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I got this insulting email about my boy Tache today - most of you know he is OFA Fair like Fame.

"I was stunned
that you bred Tach with a Fair Grading. I'm surprised you did that,
Melissa, I would never have bred a dog with that rating because dysplasia
gets worse with every generation. He should never have been bred; a good
breeder would never have bred to him with that rating. It's your choice
to do breeding with him, no one can stop you from doing that, but think
about the puppies that you will be selling from him in the future, the
heartache those families will be facing. If you have ever owed a dog with
bad HD, you'd know what I'm talking about. Consider another stud dog for
your foundation, or your Abstax Kennel isn't going to last long. "

N eedless to say I am P*ssed off. But come here with an open mind to recieve good and negative feedback. I am sure you won't be as disrespectful as this email clearly was.

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I'm certainly not a breeder and perhaps never will be, but I'll share my very limited opinion on the matter.

I'm sorry you receieved such a curt, tactlessly worded e-mail, Melissa. :( If someone had concerns, they certainly could have presented them better.

If I were hoping to breed a dog with an OFA rating of Fair, the only other dog I would breed him or her to would be a dog with an Excellent rating on their hips. And depending on the dog overall, bloodlines, temperament, etc. I MIGHT consider breeding a Fair dog to a Good rating dog, but it would really have to be a special circumstance.

Now I'll allow the experts to really offer you the answers you are looking for. :)
I think the e-mail was wrong on a few levels...Facts being one of them..Beyond that I am with you Marissa...I am too new to this whole game to do anything but read & learn from the people that I respect & trust who have been at it long enough to know what they know from their great experience which I, for one, am grateful to get to learn from!
Melissa, I would have been upset too!...You have some great mentors so I wouldn't sweat that nonsense!
Here in Europe is it normal to use a male with Fair ( B 1 ) . For me it`s important to have experience about the lines and of course I compare both the male and the female . When you have a male with Fair ( B1 ) and other Dogs in the Pedigree are ok maybe Exellent or Good so that would be ok for me . I don`t would use a male when he have to many bad results in the Pedigree because we have other rules here in Europe .
So Fair means in Europe B?
In here dogs with HD B are breed and no breeder will make problem of that.
Thank you for your input.

Tache's Parents are OFA Excellent and OFA Good. So he comes from healthy lines.

I didn't think it was such a big deal breeding a fair either. Thank you all very much for your honesty. Not only was I flamed but two well established breeders (Yes they are members here, Pat Ramapuram and Jackie Wood) aside from myself were insulted from that email.

"He should never have been bred; a good
breeder would never have bred to him with that rating."

- Melissa
Melissa, I don't want to offend you but the fact that the female you bred him to is not even two years old and therefore doesn't have her PERMANENT OFA results would definitely make the things worse in addition to Tache's Fair hips.
Yes, most of the well established Kennels don't breed with Fair hips and I understand that and will follow that path myself for a very simple reason "Why breed to a Fair Hips male if there is always another with Good or Excellent?" Unless, of course, the male is of a TOP quality by every other meaning...head, movement, and absolutely healthy from any disorders
I am sorry they came so harsh on you though :(
Page is OFA Excellent at 19 months of age. The likely hood of her hips changing at this point are not likely.

I do appreciate your honesty however. But as you said they were terribly harsh about it. You were polite, and I thank you for that.

IMO Tache has a gorgeous head - and when he has his game face on he floats - his bloodlines are rare and very attractive. This is why he is my foundation stud. Plenty of dogs that are OFA good still can easily throw a dysplastic pup just as easy as a fair can thrown an excellent. Just something to consider. :)
My foundation bitch was only a FAIR but her siblings, parents and grandparents and great grandparents were all good with a few excellants to boot. All of the offspring from her through 4 generations now have good or better hips- Page is one who is an excellant and Edie is also an excellant. Although fair is not the ideal rating you would hope for, the genetics behind the dog are even more important. Fair is not a degree of dysplasia- it is a sound hip that could be improved on.

I still remember a breeder vet who was telling me that 2 excellants can still produce dysplasia- up to 25% in some breeds.
Interesting discussion !
In France we haven't got enough male HD A/A (OFA excellent) to breed (too much consanguinity, or other kinds of health problems) how happy you are in the States to have the possibility to make difficulties in choosing males !!!!!!
All we know here is that if you use passing scores in your breedings the incidence of dysplasia will garadually decrease over time. Its slow and it take a lot of dedication and not using clearly dysplastic dogs so much as occurs someplaces in the past. You might see the scores improve in the next 30-40 years if everyone is serious and the top breeders get serious about it. But don't get so crazy and focused that you go to the things that are not documented by the available data. OFA has the data if anyone in the world has it.
So if you do Penn hips at six months and get a acceptable distrction index you can breed before two years, but do a preliminary OFA before two years, you should not breed until the bitch is two years old? How much sense does that make? Show me the data that says breeding the fair will give you any poorer results than using say a Good or even an excellent.
This is science folks, not a logical reasoning process of, if such and such is present, then logically such and such will result. Science and objective data is the only thing that's of any benefit here. Fortunately here in USA we have been serious about hip exams for 40-50 years and have tons of data and we simply at the present time cannot make that association scientifically.
From the OFA website on reliability of preliminaries

Frequently, breeders want early knowledge of the hip status on puppies in a given litter. Preliminary hip evaluations may be as valuable to the owner or breeder as the final OFA evaluation. This allows early selection of dogs for use as show/performance/breeding prospects and dogs best suited for pet homes.

The OFA accepts preliminary consultation radiographs on puppies as young as 4 months of age for evaluation of hip conformation. If the dog is found to be dysplastic at an early age, the economic loss from the cost of training, handling, showing and so forth can be minimized and the emotional loss reduced. These preliminary radiographs are read by the OFA veterinary radiologists and are not sent to outside radiologists. The same hip grades are given to preliminary cases.

A recent publication* compared the reliability of the preliminary evaluation hip grade phenotype with the 2 year old evaluation in dogs and there was 100% reliability for a preliminary grade of excellent being normal at 2 years of age




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