Hips, Elbows & Eyes

Any conversation about the Labrador Retriever will
invariably include a discussion about structural soundness.

For many years the subject of health testing and
the concept of "fit for function" has been top of mind
amongst breeders and the puppy buying public.

The joint AVA / Labrador Retriever Hip Dysplasia surveillance scheme
has been in operation for more than 30 years.
This scheme gave those breeders, who chose to participate, a
valuable insight into the soundness of their breeding stock.

However, it wasn't until 2003 that the testing of hereditary defects took a
qantum leap forward with the introduction of mandatory defect testing.

If the parents of a litter of pedigreed, registered puppies have not been
Hip & Elbow scored then that litter WILL NOT BE REGISTERED.

For more information about the AVA CHEDS (Canine Hip & Elbow Dysplaysia Scheme)
please visit the AVA website here.

Furthermore, there is consideration being given by the Labrador Retriever
National Breed Council to introduce compulsory DNA Eye Defect testing as a
litter registration prerequisite.

Read a very interesting chart developed by Genetic Technologies here.
It explains in simple terms the expected outcomes from mating
Clear, Carrier and Affected dogs.

For more information about the DNA testing services offered by
the Animal Network division of Genetic Technologies
please visit their website here.

No amount of hereditary defect testing of parents can ever guarantee 100%
that your Labrador Retriever puppy will be structurally sound.
But your chances are vastly improved if puppies are bred from
Low Scoring parents.

So what does all of this mean to a potential Labrador Puppy buyer?

It means that you can ask to see the "scoresheets" of breeding parents
with confidence before agreeing to purchase your new puppy.

Any breeder who can not (or will not) present these documents should be treated
with the utmost suspicion - in fact we would recommend that you walk away.