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Written Health Guarantees-what should they contain?


BLACKJACK

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Was reading thru the written guarantee that the breeder sent with my puppy and it talked about hips and eyes being guaranteed til 26 months but the part that threw me was that the guarantee was only in effect if the kennel name was included in the dogs official registration name, as in 'Christmas Creek Kelly', with Christmas Creek being the kennel name. Is this a common practice?

On the one hand, the official name of my dogs has never meant that much to me but on the other hand I don't like to be told what I have to name them, if I want to name them Pheasant Slayer Kelly so be it, the kennel shouldn't force people to include their names, if their kennel is any good, people will gladly do it. What do you guys think? And of course this guy didn't tell me about this naming requirement when we were talking about the guarantee. Let me know what you think before I call him up and give him h e ll.

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If this is an infrequent breeding for the kennels I would question the need for it unless it was from the " best" stock, that has already been proven to perform.

If it is from a longer standing operation, they may want to continue to get their name out there as they are good representatives of the breed. At times they may throw these clauses at certain pups out of the litter that they feel show the best traits but you cannot keep them all. If they stated no spay or neuter then you know for sure. If the inverse is stated you know also. I like to have my prefix on my pups and do recommend that people use it. I have had pups where is was in the agreement to have it on the papers and to not spay/ neuter either. This allows the breeder to see how the pup progresses and if needed still keep the genetics open for a while. After a few years some people would relax that if they saw what the needed.

they may guarantee the hips and eyes but you cannot have hips done until 24 months of age for OFA certification. What they usually mean is they will not exhibit signs of problems and if you get the x-rays done and sent in at 2 years you vet can look at them and see if there are any glaring defects.

Just some other information on the certification. Coming in to heat can change the way the hips look. It also costs to have them certified. At your vet and to be sent in.

you can always make up a real catchy name if you have to use their prefix... Christmas Creek Mallard Muncher comes to mind.

have fun with the dog and as long as it comes to what you call it do not worry about the prefix.

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Sounds like you haven't talked to the breeder yet. Do that first. Many breeders use a generic guarantee and some don't even know what it all says or means. I'm guessing that the guarantee has all sorts of language stating "any deviation from this agreement is at the discretion of the litter owner". There is a lot of this language in our guarantee that we interpret as "we will make it right with you". Not all breeders will think this way or be as honest but I guess that's what todays society has become. A guarantee on a dog in MN is a risky proposition for the breeder with the stringent "lemon laws" in effect. I know our guarantee does more to protect us than it does the buyer. That was the only way to write it without getting stuck in a lawsuit. 26 months is not very generous for the hip guarantee. OFA has been known to take longer than 2 months to get result back. 30 months is the standard.

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Blackjack...my guarantee states too that you must use my kennel name in the prefix. That being said I have had other breeders who have purchased my pups and an agrement was made to deviate a bit from this and I said it can be used as a suffix in one case, and not at all in another. I wouldn't call and raise HE!! to the breeder...you never know if you're going to need to resolve something else with him down the road and you wouldn't want to have this "conversation" about the dog's name hanging over your head. Try calling him and asking him if he'd consider letting you name your dog "pheasant slayer sally" or whatever, just have your pedigree name chosen ahead of time and explain this was always your intent, and see if he'd allow it to be named that way. One of the reason's for the naming rule is as/was stated, it is good publicity for the kennel to have their proginy named with the kennel name as a prefix, especially if they are genetically clean. Now, if someone came back to me with a dog with a hereditary defect and they did not follow the guarantee to the letter, would that mean I wouldn't honor the guarantee? Nope...that would do more irrepairable harm than I can fix with a couple of good litters. Just as the timline really shouldn't be an issue. If they give you 26 months, as/was stated you may not have your official OFA evaluations back by then. You probably would have a good idea from the vet what the hips & elbows look like, but most guarantees use the official decision from the OFA as the basis. I have my dogs (and I recommend my clients dogs) x-rayed by Dr. Fran Smith in Burnsville. She is on the board of OFA and can give you an almost exact reading as to wht the OFA will send back. You can have your pup evaluated at 12-14 months...this is not official but it will give you with 80% accuracy what your dogs hips and elbows will look like at 24 months. I recommend this solely for the fact as to how much time and energy is put into a dog between 1 and 2 years of age that may be wasted if the dog has a severe defect. Eyes should be certified between 8 weeks and 16 weeks of age.

Good Luck with the name...

Ken

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Hey Labs, good fishing with you again. Sounds like Blackjack is just going to use this pup as a hunter. Not much exposure for us as the breeder based on his registered name. If fido hunts em up good and Blackjack's hunting partners are impressed, he will give them our contact info. If that pup is going to be campaigned, then I would like to see the kennel listed in the name to get exposure with the "dog" people. As far as breeding the pup, I usually don't want my name associated with what other people see as a good breeding. I know you know what it takes to research a good breeding. How many owners have you sold pups to that will go through that much "trouble"? I sell only on limited registration with the restriction lifted upon proof of OFA and CERF certification. My hope is that if the owner has went through this much of the process, they at least reguire the same of the dog they are breeding to.

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Hey Bryce...we gotta do that again sometime, and soon! grin.gif We had an incredible bite the night you left, but it was only 35 minutes long. Jiggle and I windmilled fish for that 35 minutes tho'. I know what you mean about the limited registration, I too have done a good chunk of my pups with limited registrations, some I even tell I won't lift it with just the genetic clearences but rather if they put a title on the dog also. This is for the families that buy the pup mostly for a pet and MAYBE a little hunting. I'm fairly confident that the clearences on the pup will be met, but with them doing no hunting or competition, do we want them breeding their dogs? As I stated my guarantee states you have to use the kennel name, but I don't get all whipped up over it.

Good Luck!

Ken

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BLACKJACK: I believe most any time you buy a puppy from some one who has a kennel name they are going to stipulate that there name be attached to the AKC registration. At times this can be annoying, especially if you want to start your own kennel name. You know as well as I do though the time you don't use their kennel name will be the time something happens. When I bought my pup last March from a kennel in Kansas City (Castile Creek Kennel) the guarantee ran with that stipulation. As far as the # of months the guarantee is for generally will be 26-30 months. I wouldn't worry about the OFA certificate coming in late as long as you can show that the X-Rays were done before the 26 months.
GOOD LUCK

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Thats what I like about this site, good answers from knowledgable people, in this case kennel owners themselves.

What exactly is a limited registration?

Bryce, you're right, I'm planning on just hunting the pup, I have no desire to spend the time necessary to run in field trials, too many other projects to do. But in 5-6 years, if I like the way she hunts, I might get her hips checked and breed her to get a replacement pup. So you want your kennel name on pup that is being field trialed, but you wouldn't want your kennel name on a non-approved breeding. How does a person get past that?

This whole puppy thing is confusing. You try to do the right thing, pay the big bucks to get a pup with hips and eyes guaranteed, then they try to tell you what to name it and whether it can be spayed or not. This is exactly what drives people to the backyard breeder, that and the high prices. As I stated in one of my other posts, there are a lot of people that can't afford big bucks for a pup or can't justify it because they only hunt twice a year.

Mallard Muncher is sounding better all the time...

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Lots of replies to this one Blackjack. First I am not a kennel. We have one dog at this time with a stud dog registered to me that is my parents couch dog. We hope to get a second female started out of this years litter. We have one litter a year or so to help recoup the cost of raising this dog. In some ways you could call me a backyard breeder. Difference only being the amount of research going into the breeding. I will probably start the search for a sire shortly after the pup is born for a breeding 3 years in the future. I probably looked at 2 dozen sires before choosing the one we are using now. I have the same worries that you have about a pup except initial cost is out of the equation. This new pup will have at least a full year in with a pro trainer before I get results back on her hips. Thats a lot of cash potentially down the drain. I want a pretty high assurance that this pup is genetically sound. I could save the hassle that raising a litter causes and just purchase the pup but (and here's a little plug for my pups) I don't think I could equal these lines for anything under $1000. Even if I had to go that route, think about it, $1000 is not that much for a great hunting dog. My litters go for roughly half of that and I compete against the $150-200 litters. I get the question once or twice with each litter as to what the difference is. My answer is genetic soundness and intelligence. Pay 2-3 times as much and get maybe 10 times the intelligence... pretty easy call in my book. Most of my pups go to non hunting homes but the owners recognize the importance of intelligence. I will not state that you can't get a great dog from a true backyard breeder, but I will state that I can greatly increase your odds. As far as limited registration. You can still run your dog at all AKC events. You cannot register a litter if you breed the dog. Limited registration can be restored to full when I sign the proper paperwork after you have fufilled the stipulations outlined in my quarantee. Wish you well with your new pup. Don't read anything snobish or almighty into any of my statements. I'm just a dirt jockey that's mighty proud of his dogs and wants to help anyone else willing to learn. I wish everyone could have a chance to see my dogs in action to learn what a truly great hunting dog really is.

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Blackjack...Mallard Muncher..your killing me! grin.gif

Limited registration, is the same as full registration but limits you from registering your dogs offspring. I too like Bryce, am just a dirt monkey that's trying to better the breed, and I have been putting limited registration on many of my pups. Not all mind you, but probably 3/4 of them. I will lift the limited part if you show that all genetic clearences have been met, and you are in either testing, trialing or hunting the dog extensivley. People who buy them as companion dogs do not need to breed them. They are the ones that want a litter so the kids can play with them. I hope all works out with you and the knnel on the name....

Good luck!

Ken

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To Quote Bryce ……
“I want a pretty high assurance that this pup is genetically sound.”

“I get the question once or twice with each litter as to what the difference is. My answer is genetic soundness and intelligence.”

To Quote LABS4ME….
“I will lift the limited part if you show that all genetic clearences have been met”

I’m not picking on you two Gentleman, I’m sure both of you are trying to better your prospective breeds, but for the sake of the novice, I would like to clear up one thing, and that is all this talk of GENETICS. I am 99% sure you are NOT working with, testing or guaranteeing the genetics of any of your dogs/pups especially if you are selling them for around $500.00 as Bryce stated. But I’m 100% sure that you ARE searching for the most desires characteristics and temperaments and through testing, (i.e., X-rays and eye exams) eliminating all probability of eye and hip issues.

Genetics is a word that is being used too often by breeders. This type of testing cost thousands of dollars. Genetic Counselors are in short supply, of the nation's approximately 1,200 genetic counselors who knows what fraction of these are studying K-9 genetics rather than human genetics?

Lets understand genetics. Each cell contains a full complement of DNA, cells use genes selectively, Some genes enable cells to make proteins needed for basic functions; dubbed housekeeping genes, they are active in many types of cells. Other genes, however, are inactive most of the time. Some genes play a role in early development of the embryo and are then shut down forever. Many genes encode proteins that are unique to a particular kind of cell and that give the cell its character - making a brain cell, say, different from a bone cell.
First, current gene tests cannot provide a satisfactory answer for those whom seem to be at risk for inherited cancers. When an inherited gene is to blame, it is not necessarily the test gene; the BRCA1 gene mutation, for example, is found in only about half of those diagnosed with cancer
Second, despite major advances in DNA technology, identifying mutations is a great challenge. Many of the genes of greatest interest to researchers are enormous, containing many thousands of bases. Mutations can occur anywhere, and searching through long stretches of DNA is difficult a single gene can have numerous mutations, not all of them equally influential. For instance, hip dysphasia can display any one of more than 300 different mutations. Thus, a positive test does not guarantee that disease is imminent, while a negative test - since it evaluates only the more common mutations - cannot completely rule it out. Predictive tests deal in probabilities, not certainties. So understanding this, You can safely bet there are no true genetic guarantees.

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Bryce and Labs, thanks for the replies, and not getting 'hot' over my questioning. This whole puppy registration thing has been a learning experience!! At this point, I'm just going to enjoy the puppy, shes getting more active every day, fun to watch as she romps around the shed and chases the big yellow dog. Looking forward to warmer weather and walks around the ponds, watching her explore. Just yesterday she was trying to pull out some dead flowers in the garden. Puppies are fun! Was also rereading parts of my Game Dog book by Walters last night, it going to be fun!

Long term, I will probably have her hips checked at 24 months, and if she turns into a good hunter, I might breed her at 5 or 6, just to get a replacement puppy. I've had a few litters of pups in the past, its not really a money maker and its a lot of work. Plus I think its hard on your main hunting dog to repeatedly breed them.

Eyes are another story since you have to goto the U to get it done. Too much hassle for me. How often does the eye checking need to be done?

Muskie, I think most people realize that health guarantees are just a backup, that hopefully by the breeders selectively not breeding 'bad' dogs it will lessen the odds, but that a health defect can still happen, even after many generations. You're just cutting down the odds of it happening.

And Bryce, you were the kind of breeder I was looking for when I went looking for a pup, a guy that hunts his dog, yet might be into the field trial game, is concerned about bloodlines, the guy that wasn't a kennel with 4 females pumping out puppies. I posted a post for you on the Willmar forum a while back but you must not have seen it. Let me know when you're out on Norway some day and I'll stop by. Give me some warning though, I'm not a spur of the moment person!

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Sorry I missed the post Blackjack. I don't get to check the forum too often during work season. Probably spend too much time on it when laid off. I'm sure you saw from the other posts that I'll be in the area this afternoon until the the war department beckons. Going to try Games this afternoon. Be drilling some test holes to see if I can get my rig out. If not, will be out on Norway. Charcoal crew cab with a gray sleeper. Stop by, share a beverage. Muskie is correct to an extent. While we can't control genetics, we try to control characteristics that are genetically influenced. Right now, I believe the only genetic trait that is registered is color. From what I've seen, it's still gray science as to what color will pop out.

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Black Jack...Instead of the UofM, go to Dr. Dennis Olivero of Veterinary Opthalmology Specialty on Hwy 7 for your eyes. It probably isn't much over an hour drive for you and the cost to have the eyes evaluated is minimal ($30.00?)and quick. His # is 952-929-8299. He's been doing my dogs and all my puppies from my litters eye evals. for 15 years now. He also saved two of my dogs eyes due to injuries during pheasant hunting. I had him do a presentation to the retriever club I used to be with to educate people on how widespread the eye issue is. It is interesting talking to him how they are starting to tie the genes from retinal dysplasia with those of hip dysplasia. When a dog has retinal dysplasia, for the most part it will not impact their vision. Even in the case of severe folds they can hold their head a little cocked to see around the small blindspot that has developed. An Evaluation on a 8-16 week old pup is best, as it allows the opthomologist the ability to see in the eye better than at any other point in their life. And your right...there is nothing better than watching a young pup explore the big world! grin.gif

Muskie...I wish I had half the knowledge it looks like you possess. On another thread I have going I stated I'd like to learn as much as possible about dogs and diseases, and you're probably a guy who can explain the genetic tendencies more than anyone else. You are correct in the fact that we as breeders have no way of doing genetic testing on our dogs or our pups. You're also right that even if we could afford it, there is no definitive test to exclude those dogs that can pass down the dysplasia genes. all we as breeders can do is to stack on multiple generations of "cleared" dogs, and breed them to lessen the chances of there offspring having a crippling disease. For the most part it is working...even pups from 4 generation cleared parents have a slight chance of contracting one of the diseases through spontanious mutation or being passed down from an ancestor. Keep posting so we can all learn more.

Good Luck! Ken

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You don't need to get them checked every year. I usually do mine once as a pup and again before there first breeding just to insure no changes. He's on Hwy 7 west of MPLS. in St Louis Park. between 169 and 100.

On another note...my friend just called and his latest trial prospect went in for it's eye evaluation and he failed. frown.gif The whole litter passed but this dog. So if anybody is looking for a non-breeding male lab with outstanding lines, you can pick him up now for $350.00 or he'll finish the force and sell him for $800.00. This is the disease I was refering to (retinal eye displasia) on this thread, it really doesn't impact the dog's vision, so he'll make a good hunter, but just can't be bred. If there is any interest you can let me know here on the forum.

Good Luck! Ken

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Blackjack: I would 2nd the advice of LABS4ME about Dr. Olivero. He is the Dr. that diagnosed my 1st dog with Blasto 5 years ago. NO question he saved her life, she lost her right eye but I was able to enjoy her in the woods for another 4 years. I will be forever grateful for what he did for her. He will be the Dr. I bring my young dog to for her eye exam next summer. NO DOUBT!!!
His office, if I remember right is just past Vescio's Italian restaurant, which will be on the right side of the hwy.
GOOD LUCK

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Bryce, unfortuanetly I have a vet appt this afternoon at 4:45, the old dog has some sort of anal gland infection, time to get her in. Good luck. Right now my plan is to hit Games tomorrow. Red chevy pickup with a silver topper. Don't know if I'll have the portable or big house. Write back and let me know how thick the ice is.

Labs, where on hwy 7 is this guy? And once you have them checked at a young age, is that good for life or do you need to get them checked every year?

[This message has been edited by BLACKJACK (edited 01-08-2004).]

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