The Importance of OFA's and Cerf's.
I mentioned in another thread the importance of OFA's and CERF's. Since there was a bit of a differing of opinion on when this should be done, I thought I would post this and maybe teach someone something new.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals tracks genetic defects in all breeds of dogs. Certifications can not be done before the dog is fully mature (age 2). The catagories that are certified by the OFA include:
Ratings are given from Poor to Excellent and an ethical breeder will not breed a dog that has a) not been certified and b) doesn't score at least a Good.
The reason that these are important is so that a breeder doesn't breed puppies that are crippled or dead by the age of 2. An ethical breeder can not only tell you the ratings of the dogs they are breeding but the ratings of the dogs several generations back in the pedigree and of the pups in the litters that those dogs have produced. This is very important not only to the life and health of the litter of puppies that are being considered - but for the breed as a whole.
Canine Eye Registry Foundation
CERF tracks different genetic issues from 7 different catagories or parts of the eye. Everything from Cherry Eye to different types of genetic blindness.
Again - an ethical breeder knows the CERF ratings of not only the pair they are breeding but the generations before and pups.
The reasons for researching the breed of dog you want are many. Not only do you want to get a breed that fits into your lifestyle - but you really need to know the genetic issues that you might be dealing with. Would you really want to pay a lot of money and then find out a year later that you were going to have to pay $2,000 (per hip) for a surgery just so that your dog can walk at age 2?
If you are buying a dog from a breeder, these are things that should be thought of BEFORE a dog is bred, let alone before the pups "hit the ground". Finding out when the pups are 8 weeks old that the mom has hip dysplasia isn't helping that pup out much.
Last edited by White Wolf; November 28th, 2006 at 12:25 AM. Reason: OP knows.