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I know it's been talked about before...however, in reading some of the changes ISDS has done wrt registrations. I am wondering if ABCA can't do somethings different as well. There are so many breeders out there simply breeding every time their bitch comes in (Charlie don't get all in a tizzy, it's no one you know)and they have NO eye tests at all on them, no CERF or DNA, much less hips or BAER...simply cranking out pups. I am not looking for notations on papers, just more paperwork for ABCA I realize, but what about keeping on file "proof" that the dog/bitch has at least been checked?

 

Here's what ISDS says: "The ISDS Rules require as a minimum one eye examination before any progeny will be registered to that dog or bitch. That test can be at any age and from 1st March all new examinations must be on microchipped dogs."

 

I am just thinking that while the CEA Affected are not common are they that way due to lack of testing? With 20K pups being registered per year do we know how many ABCA dogs have been DNA tested for CEA? Is it a minority? Just wondering and thinking it may offend some of the masses but it also may help the breed in the long run.

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Mandating CEA testing of all dogs is not necessary. For example; the offspring of two CEA clear parents WILL be clear. Knowing the CEA status of the dogs being bred (either by testing or simple genetics) is all that is necessary.

 

There are two general approaches we could take: the big brother approach (mandate all tests we feel are necessary for breeding and then set acceptance requirements for each cross) OR let ABCA educated consumers demand certain health checks. What approach would you prefer?

 

Mark

 

 

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No Mark, there are more than two approaches. First off I seriously doubt a majority of owners/breeders are doing the DNA testing, what about a simple CERF? Educating the buyers has not worked, as has been discussed here on a different thread, and quite frankly I don't think it's about to change anytime soon. Those that are educated do know, they buy from who they "hope" is a responsible breeder. But what about all the other fools and breeders? Sure they can go start their own "registry" but again education hasn't been working and one can only do so much. Why the disdain for requiring a eye exam before pups can be registered? Are people really breeding and NOT checking? Are the sire/dam of your current litter clear Debbie? Is this where the line "we're just a registry" pops up? Is it because other registries don't require anything? Are we no better?

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First this:

First off I seriously doubt a majority of owners/breeders are doing the DNA testing,

Then this:

Are people really breeding and NOT checking?

Not sure which position you're really taking here. I can't speak for anyone else, but the working breeders I personally know (and those with dogs I would consider breeding to) do indeed check. Generally hips (sometimes sent in to OFA, sometimes not sent in, but xrayed and looked at (and "okayed") by a vet) and DNA for CEA. Maybe I'm naive, but my sense is that breeders *are* checking.

A

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Let's look at CERF. There is currently 1 known inherited eye disease in our breed, CEA, and to catch this by an eye exam it must be done at a young age. All other items found in eye exams are generally considered acquired and not relevant for breeding proposes. Requiring CERF to register a pup will not be a big deal in some regions of the country but it will be an issue in other regions.

 

 

American College Of Veterinary Ophthalmologists Diplomates

For example, in SC the only vet qualified to perform this exam is near Charleston; the next closest ones are Charlotte, NC, Athens, GA, and Jacksonville, FL.

If you live in Richmond, VA you'll need to drive to northern VA, Blacksburg, or near VA Beach.

In ID there is 1 opthamologist.

In PA your choices are the Phily area or Pittsburgh; the next closest one is at Cornell U (Ithaca, NY).

 

Mandating a CERF for all pups is mandating (in some areas) 2-5hr drive 1 way for the breeder that must be done between 5 and 7 weeks of age.

 

 

Why should all pups, even those that will be spayed/neutered, be tested for inherited diseases?

 

 

Those that are educated do know, they buy from who they "hope" is a responsible breeder.
Why are these educated buyers only hoping they are buying from responsible breeders? If they are educated, they should KNOW what to demand and expect from a breeder. If these demands cannot be met by the breeder then these educated buyers should walk. If not, they are worse then the uneducated; they should know better but settled for less.
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No Mark, there are more than two approaches.

 

Well, I agree with Mark that there are two basic approaches -- require some kind of health testing before dogs can be registered, or don't have such a requirement and rely on education and consumer/peer pressure instead. But you're right that, if the first course were adopted, there are many different methods that could be used and requirements that could be imposed. So, if you favor that approach, what exactly do you think the registry should require? Be specific, since if rules are going to be enacted they will need to be specific. How would it work?

 

Educating the buyers has not worked, as has been discussed here on a different thread, and quite frankly I don't think it's about to change anytime soon. Those that are educated do know, they buy from who they "hope" is a responsible breeder. But what about all the other fools and breeders?

 

What is your criterion for whether educating the buyer has worked/is working? One hundred percent testing of breeding stock? You will never get that. The number of breeders who test their stock has certainly grown enormously since I came into border collies. Specific big-name, highly-sought-after breeders who didn't test ten years ago, or twenty years ago, are testing now. There has been a steady increase. I think that's come about for two reasons: buyer demand, and education from the registry.

 

Sure they can go start their own "registry"

 

They don't need to start their own registry. Several registries already exist, one or two of them with quite high name recognition and reputation with the public, who don't require health testing.

 

Why the disdain for requiring a eye exam before pups can be registered? Are people really breeding and NOT checking? Are the sire/dam of your current litter clear Debbie? Is this where the line "we're just a registry" pops up? Is it because other registries don't require anything? Are we no better?

 

To ask "Are we no better?" you are assuming that requiring testing is "better" and not requiring it is "worse." But is this really the case?

 

I would never say that the ABCA is "just a registry," but our foremost purpose is to maintain accurate pedigree records of working dogs, so that breeders can trace and understand bloodlines and breed better border collies. We are also dedicated to preserving the ability, quality and health of the border collie breed, insofar as it's in our power to do so, but it is not in our power as much as we would like. We all know that there are breeders who would not register dogs with us if there were a testing requirement. Some of them have very good dogs. And most of their dogs (if statistics hold true) do NOT have the disease in question. Is it "better" for the registry to lose these dogs from our gene pool? Is it "better" for us to also lose the dogs of other breeders who do test, but who decide that they're not willing to pay the much-increased registration fees that we would need to charge to cover the costs of processing and enforcing our new testing requirements? I believe the costs of excluding these good dogs and good breeders from the registry would be greater than the benefits. It would be inconsistent with our primary mission of maintaining accurate pedigree records of border collies.

 

ISDS has always had much stricter eye requirements than we do. Before the DNA test existed, they would not register a pup from any dog who had produced two litters in which CEA or PRA was found. (If I recall correctly, and I'm not totally sure I do, in the case of the dam, one litter with a pup found defective on examination was enough to bar all her pups.) A lot of CEA carriers were removed from the gene pool in that way. That may have seemed "better" at the time, but is it better as we look back on it? A lot of supposed PRA carriers were removed that way too. Given the strong possibility that these PRA offspring were actually misdiagnosed as having a hereditary defect when they actually had an acquired traumatic defect (as our present knowledge would indicate), was that "better"?

 

It seems to me that what's good for a particular buyer of a puppy -- maximum possible assurance that the pup will not develop the known and testable hereditary diseases of border collies -- may not be good for the breed overall if imposed as a mandate. That's a reason why the puppy buyer is in a better position to identify and obtain his/her priorities in a pup, rather than relying on a registry to register only puppies that would meet his/her priorities. And that's a reason for placing the responsibility on the buyer. If everyone treated the purchase of a pup as the important, life-altering decision it is, and simply didn't buy until they had acquired enough knowledge to be sure that they were buying from a good breeder, the good breeders would be rewarded and the bad breeders would need to look for other ways to make money. Of course that's not going to happen, but it would be better if it did, and I think we are better off directing our efforts to coming closer and closer to that goal.

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Here's what ISDS says: "The ISDS Rules require as a minimum one eye examination before any progeny will be registered to that dog or bitch. That test can be at any age and from 1st March all new examinations must be on microchipped dogs."

Note that the ISDS requirement is that the sire and dam have eye exams not the pups. Also note that the eye exams can be done after the age (5-7 weeks) when CEA will be evident during the exam meaning the exams may or may not identify if the sire or dam are affected with CEA. Also note that both the sire and dam could be carriers (not detectable by eye exams) and their pups could be affected with CEA (carrierxcarrier=50%carriers & 50%affected). This requirement really doesn't do much to reduce the incidence of CEA in the gene pool.

 

 

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I thought I had said that before pups can be registered their sire/dam had to be tested, if not, that is what I meant. It would put the work and expense on the breeder, not the buyer. However, if said buyer wants to breed then yes, they too would have to test. I agree, the DNA makes it unnecessary if it was the result of a normal x normal breeding (which could be on file at the registry).

 

@Eileen, no criteria per se other than observations, some threads from here, and seeing many litters in this area that the breeders have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to eye checks (so why or how would buyers be educated?). And no I don't/didn't mean to insinuate we're (ABCA) no better due to lack of requirements, but at the same time I find it hard to swallow that some of the breedershaven't a clue yet they still crank out the pups (that can't be good for the breed).

 

Agreed, that some or many have come to test their stock, big names and little over the past years. That's why I don't understand why an eye requirement would be so different, it would be hateful for some at first, but as you say buyer demand and education from the registry. I also agree that what ISDS did previously may have cost the gene pool. But if your affected bitch bred to a normal had results on file you would not be losing anything from the gene pool. I'm not saying to toss any dog "out" simply "check" them. Of course if it's an affected x affected I may squawk at that!

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So, if you favor that approach (registry mandated), what exactly do you think the registry should require? Be specific, since if rules are going to be enacted they will need to be specific. How would it work?

I too would like to hear ideas; perhaps you'll have ideas we have not discussed. Thinking outside the box is welcome; while those ideas may or may not work they could lead to other ideas that could work. But we do need details on how it would work so we can see if it is manageable by a registry.

 

What health checks do you think should be mandated for litter registration?

How much increase in puppy prices are buyers willing to accept to have these mandated health checks (+$100, +$500)?

 

Mark

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I'm not saying to toss any dog "out" simply "check" them.

 

Are you saying the registry should check them or the breeder should check them? If you're saying the breeder should check them, then what should the registry do if the breeder does not?

 

Also, you mentioned hips and BAER in your first post. Do you think the registry should require breeders to do those checks, and what should the registry do if the breeder does not?

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Are the sire/dam of your current litter clear Debbie?

 

 

If you are asking clear via testing, I don't know, they have not been tested, but they still may be clear, if they were not clear or if their parents were not clear don't you think that we would be seeing blindness develop in their siblings and 1/2 siblings of the parents and their pups? Wayne and I have talked about, we may eventually test but at this point we don't see the benefit other then from the standpoint of marketing puppies, besides the ones that we have had ask for it are sport/AKC buyers/breeders.

 

Our dogs are from lines that to our knowledge are not showing to have blindness issues. Three out of four of the grandparents to our pups have been to the National Finals and have been examined, a couple multiple times. Sons and daughters of the grandparents have also been to the Finals (1/2 siblings and full siblings to our dogs). We compete against many 1/2 siblings and direct cousins to the parents of our pups at each trial from both the sire and dams side. What are the chances that either the male or female of our pups is a carrier, let alone what are the chances that they both are? We only need one to be clear.

 

The biggest health issues that we have identified to be in the lines that our dogs are from has to do with working ability, do they have enough for whoever owns them and are the lucky or smart enough to not get severely injured or killed. This last summer 2 of Jake's half siblings were running pretty much 3 legged at the trials, at it was not a temporary situation.

 

I've asked around in our area as to who tests and who does not, right now it's the breeders that have had a problem in their lines or that are marketing to the AKC/sport people. And yes, I do know of breeders that have had blindness, hip and elbow issues and also epilepsy, each time we hear we verify that their lines are not directly crossed into the lines that our dogs are from. In regard to the dog with the epilepsy, that dog has some of the same distant relatives as our male, but it was the opinion of the vets that the condition was due to trauma, so we really are not going to worry about. Would we purchase a pup from that dog or grandpup, nope, that we would not be willing to risk.

 

We have a new female that we will be crossing this next spring, both parents imports and 1/2 siblings. I'm not worried about testing her health wise, I'm worried about whether or not her pups will be as good or better then the pups that we have raised out of the two other females. If the pups are not she won't be bred again, if her pups are better then the dam of our current litter she may find herself looking for a new zip code, there is no point in keeping her, we wouldn't want any more of her pups as we have what we need so why keep her when she could go and be used as a working dog? I already have a couple of people that raise cattle that have said they would take her to use if we remove her from the breeding program.

 

Heck, I'm more worried about someone wanting to cross to our male(s) and bringing brucillosis into our kennel, that test we require. We've already had one female owner walk away due to that testing requirment and that is fine with us.

 

Deb

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I'm getting pounded enough..I am not even bringing up BAER now :)

 

I am saying the "breeder" should check them, turn the results into the registry have them keep them on file and if/when a litter comes along they will know if the sire/dam has had an eye check. If not, no registration for the pups until they have one. The breeder has to register the litter now anyhow. They of all people should know if their bitch has had an eye exam. They can simply send it in with the litter registration if they haven't already sent it in. And why on earth would this increase the cost of a puppy? Isn't it part of being a responsible breeder to begin with?

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And why on earth would this increase the cost of a puppy? Isn't it part of being a responsible breeder to begin with?

Since the registry currently does not require or tract this information the registry will need to increase registration costs to cover these new tasks now the breeder has an increase in the cost of the pups.

 

Let's assume you are correct in that most breeders are not DNA testing their breeding dogs. Since the going rate of pups is based upon what the majority of breeders are charging; requiring every breeder to test will increase the expenses of every breeder up to what "responsible" breeders already incur. Breeders will want to cover these added costs by raising their puppy prices.

 

 

Do you think all breeders are really covering all the costs associated with breeding quality pups at $400-$600/pup?

 

Do you think breeders should be allowed to cover these costs or should they eat these costs because it's part of being a responsible breeder?

 

BAER testing would be totally new expenses for most (I'm guessing >90%) breeders. BAER testing a litter is not cheap (I know we just did it) and there are even fewer BAER testers than ophthalmologists. BAER testing adults may or may not be useful in reducing the rate of early adult deafness; it'll depend upon when the adult goes deaf.

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So are you proposing every breeding pair should be CERFed or DNA tested for CEA prior to litter registration or should ever pup be tested?

 

As I stated before, an eye exam beyond 5-7weeks of age is of little use in magaging CEA in the gene pool and at that age there is no way of knowing if the pup is wothy of breeding based upon working ability.

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I'm getting pounded enough..I am not even bringing up BAER now :)

 

I'm not pounding you, we're reasoning together. :)

 

I am saying the "breeder" should check them, turn the results into the registry have them keep them on file and if/when a litter comes along they will know if the sire/dam has had an eye check. If not, no registration for the pups until they have one.

 

Would that not effectively remove that sire/dam from the ABCA gene pool? Would that not in effect be "tossing a dog out"?

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No, Deb, if there were some CEA in your lines, you would NOT necessarily see blindness issues in your dog or related dogs. If you knew enough about CEA, you'd understand the idea of "go normal" and that, in many/most(?) cases, even affected dogs will not necessarily present with vision problems in their lifetimes.

 

right now it's the breeders that have had a problem in their lines or that are marketing to the AKC/sport people.

Wrong again. I have tested every bitch that I have bred, not because I have "problems in my lines," and I sure as hell am not "marketing to AKC/sport people." So, please, speak for yourself. Spend the $180 bucks and have your dogs tested. In fact, they were just running a special, and I had one tested that only cost me $135.

 

If you're going to breed, do so responsibly. We have the ability to make informed decisions; you should do so. And, frankly, it's people with the attitude that you are expressing here that give the rest of us a bad name,

A

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There is no way that you are going to convince me that by doing a DNA test on my dogs that those dogs are going to produce any better working dogs. It is no less irresponsible to use working ability and longevity of health in a line in breeding decisions as it would be to use working ability and health testing. In one case you are relying on the honesty of the previous breeders and in other you are relying on science which is not 100%.

 

 

At this point I'm not willing to allow my breeding decisions to be clouded by tests and if others do not agree, that is there perogative, it does not reflect on them. If testing becomes required, sure we will end up testing. IMO, if I see a problem in the lines that we are using, then testing should be required and done by us, but I don't see it. And in reality if a person did see it and did not test, then yes they would be irresponsible.

 

 

Now, if someone could show me that a proven working line of dogs can have affected dogs and that every single one in that line ends up being a "go clear" you may have a chance, but I don't believe it. I suppose in theory, if the line was inbred and the trait was set, but as soon as it was outcrossed it should show up, at minimum one generation later.

 

If I was to test, and this is what we are talking about doing, I would not test both of our current breeding dogs. I would test Ricky the best pup that our male produced who will probably end up to be the foundation of our line of dogs.

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Now, if someone could show me that a proven working line of dogs can have affected dogs and that every single one in that line ends up being a "go clear" you may have a chance, but I don't believe it. I suppose in theory, if the line was inbred and the trait was set, but as soon as it was outcrossed it should show up, at minimum one generation later.

 

Huh? I don't follow this paragraph at all. Being inbred has nothing to do with CEA. But I have to thank you for furthering my point wrt breeders not testing and education not working. Anna's right, be responsible and make "informed" decisions not guesses about your breeding stock.

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It is no less irresponsible to use working ability and longevity of health in a line in breeding decisions as it would be to use working ability and health testing.

 

Well, you're right about that anyway, I guess. :) Using working ability and health testing in breeding decisions is not irresponsible at all. Using working ability and "longevity of health in a line," without CEA testing, risks producing visually impaired puppies. Why? Because there's no way, without DNA testing, that you can be sure you're not breeding a carrier to a carrier. Using working ability and CEA testing you can avoid any such possibility, because CEA testing identifies carriers. Most people would consider taking the risk of producing visually impaired puppies when you could avoid that risk to be irresponsible.

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One of the most important problems in controlling the genetic diseases is that, once the disorder has finally been discovered, the allelic frequency of the recessives might have already reached high values in the population of the affected breed.

 

source: Inherited Disorders of Cattle: A Selected Review

What this quote is saying is that by the time you see the genetic disease manifested the carrier rate in the population is already very high. In terms of a kennel or line of dogs, that means by the time you observe CEA affected dogs or pups, the kennel or line already has a very high carrier rate. The problem for this kennel (if testing is not utilized) is that in the general population there is already a 25% carrier rate.

 

Based upon our lines I would not be surprised if an international champion was a carrier, which is not a problem if testing is utilized.

In fact, the wide use of only a few elite sires has enhanced the probability of the coupling of two mutated recessive genes in the genotype of an animal

 

source: Inherited Disorders of Cattle: A Selected Review

The possibility of a popular sire (i.e. international champion) being a carrier increases the likelihood that a new dog with appropriate talent brought into a kennel will also be a carrier.

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