Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Gaston, N.C.
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Photo Submissions 21 Times in 21 Posts
I'm not recommending skipping the hip Prelims. We've bred 6 generations of our own line, and know that the chance of getting a fail closely approach zero. But you do need a vet who knows what they are doing to get a good xray. We won't anesthesize one just to get a better xray. To get an Excellent rating you either need to put the dog under-in some xrays you can even see the clamp they put on the legs, have your own xray machine, or get really good luck.
A lot of breeders put a lot of stock in the hip ratings, and say things like they won't breed a fair to a fair, or this to that, but unless you know what you are looking at, and have the xrays available to see yourself, it's really more of a crap shoot.
Other tests we do are: complete blood panel with Bile acids. We'd not breed a dog with high bile acids.
Cardiac, especially if you didn't know many ancestors on the pedigree to know what their longevity was.
We also test now for the curly gene. Curly dogs are so much more of a pain to keep groomed than the silky coat, that we have selected it out of our line. One problem with curly is that sometimes you can't tell it's there until the adult coat comes in. The puppy coat may be almost straight, but when the adult coat comes in, it can even be tight curls like a toy poodle. Our first stud dog was like this. He was Sable, and I've seen this happen with a lot of Sables, but it can happen with any color. We also got fooled with Fifth, who was otherwise everything we wanted to produce. Of course, curly does really good in the show ring when blow dried and brushed out-it's what the bushy coated ones have that you see so many pictures of, but we don't want it in our line any more since we can select away from it so easily now.
And also test for the shorthair gene.
Probably others, but I can't think of them right now. My wife, Pam, looks after all that, but she doesn't read or post on the internet.
But that just gets you past the health testing. There is also conformation, temperament, teeth, and a long list of other things, including early puppyhood training.
The #1 reason dogs are given up to shelters and rescue is housetraining issues. That makes it the #1 reason dogs are put to sleep, and the #1 most important responsibility for the breeder to give the babies the best start on a good life by training them to succeed to start with.