What EXACTLY Does “Health Tested” Mean?!

06 Jul

If you have spent any time looking for a dog you have probably seen the term “health tested” but this doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone so I wanted to post about what it means to me.

When we first got Shakira our breeder Thom, who is a very nice man that I’m still friends with to this day, equated health testing to regular vet check ups with no health issues between visits. Thom had standard size labradoodles as well as minis so he was aware of the retrievers issues with hip dysplasia however he explained that he didn’t feel that it was needed in a small dog because they weighed less and were generally less active. At the time this made sense to my husband and I but only because we just didn’t educate ourselves to know any better and we desperately wanted this adorable puppy. NOTE: PUPPIES ARE ADORABLE. DO NOT LOSE YOUR MIND!

I found a great article from Paw Print Genetics about the importance of genetic testing and I want to share it with you here. I do genetic testing on my dogs because one of the goals of breeding is to produce the healthiest puppies possible. When I purchase breeding dogs I expect the highest quality of dogs and because of that I have decided to not include Drake in my breeding program. He is a GORGEOUS, well behaved dog and appears to be very healthy however his genetic testing came back as a carrier for degenerative myelopathy  Remember the note earlier? Again, puppies are adorable. Do not lose your mind!

I was upset when I received the results because I was told that both parents are health tested and clear. I was emailed a screenshot of what I now believe to be the health testing of A DIFFERENT dog that was not the true parent. This breeder has it on her website that health testing is done with Paw Print Genetics but when I search the “kennel name” (business name) or search for her name, I’ve searched for just her first name and Australian Labradoodle, I’ve searched for the parents name…nothing comes up. Now this is my fault for falling for a cute face and lots of cute puppy pictures. Please learn from my experience and follow up – ask for links to check the site yourself.

For the OFA testing, and this is done IN ADDITION to the genetic testing because it is for different issues, if a dog is younger than 2 years old they get a preliminary certificate for hips which those results do not appear on their site however they do mail us a certificate which we can scan or take a picture and post. It can also get confusing when breeders use two different names – on my dogs I use their first name (Shakira, Beyonce, JLo, Fergie, Rihanna, Mariah, Adele and Gaga) and my last name so it makes it very easy to find. Right now you will not find results for Fergie, Rihanna, Mariah, Adele and Gaga because they are young. I will take Fergie in for her OFA testing in the next month, I have put it off waiting for her outgrow her carsickness but I’ve done the genetic testing on everyone – this is the first step for me to decide if I will proceed with further testing and in the case of Drake I made the decision to “retire” him early and he will remain with his guardian family as their pet.

I hope this helps you with your search. If you have questions please feel free to call/email/text and we can chat more. I am obviously heartbroken about not using Drake for our program however degenerative myelopathy is much too serious of a disease for me to even consider using a carrier…but another breeder thought it was just fine. Please take the time to research – this disease doesn’t even hit until your dog is around 8 years old. Imagine how in love you are with your dog by 8 years old and that awesome guarantee that breeders offer is usually 1-2 years. Look it up, it is the human equivalent of Lou Gehrig’s disease/ALS but just to go over again he seems very healthy and is only a carrier so without the testing you would have no idea.

Here are pictures of the prelim reports



And when they entered Beyonce’s information they had a typo on her birthday listing her born in 2012 but she was born in 2013 so this should have been a prelim but we got the real certificate. You can also see her results on their website 


All of the certificates can be found online but I have the actual paper certificates in my office too 

Here are the eye reports 


And patella 


I’m sure I have more in addition to these but I wanted to update my site since I have removed Drake as one of our dogs. 

I still am learning everyday and I’m definitely not trying to claim I know it all or am better than everyone else but instead I’m trying to be as honest as I can about this “business” because in the end we end up being family and if someone has one of my puppies I want to stay a part of their lives and of course I want them to have a happy, healthy dog!