Are You \Thinking Of Breeding?
If you are thinking of breeding we are only too pleased to discuss this with you further. Breeding is a difficult and time consuming enterprise and is not without its downsides.
The question you have to ask yourself if you are thinking of breeding is ‘am I going to better the breed by doing this?’. If the answer is yes then by all means do it but if its just to let her have a litter then you need to think if this is best as there are many good breeders out there trying to improve the breed with puppies available.
There are also many unwanted dogs needing homes – see our links page for local charities.
If you are a new breeder or have been doing it a while it is worth having a chat with us as there are recent advances which will help with bettering your breed. Please call us and ask for Chris Jones to discuss this further.
Gone are the days of just putting two dogs together and hoping for the best, with proper advice you can be selective of the sire (or dam) and produce healthy puppies which you can be proud of. For many years several breeds have had eye testing and hips/elbow scoring pre breeding checks but this has recently been improved upon by adding genetic testing into the mix. This allows exact mate selection based on the genes involved.
The way that you can choose based on the DNA results can be complicated and we are happy to discuss this with you and if you would like a chat about it please feel free to contact us.
Eye testing is an essential part of testing and gross clinical examination by a member of the ‘panel’ is still needed despite doing the DNA testing as we are also looking for other emerging conditions.
There are many diseases in dogs which have a genetic component and as such if we know the code then we can use this to breed the condition out of the dogs. This is very important as these diseases can be devastating. Some breed clubs recognise the individual problems that the breed has and strives to eradicate them and others sadly bury their heads in the sand in the hope that it will go away.
An example of a breed club that is looking further into DNA testing is The Norwegian Elkhound Club of GB. They have been DNA testing for a while and as such the disease rate is going down. Just because a breed club insists on testing does by no way mean that the breed is unhealthy, in contrast it means that the breeders are recognising the issues and dealing with it effectively by checking hips, and eyes along side DNA testing.
An example is the glaucoma gene recently identified in Norwegian Elkhounds, this breed has been affecting by this devastating disease for many years and has been difficult to deal with. Glaucoma causes the pressure inside the eye to increase and causes severe pain and blindness in most cases. Elkhounds get a very particular version of glaucoma and the gene has been found for it. Glaucoma is later onset and so a dog can be used for breeding several times before he /she shows signs (this particular type will not be evident on clinical examination until the signs develop) then it is too late as it has been passed on already.
If you DNA test the dogs then you can pick up carriers of the condition or affected dogs and this enables you to exactly choose which dogs to use to hugely reduce the chances of passing this on. On clinical examination just because the dog is not showing evidence of the disease does not mean that he/she isn’t going to pass on a copy of the faulty gene.
DNA testing and mate selection is a difficult thing to advise on in a short essay but I can easily go through this with anyone interested.
please take a look at the kennel club website as this has a lot of information regarding the health schemes, also take a look at the DNA testing labs as it can give you an idea of what we are looking for.
If you want to breed then that is great, but do it in an informed way to better the breed and be aware of the pitfalls and possible long term issues. You may need to take puppies or older dogs back as the puppies should remain your responsibility. Remember the rescue centres are overfull and you don’t want to add to their already difficult job by homing to the wrong people.
For a chat please call us and we can advise you further.