Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Breeders / Genetics and Health Question

I am in the process of looking for a breeder for a MAS. I am aware of the fact that these dogs can have some health problems also genetically related - which is why I am diligently searching for a responsible breeder. I have been asking breeders if they test for: CERF, OFA, CEA, HSF4 and MDR1 (maybe there are other things I am missing). I have recieved a myriad of responses as to what they believe is relevant, so now I am a bit confused as this doesn't seem to be so clear cut.

I would like to ask you:
What EXACTLY do I have to be careful of? Do BOTH dogs really have to be genetically tested for everything? Or should I rather ask – what would be acceptable if only one parent is tested (dominant vs recessive gene)?

Another angle: what things SHOULD both dogs be tested for?

Is hip dysplasia a problem or not a problem in these smaller dogs(the miniature ones)? One breeder said that it is not a problem.

I should mention that I am looking for a family pet which will be spayed (we want a female) so there is no issue of offspring in this case. I am also not looking for a show dog.

Thank you for helping out!

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MAS breeder questions
by: Anonymous

I would start by looking over this site:
http://mascaonline.com/breed-info/health/

If I were getting an MAS, I would want both parents to have recent OFA (preferably hips and elbows, definitely hips) and CERF information, and I would expect all puppies in the litter to receive an eye exam by a certified veterinary ophthalmologist. In addition, I would look for a litter that was MDR1 clear by parentage, HC clear by parentage, and PRA/PRCD clear by parentage.

I would talk to the breeder about the cause of death of past dogs or puppies from past litters, and about the presence (or not) of epilepsy in their lines. While you may not be interested in breeding or showing, you still deserve a temperamentally sound, physically healthy companion who will not break your heart and your pocketbook at six years old due to bad breeding.

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