Mythbusters!  True or false?

It’s ok to only do Embark genetic testing when breeding dogs: FALSE!

Embark genetic testing for dogs provides valuable insights into a dog’s genetic makeup, including potential health risks and ancestry. However, it is not sufficient for clearing breeding dogs from all health and genetic issues due to several reasons:

  1. Limited Coverage– While Embark tests for a wide range of genetic mutations associated with various diseases and conditions, it may not cover every possible health concern. Some conditions may not yet have known genetic markers, or new mutations may arise over time.
  1. Complex Inheritance: Many health conditions in dogs are influenced by multiple genes as well as environmental factors. Embark’s testing may identify certain genetic predispositions, but it cannot account for all genetic complexities or interactions.
  1. Incomplete Data: The field of canine genetics is continually evolving, with new research and discoveries being made. Embark’s database may not capture all available genetic information, and its interpretation of results may change as more data becomes available.
  1. Interpretation Challenges: Interpreting genetic test results requires expertise and understanding of complex genetic principles. While Embark provides comprehensive reports, interpretation can vary depending on the breeder’s knowledge and experience.
  1. Other Health Considerations: Health screening for breeding dogs should also include physical examinations, evaluations for breed-specific health concerns, and testing for non-genetic issues such as hip dysplasia or eye disorders. 

Overall, while Embark DNA testing is a fine tool for breeders in assessing genetic health, it should only be used in conjunction with other health screening measures to ensure responsible breeding practices and minimize the risk of passing on genetic disorders to future generations. 

DOGGIT aligns with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and all National Breed Clubs to determine the recommended health clearances for each breed. 

We are proud to be the sole breeder network that verifies all breeding dogs’ health clearances.

I don’t need a puppy from a breeder who does dog shows or performance sports: FALSE

This is a major misconception because participation in dog shows or performance sports indicates that the breeder is actively involved in evaluating their dogs’ conformation, temperament, health and abilities against breed standards. Breeders who engage in these activities demonstrate a commitment to preserving and improving the breed by producing puppies that conform to breed standards and exhibit desirable breed traits.  Additionally, involvement in dog shows and performance sports shows the dedication and commitment they have to their breed. Therefore, dismissing breeders involved in dog shows or performance sports results in missing out on puppies who are bred with careful consideration for health, temperament, and conformation.  Choosing breeders involved in dog sports and confirmation competitions leads to healthier and more well-adjusted puppies, as they prioritize consistency in personality, health, and soundness. When selecting where to purchase your puppy, prioritizing breeders engaged in these activities ensures better outcomes for the puppy’s overall well-being and temperament.

Knowing both parents or multiple generations back in the lineage qualifies a breeder as responsible: FALSE 

Genealogy, or knowing a dog’s ancestry, is an essential aspect of understanding its background and potential genetic predispositions. However, simply having knowledge of genealogy does not guarantee validity. When evaluating pedigree or lineage, breeders and owners should look for several key factors beyond just ancestry:

Health Clearances: Ensure that the dog’s ancestors have undergone health screenings and genetic testing for common breed-specific health conditions. This helps in identifying potential genetic risks and minimizing the transmission of hereditary diseases. Check HERE to see what a breed’s recommended health clearances are. 

Conformation and Performance Records: Examine whether the dog’s ancestors have participated in confirmation shows, performance events, or working trials. This demonstrates the breed’s adherence to breed standards and its ability to perform specific tasks. This info can be found on the Sire (father) or Dam (mother) pedigrees, and/or on the litter’s pedigree.  Titles for confirmation are acronyms in the front of a dog’s registered name, whereas performance titles are acronyms on the end of a dog’s registered name.

Temperament and Behavior: responsible breeders should consider the temperament and behavior of the dog’s lineage, as these traits can be inherited. Look for dogs with stable temperaments, suitable for the intended purpose, whether it be companionship, performance, or working roles.

Longevity and Health History: Assess the longevity and overall health history of the dog’s lineage. Look for ancestors who have lived long, healthy lives without significant health issues, indicating robust genetic backgrounds.

Breeder Reputation: Research the reputation and practices of the breeder responsible for producing the lineage. A reputable breeder follows ethical breeding practices, prioritizes health and welfare, and breeds with a clear purpose to improve the breed.

It is essential to consider factors such as health clearances, conformation and performance records, temperament, health history, breeder reputation, and genetic diversity when assessing the validity and quality of a pedigree or lineage.

Spending ~$1,500-3,500 for a responsibly bred puppy has a higher probability to save me money in the long run: TRUE

Due to several factors this is overwhelmingly true:

Reduced Veterinary Expenses: Responsible breeders prioritize the health of their breeding dogs and conduct thorough health screenings to minimize the risk of hereditary diseases and genetic disorders in their puppies. By investing in a puppy from a reputable breeder, you are less likely to encounter costly veterinary bills associated with treating chronic health conditions or genetic issues that may arise from poorly bred dogs.

Lower Behavioral Modification Costs: Puppies from responsible breeders are raised in nurturing environments with proper socialization and early training. They exhibit stable temperaments and desirable behavior traits, reducing the need for extensive behavior modification training or professional interventions to address aggression, anxiety, or other behavioral problems commonly seen in poorly bred dogs.

Avoidance of Unexpected Expenses: Irresponsible breeding practices, such as overbreeding, or lack of health testing, can result in puppies with hidden health or genetic issues that may not manifest until later in life. By choosing a responsibly bred puppy, you minimize the risk of encountering unexpected expenses associated with managing or treating these underlying health conditions, saving you money on emergency veterinary care, medications, and specialized treatments.

Long-Term Quality of Life: Responsibly bred puppies are more likely to enjoy a higher quality of life and longevity due to their quality genetics, proper socialization, and early care. Investing in a puppy from a reputable breeder ensures that you are providing your new companion with the best possible start in life, reducing the likelihood of costly health or behavior-related issues down the line and potentially extending their lifespan, thus saving you money on long-term care and support.

Legal Issues: In some cases, puppies purchased from irresponsible breeders may come with incomplete or fraudulent documentation, such as inaccurate health records or false pedigrees. This can lead to legal disputes, financial losses, and challenges in obtaining reimbursement or compensation for the expenses incurred in caring for the puppy’s health and well-being.

Emotional Toll: Dealing with the consequences of purchasing a puppy from an irresponsible breeder can take a significant emotional toll on the owner. Watching the puppy suffer from health problems or struggling with behavioral issues can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, and helplessness. Additionally, the bond between the owner and the dog may be compromised by the challenges posed by the puppy’s health and behavior, causing emotional distress and anguish. This is one of the leading causes to dogs being surrendered to shelters. 

While the initial cost of purchasing a responsibly bred puppy may be higher than acquiring one from a less reputable source, the investment pays off in the form of reduced veterinary expenses, lower behavioral modification costs, avoidance of unexpected health issues, and improved long-term quality of life for your canine companion, ultimately resulting in significant savings over time.  

DOGGITs firm stance: The emotional distress from witnessing the puppy’s suffering is never worth saving a few bucks in the beginning. Think of it in the form of a puppy being in your family for 10+ years. Do you want to reduce or increase the likelihood of your best friend living a happy and healthy life?  We don’t support or encourage irresponsible breeders to keep breeding unhealthy and unhappy dogs. 

A breeder on other marketplaces or with a great website is one I can trust: FALSE

Numerous irresponsible breeders excel in marketing and conveying what potential buyers want to hear. In contrast, most responsible breeders are not proficient marketers because their primary focus is not profit. While some may effectively promote their breeding programs, it’s crucial to understand that merely having an elaborate website or being listed on a puppy marketplace that claims health as a priority does not guarantee anything without substantiating it with health clearances at the very least. 

DOGGIT takes great pride in being the first of it’s kind health-verified breeder network. We meticulously screen and verify every breeding dog on our platform, ensuring that proper documentation for both Sires (Dads) and Dams (Moms) has been submitted.

The more expensive a puppy is, the better it will be: FALSE

Responsible breeders prioritize the health and happiness of their puppies over profits, aiming to produce offspring better than their parents. While prices generally align with breed standards, exceptionally accomplished breeders or dogs may warrant higher pricing. If a puppy is priced above average, there should be a compelling reason for the increase.

Getting a puppy from a “AKC breeder” or a “Papered dog” is sufficient in verifying it is a well bred dog: FALSE

This statement is false because being registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) or having papers does not guarantee that a dog is well-bred. Registration papers only indicate that the dog’s lineage has been recorded with the AKC, but they do not necessarily reflect responsible breeding practices, health clearances, or adherence to breed standards. Therefore, additional verification, such as health clearances and breeder reputation, is necessary to ensure a well-bred dog.

The 3 pillars of responsible breeding are Temperament, Structure and Health: TRUE

When evaluating a dog for breeding or suitability as a pet, several key factors should be considered. 

Firstly, temperament plays a crucial role, as it determines the dog’s overall disposition and behavior. A balanced temperament aligned with the breed’s characteristics is essential for both working and companion dogs. 

Secondly, structural health is paramount, encompassing factors such as muscle tone, bone structure and the dog’s ability to function according to its breed’s standards, including running, enduring heat, and cold conditions. 

Lastly, health clearances are imperative to ensure the dog’s overall well-being. Recommended health clearances, such as those provided by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, should be performed with passing grades to mitigate the risk of hereditary health issues and ensure the dog’s long-term health.- see HERE for breed requirements from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals