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Discussion Starter #1
as a breeder i face the choice now to be able to test for various health problems within the breed ,the problem is that people who buy puppies do a bit of research and want only a cleen sheet when in effect the carriers in the litter are the same as the clear pups unnafected by whichever disease we have tested for .
we have people on this forum who reckon we should only breed from clear parents and produce clear offspring so writing off a fair proportion of dogs which have so much to give the breed.
the more tests that become avaailable the worse this situation will become with breeders writing off some really good dogs in the pursuit of the cleen sheet.
i am in the position at the moment of having one of my dogs an optigen tested affected dog going blind at four and a half years old ,however he is without doubt the best dog i have had in many years and we always have a minimum of eight dogs at any one time.
i have had loads of enquiries to use him at stud but as soon as optigen is mentioned thats the end of the conversation.
i have had serious thoughts about buying a bitch in to use but would you buy a pup from me if the registration papers said fail for pra 2009?even though i mated him to a clear bitch all hip,elbow current eye cert etc.
the offspring would of course be all carriers with all other relevant health certs in place.
i am going to do this because in the long term i want a pup so badly from this boy its selling the rest i worry about.he has proved to be an exceptional dog in every aspect of his work and competition carreer and it would be a real loss not to breed from such a dog as i consider him to be so far ahead of anything else i have ever had
your thoughts please
 

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i have had serious thoughts about buying a bitch in to use but would you buy a pup from me if the registration papers said fail for pra 2009?even though i mated him to a clear bitch all hip,elbow current eye cert etc.
Obviously I fall into the show camp - but notwithstanding that - YES - I would with my understanding - from an eye certificate perspective it's a difficult one though - we tell people to look for a clear eye certificate - yet a PRA fail isn't :( maybe it's time there was a separation for PRA in how it is shown on the eye certs.

Excellent post BTW and I totally totally agree and understand where you are coming from.

My main worry with PRA affected dogs is around raising a litter of an affected bitch going blind - I guess providing it is managed - a sight impaired dog with assistance doesn't have the same ethical connotations for me - and I am damn sure the dog wouldn't complain :lol:

Edited to add - there does seem, in some camps, to be the feeling that if I don't test then it doesn't matter - but if I do test and the result doesn't go my way, I will have to discard the dog :? and some people DO use stud dogs on that basis :?
 

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Well, Dave, I of course know this breeding very well being the owner of his brother, who is a 'carrier'. I took the 'chance' of breeding Grouse to my 'clear' bitch thinking through the 'worst case scenario' which could have been keeping all pups or at least having to test the whole litter and keep all the 'carriers'. That didn't happen! I kept 4 back (2 dogs - 2 bitches) out of a litter of 8 but ended up selling one of the bitches at 14 weeks old as I just kept getting enquiries. I didn't test the litter as all potential puppy buyers wasn't concerned - their response were: ' well, if we decide to breed, then we will just use a 'clear' dog'.

I did a repeat mating this year and ended up with a waiting list of 18 people 8O and didn't dare to take more than 6 deposits.

In my experience, you would probably not find any bitch owners that want to 'take' the risk but if you use your own suitable bitch and you're good breeder with an 'open policy' then there are buyers because they will be quality pups and they are guaranteed not to go blind from PRA.

I can mention at least one more 'big name' kennel from my area whom I know also breed 'clear' to 'carrier' and have no problem selling the pups either - at the end of the day, most pups are not going to be bred from anyway, so the main concern for most dog owners is that the pup is growing up to be healthy.

Natasha
 

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Dave, I fall into your catagory of people who probably feel that in certain areas of our breed with very many clear dogs out there, using carriers is just not terribly necessary in the scheme of things. If it becomes so in the future then fine, I'll change my mind! ;-) Certainly many TALK a good 'oh yes i'd use a Carrier' and actually never really would if faced with two equally good dogs.

however I don't for a second think I wouldn't buy a BITCH from that all carrier litter. I just wouldn't buy a dog. Simply because I know that few Carriers are used, and therefore wouldn't wish to put a ton of work into a dog that would very very rarely be used at stud. But with a dearth of clear tested dogs out there, I'd buy a carrier bitch, all else equal, in a heartbeat. Indeed I've just bred a litter from what could be a Carrier bitch and kept a bitch. I'm not remotely troubled, I was just very careful where the dogs went and what endorsements they carried and advised all bitch owners to only either test or breed to an Optigen clear dog should they ever wish to breed.

I think, as mentioned by Sue, its hard to tell buyers to look for a clear eye certificate and then be suprised when a PRA affected dog truns them off as a father of a litter to buy from. It may be wrong, scientifically speaking, but for joe public it makes sense to them!

Di
 

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Would I buy a pup? Well, if the bitch was tested clear, then the pups would be carriers but not affected, correct? So, if I didn't want to breed from my pup then it wouldn't make any difference to me, and if I did want to breed I would just have to choose a clear partner. So, if I liked your dog, and I liked your bitch, then yes, I would have one of your puppies.

(But I'm not looking for any puppies at the moment, I am talking hypothetically!!)

You could perhaps put a breeding restriction on the pups,so that they must be bred only to Optigen clear dogs?

Katy

Sorry cross posted with all the others. And I am sorry to hear about your dog going blind, by the way.
 

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Diana said:
If it becomes so in the future then fine, I'll change my mind! ;-) Certainly many TALK a good 'oh yes i'd use a Carrier' and actually never really would if faced with two equally good dogs.
BUT - we MUSt consider the future now - otherwise when DNA tests come along for HC - we will already quite a signficant erosiion of the gene pool which could well struggle against HC (which is a MUCH bigger problem in our breed) - add a DNA test for HD to that and whoosh!

if you dig hard enough, you will find HC affected dogs in the most unexpected places - likewise high hipscores - what impact will the DNA tests have then 8O

I did have the option of clear or carrier in my last litter and went for the carrier - my initial choice of stud this time was a carrier - sadly he was sent to Russia - and while I don't mind travelling I do have my limitations :lol:

All puppy buyers were quite happy with the explanation of mum being clear - and I drew it into my endorsement agreement that Optigen testing was part of the mandatory requirements for lifting the endorsements.
 

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I don't think there is a 'Clear result fixation' in a negative sense, out there, just everyone would, naturally, *prefer*their result to be Clear! I'm yet to meet someone who wanted their dog to come back a Carrier - except someone who had the other alternative as being Affected!

Di
 

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" BUT - we MUSt consider the future now "


Sue obviously I take your point and have been considering the future for a very long time being one of the first kennels to use Optigen here in 2004. I was trying to think about the future from a very dark place of my stud dog being shown to be a Carrier. It wasn't pleasant and he is not the only Carrier I have bred or bred FROM it has to be said. So I genuinely sit as devils advocate here having ridden the Carrier route (and still am) but when all is said and done, I don't really feel there is a Clear dog obbsession, just most people find what they want in a Clear dog these days with so many tested.

The stats show this from how many carriers actually are used. I know for my own it went silent. So if I were trying to breed a bitch to keep I'd happily dip into Carrier waters, but having taken the chance twice on breeding a dog to keep from a Carrier/Clear mating, I'd rather not do it again myself. So it really depends - if I am thinking of the good of the breed then maybe I should make one mating choice, but if I think of the good of us here, then maybe I make another. I have to say i don't find it difficult really.... maybe i'm selfish ;-)

Di
 

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Diana said:
but when all is said and done, I don't really feel there is a Clear dog obbsession, just most people find what they want in a Clear dog these days with so many tested
mmm - I beg to disagree - more than once when talking studs around the showring - I've had the 'nudge nudge, whisper - "he's a carrier mind" my response is usually along the lines of -

"and your point IS? my bitch is clear"

If I can produce a clear litter - it's an added bonus - but it's certainly not top of my list - and if the aforementioned dog ever comes back to the UK - I can almost guarantee I will be hotfooting it up the motorway at some point in the future :wink:

I was mightily encouraged at a recent show to overhear the tail end of a conversation on this - and it went along the lines of Use the BEST dog regardless - lets hope more people start thinking that way
 

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I think most people DO think that way, its just that with as many tested dogs as we have now - (I believe I totalled it up in the LRC yearbook year before this one and it was something like 60% WERE tested, 40% weren't, and that figure will go up last year and this year what with CBP's) most don't even really have to consider using a carrier. Its not that they won't, just they don't have to.

Di
 

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" If I can produce a clear litter - it's an added bonus - but it's certainly not top of my list - and if the aforementioned dog ever comes back to the UK - I can almost guarantee I will be hotfooting it up the motorway at some point in the future "


Ok, and I'm probably silly asking this because I probably know what you will say in answer - but would you undertake that mating knowing you definately wish to keep a dog and not a bitch that time around?

Di
 

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I can see why your really keen to have a litter of pups sired by your dog and in the big scheme of things with the optigen test available now, your not going to produce affected dogs so really there should not be a problem but, I think that your more than likely going to end up using your own clear bitch as there are very few clear bitch owners that will use an affected sire , inevitable prejudice and the desire for an easy life ,
it is far easier to say to puppy buyers that the pups are clear .

With respect to the puppies born as carriers , the bitch pups will I have little doubt find a home where if they are to be bred from the new owners are going to have to have the view that it is just part of the big picture and to work with it ( not a big deal :wink: ) the problem really lies with the dog pups in respect of their potential use as stud dogs . I think that you would be limited in respect to the type of home that they will have ie a pure working home or pet home but I cannot really see many trials people keen to put a lot of work and money into a dog that ( as you have already experienced ) is unlikely to be used at stud very often . I am not saying that they should not be used, just that they perhaps would not be used as much as a clear dog, so the potential profit would be very minimal after doing all the other tests :roll: .

Would I breed from him , ( big intake of breath ! ) I really dont know :roll: .
I suppose you would at least know what your going to get ie carriers , and if you have a waiting list who are happy to have a carrier then I probably would, but I would be very careful that these puppies were to have some sort of breeding restriction because of their carrier status .
Could I enforce that , I think that I might be a bit worried about that , but then I worry about most situations :roll:

What ever you decide, I wish you well :)
 

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I spend quite a bit of time researching pedigrees for people, and believe me, it's the exception rather than the rule that I dont find a worry there. And by worry I mean that there is something which the pups may develop in later years. With an affected to clear there is no may about it, no pup from that mating will EVER develop a problem from that.

If my theory is right, almost every show bred Labrador has the potential to be an EIC carrier! Almost no dog, show or work, does not have an HC behind it so the possibility for problems here are endless. And thats just two conditions out of many.

Remember when we started into DNA tests? We could now breed out problems without loosing genes. That was quite a nice idea at that time, but with each new test which comes along it becomes rather more than nice, it becomes essential! I believe Dr Jeff Sampson did us so much damage at the Lab Club AGM a year or so back!

Regards, John
 

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For what it is worth, as a pet dog buyer, it would never put me off having a clear to carrier mating pup, but then as I dont want to ever breed I dont have to think about it, but knowing that the pup would be either clear or carrier would not bother me one bit :D

Of course assuming that hips/elbows etc were all done too :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
the vast majority of pups sold are never bred from so its matterless carrier status .
i would keep a dog and a bitch no probs ,i dont breed off all my dogs only the one that i consider to be the best unlike many people who breed for sentiment or money .
we have had loads of bitches and dogs we havent bred from .
this is a case of what i consider a once in a lifetime dog sadly handicappped by pra which doesnt stop him carrying his genes forward .
using his brothers who are clear and carriers isnt an option as its just not the same
 

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for me personally, if i was looking for another boy, i'd consider one of your pups. I have no wish to get into this breeding lark. If i liked everything else about the mating but the pup would be a carrier, it wouldn't bother me at all.
 

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You know my view on this already Dave, if you think it is the way to go, then do it.

If dogs that are now known to be at best carriers, had been tested years ago, maybe we would n't have been having this discussion now.

What would the working world be like without those dogs in there?

As you say, the majority of people do not breed anyway, so it's not an issue for them.

If you are keeping a dog and a bitch back, then in the next generation you can breed away completely from the problem, without any of the dogs you have bred being affected by the condition.

You want a son of your dog, not my dog, or Natashas dog, and that's perfectly understandable. They may not turn out to be as good as the sire, they may be even better, but if you don't try, you'll never know.

I for one would never critcise you for trying to do so.

Andrew
 

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Diana said:
Ok, and I'm probably silly asking this because I probably know what you will say in answer - but would you undertake that mating knowing you definately wish to keep a dog and not a bitch that time around?
It's no secret I am nowhere near the stage where I want to keep a dog from my own breeding - BUT - when the time is right, then I would look for the best PUP irrespective of gender and wouldn't test before choosing.

If that dog subsequently turned out to be a carrier then so be it - providing he was first and foremost a good showdog (not necessarily ticket potential - but good fun to show with a chance of being placed) and if, given the chance, a good producer, and people voted with their feet solely on his carrier status - that would be their loss.

That might sound arrogant - and I am a VERY LONG WAY from producing anything to that level dog or bitch yet from my own lines - if ever.

The dog I wanted to use had only produced a few times in the UK - but I fell in love with a chocolate daughter of his - totally not knowing he also had a SH CH daughter on the ground - all I can say is that the UK's loss is the other country's gain and I do hope he comes back.

This is not an idealistic or romantic view - it is something I feel quite strongly about - and I really do see problems afoot in our breed as new health tests become available.

The option of going for a clear sibling may or may not be there - but it's no secret that few litters produce several show quality dogs even in those kennels at the top of their game - and likewise - just because two dogs carry the same ancestry doesn't mean they will produce the same quality either - and there are instances when dogs who don't do so well in the ring, produce quality to a level that does - so IMO you have to look, and keep looking at the whole picture.
 

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Diana said:
" Probably silly asking this because I probably know what you will say in answer - but would you undertake that mating knowing you definately wish to keep a dog and not a bitch that time around?

Di
As a fairly novice person here I can see this point of view from Di.

Yes, if the mating may produce a carrier I would keep a bitch and wouldn't be too concerned, as i would look for a clear to rectify this, but....If the mating was to hopefully keep a dog, I would not use this mating :(

Perhaps if I were a lot more experienced I may have a different view but with the knowledge I have, I would stay away..

Hayley x
 

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dave i would go with the plan , 6 years ago i bought a pup from a bitch who had not had no health checks but i had seen her work 40 days a season picking up , my choice , i have booked a pup from alitter early 2010 the breeder hip scores and elbow tests , annual eye test . no Optigen , this is my choice i have no intention of breeding from the pup which will be the same as most people who buy a pup from you .
with the general public sometimes a little knowledge is dangerous .
if you keep a dog and put him at stud people will make thier own judgements wether to use him . we have been conditioned in all walks of life to take no risks ? thats why people come looking for a clean sheet of health checks .
 
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