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Thread: Health certifications Gone too far?

  1. #41
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    I too despise the phrase "bettering the breed" and dislike seeing it used for marketing especially. My breed is Labrador and I don't think it needs any bettering, I think it is a pretty danged fine animal. So fine, in fact, that it has been split into a variety of branches, field, bench, "British", pointing, etc. Everyone who breeds a litter of Labs does so for their own specific purpose and desire. As long as they aren't hurting the dogs (or slamming mine ) , I don't care much, to each their own.

    Just addressing the common, normal clearances for Labs: No point in discussing breeding EIC/CNM/PRA, those are easy as simple math to breed around to not produced affected dogs. If one chooses to produce potentially affected dogs from these, then I think it is on that person to test those pups and keep the affected ones to deal with responsibly. If they have the stomach to cull in order to breed something they absolutely have to have, then that's on them, no one else should have to deal with affected offspring unless they choose to. Carriers and clears are not affected, a simple, cheap test identifies the genetics, end of story.

    Eyes have their own issues, cataracts, folds, entropion, ectropion etc. Yes, some seem kind of pointless to fail CERF for, folds being a particular point of contention, but overall, less problematic than hips/elbows, in my experience anyway.

    Breeding around hip and elbow dysplasia is not black and white. There is no simple mode of inheritance. Radiographs are all we have to screen with, OFA and PennHip, and there are problems with both, even more so with elbows & OFA, in my opinion. It is very difficult to get an accurate representation of a history of hips and elbows on OFA. Much that fails doesn't get published. Some spend time filling in the blanks, researching close relatives of the dogs, listen to the gossip of who is out with what injury/surgery, and try to form a pattern of what "lines" (to oversimplify) might be trending with bad wheels, (including CCL ruptures for me). Age also plays a part, when did the dog start having problems? Add in environmental and it becomes even more muddied. I don't think all dysplasia is created equally, particularly elbows, I think there's more to it and the individual needs to be considered. But, to take the risk of breeding to a known dysplastic, or even a normal dog with more than the average percentage of offspring with issues, well, I'm not that big of a gambler, personally, but, that is my choice, others will make different ones.

    I've had dysplastic dogs live normal, active lives. It's easy to say what's the big deal sometimes. Usually, that sometimes is when someone has a nice dog that they've put some time and money into and really wants to breed it and needs to find that justification to do so. Other times, it is knowledgeable breeders making an informed decision. We can go too far in expecting perfection, yes, but how much risk is justified in a breed with the depth and width of Labradors that a dog with failed clearances needs to be bred? That's up to the breeder. It's bad enough when things go wrong even when all the clearances are there. How do I explain and justify to the sobbing, frustrated owner that I deliberately bred to a higher risk? That's what I have to weigh.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

  2. #42
    Senior Member Julie R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget Bodine View Post
    If the gene pool is narrow, I might consider breeding the dysplastic but sound dog.
    In the case of our big three retrievers there is NO reason to breed a dysplastic dog. There are PLENTY of dogs out there that have just as good drive ,trainability,looks etc., but do not have the health issue.
    If you meant to include Chesapeakes in the "big three retrievers"...you simply cannot compare the size of their gene pool to Labs'. Over 150,000 Labs are registered annually, compared to around 1,900 CBRs. The CBR gene pool is miniscule compared to that of Labs, and unfortunately they have a higher rate of CHD. CBRs have a 20+% rate of Canine Hip Dysplasia--that means any puppy born has a one in five chance of being dysplastic based on OFA stats. Add in the fact that something like 65 percent of tested dogs have one or both genes for Degenerative Myelopathy, so you have to pick your poison within an already small gene pool. And we all know that a clean set of clearances do not necessarily mean it's a dog worth using in a breeding program. When I say picking your poison, I mean that everyone prioritizes flaws they can and cannot live with. Speaking personally and hypothetically, I'd pick asymptomatic CHD over a history of needing cruciate ligament surgery in my breeding program. I've never used either, but my personal view is that mild CHD is much easier to manage and less costly than TPLO surgery. It's not just the cost, either; it's the lengthy rehab and loss of a year or more of a dog's already brief competitive career. I'd also quantify using a dysplastic dog by saying that *if* I did, it would be because the dog had no symptoms and came from a strong family with good/excellent hips, accomplishments at the highest levels, and had bloodlines not readily available elsewhere.
    Julie R., Hope Springs Farm
    Chesapeake Bay Retrievers since 1981

  3. #43
    Senior Member JustinS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
    How do I explain and justify to the sobbing, frustrated owner that I deliberately bred to a higher risk? That's what I have to weigh.
    X 2 that hits the nail on the head.
    Justin E Schneider

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  4. #44
    Senior Member pat addis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdgnyc View Post
    pat addis

    Suppose I breed my bitch to a male with a bad elbow, OK, Grade I. Now don't forget, this is based on pictures. Questions to ask: Is this environmentally caused? Is this due to trauma? Is nutrition a factor? Does the male have other qualities that are definitely valuable, a good contribution to the breed?

    If I were really interested in improving the breed and profit and money were not factors, I would breed, keep the progeny, test when appropriate, and cull what I didn't like. Now it seems like I have a plan to truly improve the breed. I can carry an unwanted trait a generation or two and then eliminate it, assuming the trait were not linked to the other desirable traits. I get the feeling that this is how it might have been done when breeding sporting dogs began. Also there was more interest in breeding that included outcrossing to get good qualities in a dog and I think that "conformation" was secondary. Show conformation not to be confused to breeding true.
    i understand what you are saying and i'm not going to judge any one i think as long as every one getting a pup knows the possible future problems they can decide them self. i just still think it would lower the price

  5. #45
    Senior Member JKOttman's Avatar
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    Perhaps of interest... this from the UMinn web site concerning EIC:
    Lastly, and very importantly, we do not recommend selecting dogs for breeding based solely on their both being N/N for the DNM1 gene. Such a drastic strategy, although more quickly eliminating the possibility of producing E/E genotypes and EIC affected dogs, also has the undesired result of losing many of the outstanding exercise and performance traits expected of many lines of Labrador Retrievers. A better approach would enable the continued use of some of the many excellent E/N and E/E dogs by mating them to N/N dogs. This would produce litters without EIC and a choice of dogs to progressively decrease the frequency of the E form of the DNM1 gene by future matings to N/N dogs.

    http://www.vdl.umn.edu/prod/groups/c...set_107687.pdf
    Josie Ottman

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  6. #46
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    Julie I am including CBR's as one of the big three. Of course there is no comparison in the #'s , but there is still diversity in the CBR and fortunate for you guys ,not the extreme split in the breed that the LR has. You still have dogs that CAN do it all.
    Everybody has to make their own criteria and hope and prayer they make the right decisions...
    Quote Originally Posted by Julie R. View Post
    If you meant to include Chesapeakes in the "big three retrievers"...you simply cannot compare the size of their gene pool to Labs'. Over 150,000 Labs are registered annually, compared to around 1,900 CBRs. The CBR gene pool is miniscule compared to that of Labs, and unfortunately they have a higher rate of CHD. CBRs have a 20+% rate of Canine Hip Dysplasia--that means any puppy born has a one in five chance of being dysplastic based on OFA stats. Add in the fact that something like 65 percent of tested dogs have one or both genes for Degenerative Myelopathy, so you have to pick your poison within an already small gene pool. And we all know that a clean set of clearances do not necessarily mean it's a dog worth using in a breeding program. When I say picking your poison, I mean that everyone prioritizes flaws they can and cannot live with. Speaking personally and hypothetically, I'd pick asymptomatic CHD over a history of needing cruciate ligament surgery in my breeding program. I've never used either, but my personal view is that mild CHD is much easier to manage and less costly than TPLO surgery. It's not just the cost, either; it's the lengthy rehab and loss of a year or more of a dog's already brief competitive career. I'd also quantify using a dysplastic dog by saying that *if* I did, it would be because the dog had no symptoms and came from a strong family with good/excellent hips, accomplishments at the highest levels, and had bloodlines not readily available elsewhere.
    BB
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  7. #47
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Of the Big three breeding wise I don't think you can compare, the Goldens & Chessies to Labs @ all. Both breeds have their own issues and not near the gene pool to pull from. In many cases it would be a extreme hindrance to blatantly drop worthy individuals, out of the gene pool because they carry a certain undesirable trait. It could in fact be dangerous to eliminate sires and dams that way as all it does is create an even smaller gene pool, adding together all those recessives just waiting to drop another perhaps worst genetic condition with no variety to pull from to solve it later. With that type of gene pool it is more worth while to balance negative and positive and breed dogs by trying to push the entire population away from the disease over time, still keeping as much variety as possible. Rather than using single lacking traits as elimination criteria.

    EX; A Good field Golden, who perhaps has a moderate hip/elbow problem, but comes from a line of dogs that have fair-good hips/elbows, but have all died @ 12-16 yrs. with no trace of cancer in their lines, might be considered a very good breeding candidate, to someone who has dogs with excellent hips/elbows but incidences of cancer @ 5-7 yrs.

    I would not consider breeding a Lab with the same lack, one can pick and choose labs, it's easy to find lines and individuals with everything, the other breeds not so much.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 01-28-2013 at 05:14 PM.
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget Bodine View Post
    Julie I am including CBR's as one of the big three. Of course there is no comparison in the #'s , but there is still diversity in the CBR .
    The CBRs barely have a "kiddie end" to their FT gene pool. In the last 40 years you can trace every FT titled and most QAA dogs to 2 sires. It is this shallow pool that has allowed certain genes to manifest themselves into a disease.

    IMHO puppy health certificates are a misnomer. At best we have a genetic marker profile of parents. Certificates and guarantees are marketing tools. Pick a breed, a breeding and a breeder put your money down and roll the dice.


    Tim
    You order a Lab; ask a Golden; but negotiate with a Chesapeake!

  9. #49
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    Maybe I better just stick to labradors.....
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  10. #50
    Senior Member Scott Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat addis View Post
    i am not a breeder but it seems to me if you did breed a dog with defects you would have to lower the price of the pups to get rid of them. i would not pay any where near the price of a clear dog to get one with possable defects in the future
    Pat, please explain what you mean. Are you saying that a carrier puppy has the potential to become an affected dog?
    Or are you referring to owner responsibility in breeding a carrier?
    Thanks.
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