Whether you choose to adopt a dog from an animal shelter, buy from a pet store, or from a reputable breeder, you should be aware that almost all breeds of dogs - including cross breeds can suffer from a wide range of potentially debilitating genetic health and temperament problems.
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Blood disorders
- Stomach or intestinal problems
- Cataracts or other eye diseases
- Jaw and tooth disorders
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal disorders
- Behavioral and temperament problems
And many other serious medical conditions.
Screening for Health Problems
Responsible breeders will do the appropriate veterinary medical screening to ensure that their breeding stock does not show signs of known genetic disorders. Testing can be in the form of X-rays, ultra-sound, blood analysis, eye exams, and many other methods.
Responsible breeders are knowledgeable about the problems inherent to their breeds. They will be more than willing to discuss these issues with you and be able to show proof that they have been conducting regular testing on breeding stock. Unfortunately, some disorders do not show up until later in the dogšs life, so there is never a 100 % guarantee. However, a responsible breeder always has the overall health of his or her dogs and their offspring in mind. Regardless of whom you are purchasing a puppy from, if they will not
discuss possible genetic disorders with you please, walk away. To avoid future heartache and considerable financial cost, buy your puppy elsewhere!
Backyard breeders are people who indiscriminately mate any two dogs just for the sake of the money. They may sell the puppies on their own or ship them to pet stores. If they are breeding several breeds of dogs they may be running a puppy mill. People like this usually will not admit to the existence of genetic problems and have little or no regard for the resulting puppies health, temperament or well-being. Do not buy a puppy of ANY breed from a backyard breeder.
While many genetic disorders are not life threatening, they can be financial and emotional burden for caring dog owners. If you are planning to acquire a new dog, first consider the dog's general characteristics. His size once full grown, coat type, activity level and ease of training are important things to consider. Then, ask yourself if you fully understand all the potential health problems inherent to your chosen breed. Remember, not all dogs of any given breed are stricken with obvious genetic health problems. If you deal with a responsible breeder, you stand a far better chance of acquiring a puppy that you can enjoy for years to come.
So beware of the backyard breeder.
Article submitted by: © Terri Perrin