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Genetic Testing for Breeding – does it really matter?

Litter of healthy Cobberdog puppies with no inherited diseases

The Australian Cobberdog is a ‘Purebreed in Development’; as a breeder, Ridgy Didge is committed to improving the breed continuously, for the wellbeing and benefit of the breed and our adopting families. We do extensive DNA testing and hip scores of our breeding dogs: by knowing our dogs’ genetics, we can decide which dogs to breed together so there is absolutely NO genetic risk for all the diseases we have tested.  
For the Ridgy Didge puppy owners, that means that you get a really healthy pup that has NO risk of any of the 30 hereditary diseases that are possible to test for. Our hip score testing also assures us that our puppies have the lowest risk of the common congenital hip problem dysplasia, where a deformity of the hip socket can eventually cause crippling arthritic pain and lameness.

Let’s look more at DNA and testing.
DNA testing is expensive, lengthy and must be ongoing as dogs are introduced into the breeding program.  Without genetic testing, two dogs that unknowingly ‘carry’ a faulty gene would produce a litter where one quarter of the puppies will have two copies of the faulty gene and will develop the disease, though it may not show up for years!  
The range of inherited disease continues to increase, some are minimally problematic and others can be fatal.  This range of diseases includes urinary and genital diseases, metabolic diseases, skin diseases, immunological diseases, bone and joint diseases, ophthalmologic (eye) diseases and degenerative muscle disease.

Some more about hips.
The Hip Score process is also lengthy, expensive and an ongoing process as dogs are introduced to the breeding program.  The dogs have hip X-rays taken under general anaesthetic, at a specially trained vet with special equipment.  The X-rays are then sent to USA for reading and reporting, then a second report from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is generated and recorded on a World-Wide database for breeders to access.   
Hip issues can also develop in pups, especially large breed pups, if abnormal growth of the hip sockets occurs due to avoidable stresses and strains. To further ensure the lowest risk of hip and shoulder issues,  it is very important to take care of your puppy’s developing joints – stairs, forced exercise and jumping up and down onto surfaces like beds and cars can cause problems and must be avoided.  See more about this in the Precautions section on our webpage Raising your Larger Breed Cobberdog Puppy.

Ask your breeder about their testing.
It is a strongly recommended for anyone buying any puppy to ask the breeder if the parents have been genetically tested; it would be heart-breaking to find your lovely puppy going blind or crippled at 3 years of age!  By testing and knowing our dogs’ genetics, Ridgy Didge will only breed dogs together where there is absolutely NO genetic risk for all those diseases we have tested and the lowest possible risk of hip problems. This makes our Ridgy Didge Cobberdog puppies healthy and our puppy families confident and happy.

Hip scores testing

Hip Scores reports

Hip scores help breeders prevent hip displasia

 

If you would like to adopt a Ridgy Didge Australian Cobberdogs in 2019 or 2020, please read our clear Adoption Process information, submit an Adoption Form early so you will be on our waitlist and there's less chance of you being disappointed. For more information, pm us on Facebook, or contact us at our website. Like and follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with ongoing puppy news and announcements.

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