breedings to determine whether a trait is genetic vs. environmental (like elbows)?

    Especially relevant to me. I just attended a health clinic to have hips, eyes, and elbows done.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

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    Senior Member duk4me's Avatar
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    Probably the most influential tbred sire the last 10 to 15 years would not have been bred 30 years ago. He is a cryptorchid named AP Indy.........makes you think doesn't it?
    I have learned I need these dogs much more than they need me. Tim Bockmon

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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Tim

    You're a farmer, I believe. Are you doing any breeding of livestock? What is your approach to breeding and genetics?
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

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    Senior Member Lonnie Spann's Avatar
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    Personally I don't think we can "go too far with health certifications". I am not a geneticist, however my knee-jerk reaction would be to avoid breeding and/or purchasing a puppy from a breeding with a parent with a genetic defect.

    Lonnie Spann

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    Senior Member Chelsey's Triple H's Avatar
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    I think everyone's opinion on "minor" issues differ and not all dogs that have these issues are asymptomatic. You may be crossing some nice dogs off your list, but I feel if you can test for genetic defects or potential problems, why not use one of the numerous dogs that meet both the performance and health criteria?

    - Not a breeder but an owner of a symptomatic dysplastic dog.
    Chelsey
    The rescue who started it all...
    "Hailey" USJ SHR Havasu's Hollywood Heartache RE (7 RAE) JH CGC WC (Retired)
    and the youngster
    "Ryder" UUJ HR Nog's Knightly Trek to Hollywood CD RAE SH NAJ THD CGC WC CC

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    Senior Member Dwayne Padgett's Avatar
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    Here's one in the same Mike. Over 9 years old over 4000 ducks and geese retrieved. HRCH and 500 point club. Great personality and very intelligent but was diagnosed with retinal folds. I has her fix and sometimes regret it.

    HRCH Mt. Holly "SKyler" Blue SH 500 HRC pts. club

    HRCH Mt. Holly Thunder and Lightning "Storm" MH 500 pts. club, Grand pass

    www.robrobertsgunworks.com

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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Spann View Post
    .......I am not a geneticist, however my knee-jerk reaction would be to avoid breeding and/or purchasing a puppy from a breeding with a parent with a genetic defect......
    So, you've never owned a dog?

    I've been looking for ONE perfect dog my whole life.
    I haven't found one. Let alone two.

  9. #9
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    Have we gone too far? No.

    Do people allude that maybe we have or that we are thinning the gene pool to justify and fit their "logic"? Yes.

    A dog that HAS a disease is different than a dog that has the POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE the disease. Through genetic testing, we can keep more individuals in the breeding pool while not producing affecteds.

    In your case, with HD, its multi-faceted. Its not easy to eliminate so breeding a dog with it, only solidifies that it stays soundly in your program. A simple recessive, is much easier to breed around. Keeping the good traits of the carrier dog without producing affecteds.

    If there were a "black and white" criteria for WHY or WHO should be bred it might be easier. But who is the "breeding police" and who "polices the police" and then who "polices the police who policing the other police".....

    WRL

  10. #10
    Senior Member JustinS's Avatar
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    Okay, just for discussion purposes I will post. I am almost done with my agrononmy degree - plant and soil sciences, I have helped my dad on his hog farm for years where we did farrow to ween which is - breed the sow- farrow her/ whelp the piglets - after 17 days ween the piglets and with in the next 2 weeks breed the sow again.

    All that being said I enjoy studying animal and plant genetics, in plants we breed them to produce more fruit - ie corn bigger ears, and we also breed them to adapt to nutrient deficiencies, disease and pest pressure, as well as drought tolerance.

    In livestock we breed them to have better marbling - mostly cattle there but also done a bit for hogs - and bigger breasts in chickens - as well as feed weight gain efficiency - the farmers and ranchers that show their livestock do care about conformity as well as hereditary defects but the majority of growers and ranchers are more interested on how to get the biggest bang for their buck.

    If the growers find an animal that has bad hips or joints then it will just be culled / sent to slaughter - that is how they eliminate them from the breeding stock. In plant breeding we go through a minimum of 9 selections to create a cultivar and then it is bred again to gain or loose a trait and the whole process is done over again.

    For me it is much different with dogs, it is much harder to live with a dog with a hereditary defect - my room mates dog is EIC Affected - he is hard wired for birds and water but collapses after 30 min of hunting - It is painful to have to leave him behind because he likes it so much. I believe it would be the same with a dog with dysplastic hips or messed up eyes, and some dogs may not show much signs until older, but when the dogs are older they still want to hunt, I enjoy taking my buddies 13 yr old dog out pheasant hunting he may be slower but he is not in pain, and he is still faster than the birds when running. I dont believe a dog with dysplastic hips would be able to do that at his age.

    If you really want to breed a dog with a defect, that is up to you. I personally wouldnt do it for the fact that these dogs become a part of our family, I wouldnt want to place a pup with someone knowing that the puppy could wind up hurting later in life because I wasnt strict enough with my breeding program.

    There is a long list of dogs that have great hunting instincts and have all their health clearances, I pick from that list.
    Justin E Schneider

    Xtreme's 30 Rounds N' 1 Full Maggie SH
    Foundation's One Up the Sleeve


    "Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail." -- Josh Billings

    Some peoples stiffest competition is themselves.--MooseGooser

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