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Rose, you've been rocking this thread!

Just starting to look into the proof if any that genetic testing is helping breeds become healthier... More complete but same article on the aaha.org site:
Canine DNA testing could change the way you practice medicine ...
Memorable quote from article:

...Based on the 152 diseases tested, researchers found that:
  • Approximately 2 out of 100 mixed-breed dogs are at risk of becoming affected and 40 out of 100 are carriers for at least one of the diseases.
  • Approximately 5 out of 100 purebred dogs are at risk of becoming affected and 28 out of 100 are carriers for at least one of the diseases...
See that last one? This is why getting a pup of untested parents is risky when you get one from a pet shop, unknowledgable breeder or a puppy farm or mill. Since they don't know, they can mate two carriers together and you end up with an adorable puppy that will later be affected by that disease. This is why Rose and many others here say testing is so dang important.

There are a couple of caveats that potential puppy buyers should be aware regarding the study. The sire and dam can be clear of known genetic tests, but there are no gene tests for:
  • High risk hip problems (x-rays for parents are helpful, however, in Standard & Mini Poodles),
  • Sebaceous Adenitis (SA), which is loss of hair and inflamed skin condition,
  • Thyroid/Hypothyroidism disorders
  • Congental Heart/Cardiac disorders
  • Patellar Luxation (in Toy Poodles)
  • Cancer (not common in poodles; extremely common in Golden Retrievers)
(See Common Genetic Disorders & Conditions of all purebred dogs on OFA)

The above conditions are in part from the poodle "population bottle neck" addressed earlier in this thread, or here, or this one that's controversial, here.

PF has or had members whose poodles were purchased from show breeders with champion parents and perfect DNA genetic tests, but their dog still developed one of the above serious and expensive to treat health issues.

However, the better breeders will often know the health history of not only the sire & dam, but also their siblings and half-siblings (aunts & uncles of the litter), and grandparents and even great grandparents who were also bred by good breeders. This info is often available on OFA Database Search. All a potential buyer needs to do is type in either the AKC # of the parents OR their names.

Thus, while the potential puppy buyer can lower the odds of getting a health-vulnerable puppy from a thorough breeder, there are still no guarantees that pup will never develop a serious health problem or "live forever". With love, we take our chances.
 

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I am listed on our poodle club's web site as the person to contact for breeder referrals. I maintain a list of recommended breeders - people who breed to the standard and who do all recommended health testing. At the bottom of my list I have the information on hereditary conditions (I copied from the Poodle Club of America's web site).

Yesterday I received an email from a person who is looking to buy a toy poodle. She asked about a person near Albuquerque who has a web site (DreamTimePoodles.com). So I went to the web site. In the end, I suggested to the person who wrote to me that she look elsewhere, and I sent her the list of recommended breeders. On the DreamTime site I used the contact area to ask about health testing since it is not mentioned anywhere on the site. I also checked the OFA site to see if any poodles with DreamTime in the name were listed - none were. The owner of DreamTime wrote back to say that she does test but does not put results on OFA (it's only $12 to register a dog on OFA). I also asked about pedigrees, but she did not reply to that at all. Her "contract" is online and is quite a piece of work.

It's a shame that most people have absolutely no idea of what to check when they put out a large amount of money on a dog! As a rule, I have found that a puppy from a good breeder costs just about the same as a puppy from a bad one!

Vita, thank you for an excellent post
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I'm really enjoying the contributions to this thread and the insights and questions. For those interested in the diversity issue, another really good, really long, article is on a website of a breeder who I learned in the course of previous research is a PF member, but not active. I know some of you are familiar with this one already also.

Another companion article which I will pull two excerpts from:
"The genetic health of dog breeds is not a direct function of homozygosity, genetic diversity, or population size; but of the accumulation and propagation of specific disease liability genes."

and

"Breeders who refuse to do pre-breeding health screening should be directed to find a different hobby or profession that they can actually be good at."

It's very true that DNA and other health testing by exam is just tip of the iceberg, but the tip is the visible portion of that iceberg.

I'd had the idea to collect breeders names a while back but hadn't settled on criteria for listing beyond recommendation by a PF member. I decided on the OFA/CHIC model because although their criteria is a minimum standard, I think that a breeder willing to invest in the time and expense of doing the testing is more likely to be investing in their own poodles and the breed in other ways.

My first three family poodles came from what would now be called backyard breeders (tho my unverified memory is that the first came from a woman who showed in AKC at least locally). This was 1963 to 1983. This was the way most people got their dogs, from family, friends, acquaintances, in a box at a garage sale, as many of us remember.

We didn't say we wanted a happy. healthy pup, but not a show dog. It was more like "We'll take this one".
In 2002 when I went looking again, the internet was where I found my girls. It was just luck that I happened on pups bred and owned by an honest to goodness real live conscientious breeder.

After looking online for quite a while I landed on a cute picture of three reddish poodles in the obligatory basket. What really caught my eye tho was just how right those faces looked compared to so many I'd seen. DNA testing was still not a thing, but when I found her website she had pictures of poodles on podiums and that seemed like a good thing to me. I think I inadvertently made the connection to those poodles on podiums and the very nice faces of the pups in the basket. She was only a few hours away and the rest is history. We're still in occasional contact.

I'm off to try to find something that I thought I saw last night that addressed curlflooffan's question about the MCB and Medium poodles and to read further thru the study "Frequency and Distribution of 152 genetic diseases variants..." to see if FloofyPoodle's question about the sampling is answered :).
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Here's the section that describes the sampling for the "Frequency and distribution of152 genetic disease variants...":

Statistical comparisons between the mixed breed and purebred populations are inherently sensitive to challenges in defining 鈥渋deal鈥 breed contributions for a representative global purebred sample, as well as the availability of samples from individual breeds where bias may be introduced by attitude differences between breed clubs regarding participation in DNA testing activities. Nevertheless, comparison between the mixed breed sample and our purebred sample鈥揳 unique collection of dogs from a wide variety of more than 300 breed backgrounds (median contribution of any individual breed to the combined purebred sample was only 0.19%)鈥損rovides important value in confirming complete, or virtually complete, breed-specificity for several disease variants. Such breed-specific mutations are likely to have arisen fairly recently, subsequent to breed formation.
In an attempt to perform a fair comparison between mixed breed and purebred dogs, we focused on nine largely recessive disease variants previously reported to exist in at least ten different pure breeds, and which were confirmed as common in both the mixed breed and purebred populations also in the present study.

Frequency and distribution of 152 genetic disease variants in over 100,000 mixed breed and purebred dogs
 

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Here's the section that describes the sampling for the "Frequency and distribution of152 genetic disease variants...":

Statistical comparisons between the mixed breed and purebred populations are inherently sensitive to challenges in defining 鈥渋deal鈥 breed contributions for a representative global purebred sample, as well as the availability of samples from individual breeds where bias may be introduced by attitude differences between breed clubs regarding participation in DNA testing activities. Nevertheless, comparison between the mixed breed sample and our purebred sample鈥揳 unique collection of dogs from a wide variety of more than 300 breed backgrounds (median contribution of any individual breed to the combined purebred sample was only 0.19%)鈥損rovides important value in confirming complete, or virtually complete, breed-specificity for several disease variants. Such breed-specific mutations are likely to have arisen fairly recently, subsequent to breed formation.
In an attempt to perform a fair comparison between mixed breed and purebred dogs, we focused on nine largely recessive disease variants previously reported to exist in at least ten different pure breeds, and which were confirmed as common in both the mixed breed and purebred populations also in the present study.

Frequency and distribution of 152 genetic disease variants in over 100,000 mixed breed and purebred dogs
Thanks, Rose!
 
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