A sad fact of life is, it often takes getting slapped in the face with something to move us to act. We haven’t bred a litter in 13 years, but have always been dedicated to the breeding of healthy Australian Shepherds. Individuals and clubs can help support ASHGI’s mission by participating in their 10-Step Program.
Ten Steps to a Healthier Australian Shepherd Breed
- I recognize that genetic disease is a longstanding fact in the Australian Shepherd breed. Only through open and honest communication and sharing of accurate information can we, the breeders and guardians of this breed, improve the overall genetic health and significantly reduce the incidence of genetic diseases in the breed we love.
- I support the open disclosure of all health issues that affect the Australian Shepherd, utilizing publicly accessible canine health registries in the country of my residence whenever possible.
- I openly and publicly disclose all information in my possession about the health issues that have been produced by my dogs and dogs from my breeding, and also those health issues where a significant risk factor may exist.
- If I receive information about a new genetic issue in connection with my dogs or breeding, I work to the best of my ability to notify the purchasers/owners of dogs that are related to the dog with the new issue.
- I support and assist other breeders in their disclosure efforts.
- I do not speak ill of any breeder or breeding program that has produced an affected Australian Shepherd.
- I compassionately support and assist owners of affected dogs in the gathering of information on the genetic diseases that have stricken their dogs.
- I support research studies for genetic diseases in Australian Shepherds, submitting biological samples from dogs in my kennel or of my breeding when they are available and applicable for the study. I encourage others to do the same.
- Before being bred, all of my dogs are DNA profiled with an accredited laboratory and the results made public, if such services are available within my country, or before my stock is exported to a country that has DNA profiling available.
- I will have my dogs screened for genetic diseases, as recommended on the ASHGI web site, by veterinarians who have the proper certification. I support the recording of test results in open registries and as they become available to me, I will post my results. As new genetic tests for Australian Shepherds become available, I will submit my breeding stock for those tests.