EP 4: A Breeder’s Approach To Health Testing


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As we enter our second class, we use this episode to broach the subject of health testing. You can expect to learn all about what testing is and what to do when it comes to testing your parents and puppies, in order to create better standards for us all. An important note to always keep in mind when it comes to this area of breeding is that there are no foolproof answers from tests, and the recommendations laid out here are a way to stimulate some thought and give you a means to work with the many variables we constantly encounter when it comes to the health of our dogs. There are many limitations to the power of testing, but it does provide a very strong resource for improving our breeding and the gene pool, and should not be underestimated! In part one, we speak about important areas such as eyes and hips, follow-up tests on the patella, elbows, and heart, and much more. Listeners will also come away with some useful starting points for where to go for certain tests, why it is vital to test for temperament and the part that brain development plays in the later life of any dog. So to get it all make sure to join us and stay tuned for part two!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Staying realistic about the amount of certainty with which we can approach health testing.
  • The two-fold nature of health testing: prenatal practices and following up with records.
  • Using the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the certifications they offer.
  • Different tests for DNA, eyes, and heart, and when and how to do these.
  • Delaying health tests for females in heat in order to preserve reliable results.
  • The important statistics available on the OFA website around preliminary tests.
  • What sort of veterinary professional to seek out for testing an animal's heart.
  • The importance of the coefficient of inbreeding (COI) and why to track it.
  • The topic of temperament and why to not neglect this area of testing.
  • Including brain development in the nature versus nurture conversation.
  • Using testing, record collection, and in-pregnancy care for the mother to promote healthy development.
  • When to breed? The simple yet highly contentious question!
  • What to do with back-to-back litters and encouraging set schedules.
  • The mandatory difficulties that we encounter at all stages of breeding!

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Jeanette Forrey

The Ultimate Badass Breeder's Guide

Jeanette Forrey Email



Paw Print

Jeanette Forrey

Badass Breeder

Badass Breeder on Facebook

Badass Breeder on Instagram

Badass Breeder Software

The Ultimate Badass Breeder's Guide

Jeanette Forrey Email

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