The OFA databases are a resource breeders can use…
- To analyze the pedigrees of a proposed breeding for health strengths and weaknesses as well the traditional analysis of conformation, type, and performance strengths and weaknesses
- To provide clients information on potential parents in order to get the healthiest puppy possible
Through our partnership with the University of Missouri’s Veterinary Animal Molecular Laboratory, we offer a number of DNA-collection and submission kits. You may order here. If you have DNA testing performed by another laboratory, please check to see if it is a test we track and can add to your dog’s records. Then scan the lab results with the , and include the registration fee.
Working with the breed’s parent club, OFA lists the primary health screening tests that breeders should perform on their stock before breeding. This provides basic information for breeders to make more informed breeding decisions in order to reduce the incidence of inherited disease.
The OFA recommends owners release all test results to the public domain as it is in the ultimate health interest of the breed and the information greatly increases the depth and breadth of any resulting research and/or pedigree analysis.
You can help parent clubs gather more information on the health issues of their breed. The OFA offers breed surveys for a number of breed parent clubs. These surveys are offered free of charge. All data is used only in aggregate and is kept confidential. No survey results will be traceable to any individual dog.
Participating parent have researched and maintain current information on the health issues prevalent in their specific breed. They help develop the Health Surveys and the recommended testing for the CHIC program.
Basic Breeding Recommendations
The following breeding selection criteria have been demonstrated to more rapidly and effectively reduce the frequency of undesirable traits:
Breed only normal dogs to normal dogs—In an examination of 490,966 progeny where both parents had hip conformation ratings, the percentage of dysplastic progeny increased as the sire’s and dam’s phenotypic hip ratings decreased from excellent through dysplastic. Reports suggest equal genetic contribution on progeny hip scores from the sire and dam.
Breed normal dogs that come from normal parents and grandparents—this employs the traditional horizontal pedigree with emphasis on the most immediate three generations (50% genetic contribution from each parent, 25% from each grandparent and 12.5% from each great grandparent)
Breed normal dogs that have more than 75% normal siblings— although many animals in a litter become pets and are not screened for undesirable traits, breeders can utilize the OFA vertical pedigree function to access information about the siblings of dogs being considered for breeding. Breeders can add incentives to purchase contracts in an attempt to gather this information, such as offering reimbursement for a preliminary hip radiograph taken when the pet dog is spayed/neutered.
Select a dog that has a record of producing a higher than breed average percentage of normal progeny—if known, the comparison of production performance between individuals is an important criterion. For example, a stud dog with a track record of producing 90% normal progeny is far superior to another dog producing only 50% normal progeny.
Choose replacement animals that exceed the breed average—exert constant, consistent pressure to ensure overall breed improvement.
In summary, achieving goals in a breeding program depends upon the ability to assess an animal’s predictive breeding value. Important information to assist breeders in achieving their goals is available on the OFA website through the database search option.