Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bulldog news and healthy purebreds


I almost forgot to post the really exciting news. My sister has a lead on a bulldog puppy! One from a breeder who actually does health testing before and after breeding. Finding what I consider a reputable bulldog breeder was NOT an easy task. I am VERY picky about breeders in general and in a breed with such dramatic health issues that can affect even basics like difficulty breathing, it was even more of a challenge. I got some really "interesting" answers when I asked some of them what they did for health testing. I'm sorry but "they are from champion lines" just isn't going to cut it folks! (OK now what do you DO for testing?) We have an appointment at the end of the month to go see the litter and, if she passes the breeders test, pick out a male pup. (to then be picked up later when he is old enough to leave mom and siblings) We are all VERY excited. Above is a pic of the nursery complete with heat lamp.

For a really good post on breeding healthy dogs, and the changes our AKC needs to make to help accomplish that, check out this gem from The Pet Connection blog: http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2009/02/10/we-can-have-it-all-but-we-have-to-change-first/

Here is the link to the mentioned report in the post as well on how the kennel club has missed the mark on promoting and protecting purebreds. (in the UK but it definatly applies here as well) http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2009/02/veterinary-experts-say-kennel-club-has_09.html

This is a link that was buried in the comments of the Pet Connection post that I found very interesting. It is about a breeding program for healthy Dalmatians. http://www.dalmatianheritage.com/about/index.htm

And anther link to a program where they managed to breed short tailed boxers. (negating the need for surgical tail docking) http://www.boxerunderground.com/1998%20issues/oct_bu_98/bobtail.htm

Both links are an excellent look at what CAN be accomplished within a breeding program. So why are we accepting anything less? Looking for a puppy from a reputable breeder? Educate yourself on what health problems run in that breed. (ALL breeds have health issues, don't let anyone tell you different.) Then ask the breeders you speak to what they do for testing and expect proof. A verbal "Oh we had her hips checked" might mean they took her to a vet for a check up, not had them x-ray'd and passed an OFA certification. (which will have a paper trail) Healthy breeding may need to start with the breeders, but the buyers are the ones who need to insist on compliance for it to change some of these breeders long term. Don't be part of the chain of supply and demand for unhealthy dogs. It helps no one.

4 comments:

Katie said...

Oh yay! That's exciting news. I hope everything checks out and that the visit goes well.

Barb said...

Hooray! Congratulations! And good for you for doing all the research and legwork. One ongoing problem is that it IS difficult for most people to find a really reputable breeder. Even if they really know what to look for, and most don't. That statement "they come from Champion lines" is one of my pet peeves and a real red flag - firstly because as you said it's got NOTHING to do with health testing or really trying to produce healthier puppies. But it also usually means that there is a Champion somewhere 2 or 3 or more generations back and that means exactly diddly squat.

For people looking for other breeds, going to the parent club website is usually a good place to start. The parent club of a particular breed will usually be called something like "The [name of breed] Club of America". They'll usually have a list of health tests that are recommended for that breed.

Another big problem though, is that there are still so many genetic diseases that we DON'T have a test for. Pedigree research is often the only tool we have and the problem with that is that the health history of many dogs isn't known - or at least the truth isn't known. Once we have actual genetic tests then it will eliminate a lot of the guesswork.

Can't wait to see more pics when you go visit them! There are few creatures cuter than a Bulldog puppy!!

Marie said...

Barb,

Sadly all the recent contacts I made WERE though the Bulldog Club of America off the AKC website. So even some of those breeders aren't always doing what they should be.

I am thinking they will be the CUTEST when we go see them.

ellipsisknits said...

Wow, that really is great news. It's good to hear a real world story of 'yes I did it, and no, it was not easy, but it was possible'

I hope to hear many more updates!