Despite the best efforts of breeders we are working with living creatures and genetic epidemiology has shown in large studies that purebred and mixed breed dogs struggle from many of the same inherited disorders . After humans, dogs are one of the most genetically well studied species which provides both breeders and buyers with with a wealth of information. Before purchasing a labradoodle puppy we recommend that you do your homework and research the health problems associated with each of the breeds that comprise the multigenerational labradoodle. The best resource is breed associations who tend to be quite transparent about the health conditions associated with their breeds.
Although responsible breeders test for a number of health conditions and choose to only breed healthy dogs, it is still only possible to test for a small percentage of problems that our beloved canines can encounter. Recessive genes play a significant role in canine health and as most are aware there is already significant inbreeding in purebred dogs. It can take years before we recognize the existence of a health condition and most dogs as humans are generally healthy so these conditions still often only affect a very small portion of the population.
Before breeding and purchasing breeding stock we must complete our due diligence and try and obtain as much information as we can about the health problems that have been expressed in each of our lines. We know that breeding 2 unrelated dogs is the best way to try and create genetic diversity and breed away from health issues however the most important first step is to try and learn as much as we can about our breeding dog’s ancestors. It may seem simple to just remove breeding dogs that are directly related to a dog with a health issues however reducing the size of our breeding population will ultimately lead to much greater health issues. We rely on our long time breeder friends and databases to try and fill in as many gaps as we can. It is a challenge to maintain diversity in our bloodlines and avoid the inbreeding that has created problems in so many purebred dogs. We greatly admire the breeders that are working hard to develop new, healthy lines of North American Labradoodles.
The Institute Of Canine Biology is a great resource for those interested in understanding more about scientific approaches to canine development. https://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/
Earth Angels Labradoodles maintains the following testing standards:
In addition to the OFA and/or Penn Hip hip and elbow clearances the following tests are completed an eye exam clearance from a CERF certified ophthalmologist every 18 months , EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse) and prcd-PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) clearance,the DNA profile and unknown EIC or PRA status must be tested.
In addition to these standards Pawprint Genetics has a panel of tests which can be completed on labradoodles which we have done on most of our current breeding dogs and others have been cleared by parentage. We do not eliminate all carriers from our program as when bred to clear mates there is no possibility of an affected puppy. As we eliminate carriers from our programs we risk further reduction in our genetic diversity. Fortunately by testing for PRA we are however able to eliminate the blindness that resulted from this condition.