Why Genetic Testing??

Last month I did a review on the testing facility I used, Paw Print Genetics, for some of Maia’s genetic testing I needed to have done. You can read about it here.

Why do we do genetic testing on our breeding stock??

For me it is just one of the tools I use, to quote a friend, “in a full toolbox” to determine how and who I am going to breed my bitch to. I do not use the results to eliminate dogs but to make better breeding decisions to help reduce the risk of producing dogs that will have certain diseases or afflictions.

The information in my tool box enables me to choose a stud dog that will compliment her not only genetically but physically as well. Bringing things to the breeding I am looking to improve upon while also trying to minimize the bad genes coming through.

In my “full toolbox” I have the information from her pedigree, my breed standard, status of hips, elbows, Eye Certification, Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC), Ectodermal Dysplasia (ED/SFS), and a Brucellosis test which will be done right before breeding. I also have the knowledge and wisdom of some long time breeders/mentors, some not so long time breeders and all the research and educational classes I have done on my own. I have a list of potential stud dogs that I have compiled, this list is a living document as it changes all the time depending of the bitch and how the male will compliment her.

Now how am I going to use this information? For example, Maia is a DM carrier but clear on PRA, EIC, and ED/SFS, so I would lean towards a clear male for DM and I have wiggle room on the other tests because with her being clear even if I used a carrier male I would not be producing pups that were at risk of getting the disease. Why you ask would I do that and not breed to a male that is all clear?? Well if it is the right male that might just be what I do however, in my breed if you only focus on the all clears then you will be limiting the gene pool greatly. I guess you could say “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. If we continually dismissed dogs that were not clear on every single trait we soon would be left with very limited breeding stock and could also cause great harm to the breed as a whole. Not to mention missing out on some pretty great dogs!

For me it is looking at the strengths and weaknesses of my breeding stock and then finding a suitable mate that will build on the strengths and hopefully correct the weaknesses.

Let’s face it, there are no perfect dogs out there. They are living breathing beings and as such we can only do the best we can when it comes to breeding. That is why I use all the tools at my disposal to make the very best educated decisions I can. The rest is up to nature!


Today is World Smile Day!

World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday in the month of October every year. The idea of World Smile Day was coined and initiated by Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts. Harvey Ball is known to have created the Smiley Face in 1963.

So in honor of this day here are our smiles…

Happy FaceChesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Maia Silly GirlRiva the big smileMistyShoresChesapeakes~The Great Titan

Paw Print Genetics Review

Recently I used Paw Print Genetics to do some genetic testing on Maia.

I was introduced to them a couple years ago through friends on Facebook. I kept seeing all these posts about the site so I thought I should check this out. What I found was a place to do my major genetic testing at a price I could afford while not skimping on quality. This is from the homepage of their website…

Highest Industry Standards and Accuracy

Our laboratory is staffed with expertly trained geneticists, veterinarians, and technicians. We are equipped with the latest testing technology and analyze each mutation with two independent methods to provide you the highest accuracy in the industry.

  • All mutations offered are based on the published, medical literature
  • Board-certified geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics on staff
  • Each mutation is tested twice, with two independent methods
  • All results are reviewed and reported by both a PhD geneticist and a veterinarian
  • Majority of test results accepted by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
  • Diagnostic-grade DNA extracted from a variety of accepted sample types

They were offering half off their breed panels, so I couldn’t pass it up. The breed panels are great as each one is geared to a specific breed so you know you are ordering the correct tests. The breed panel for Chesapeake’s consists of:

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): is a gradually progressive neurological disorder of Chessies and many other breeds. It is similar to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a condition found in humans. For more information, look here.

Exercised Induced Collapse (EIC): is a neuromuscular condition that causes collapse of dogs when they become overly excited or exercise heavily. For more information, look here.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): is a general term referring to several different genetic diseases. These diseases have one thing in common: they affect a dog’s vision by gradual destruction of the retina of the dog’s eye. For more information, look here.

Ectodermal Dysplasia (EDA):  a skin fragility syndrome, where affected dogs begin showing signs of skin sloughing off from the nose, footpads, and lips immediately after birth. The disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive disease, meaning animals with a single copy of the mutation show no symptoms, while those with two copies usually die at a very young age due to the aforementioned symptoms and general failure to thrive. For more information, look here.

I was very pleased with their service. My test kit arrived in a timely manner and included the swabs, the paperwork to be returned with the swabs, all I had to do is verify the information and sign it and the prepaid return envelope. The instructions were very easy to understand, including a video I could view online. Once I did the swabs on Maia and sent everything back to them they sent me an email when they received my tests, I liked this so I didn’t have to wonder about it. Once they had completed testing they emailed me with my results. I had my results in a week even though they had told me two weeks, (note that result times may vary, this was just my experience). I had a follow up email from a real person regarding my experience with the company, to me that is great customer care in this age of automated messages.

The website it very user friendly and I was able to set up my breeder profile so I could easily give potential puppy buyers the link to check the results for themselves as well as having my paper copies. They also have a badge that you can download and use on your website or blog that enables people to see that you use them and I was able to link it right to my profile page.


Go ahead and click it to check out my profile, you know you want to Winking smile

Their tests are very affordable however they have specials quite frequently, who doesn’t like a deal! So if you are looking for a genetic testing facility I highly recommend Paw Print Genetics!

Tina and the Brown Dogs

New Junior Hunter

This past weekend I had entered Titan in a hunt test held by Marshbanks Golden Retriever Club of Michigan. All he needed was two more passes to get his Junior Hunter title but this time around I was going to be his handler, so for me this would be the first time I ran a dog at a hunt test. I thought oh thank goodness I have been to many and watched that should help, ha… I could have been to hundreds and it still would not have helped. Being the handler is a whole new beast!

So Saturdays test went very well and the weather was pretty good in the am. Although I was nervous he nailed his birds every time. Now on to water, by then the skies were pretty ugly and then they opened up and said time for a bath!  Thankfully we ran right before it hit. I believe all the dogs passed that day. The marks were really not that challenging…so I thought oh we got this!


Sunday’s test!

My friend Michelle had said “oh just wait you will be more nervous on Sunday because the title is on the line”. And me being the optimist said “oh now that I have done this I will be fine”. I must have been dreaming or confused because let me tell you the judges on Sunday truly challenged the dogs.

The land went pretty good so I breathed a sigh of relief, I knew we passed. In fact, all the dogs passed for land. Then came water…let me tell you I know my heart must have stopped several times.

I line him up for the first bird, I had noticed the bird was not always falling in the water like the test dog had been. So I get him all set give the judge the signal we are ready…bird goes…lands right in the reeds…sigh!! I could not see it but I knew where it was, I was sure Titan saw it go down…he is sent! He went towards the fall and then veered away then back, then got up on land…his nose in the air the whole time. Meanwhile since he is really hunting but can’t seem to pin it down the judge is behind me saying over and over “bird go to the left” finally I turned and said “I can say that to him” she said no you go to the left and line yourself to the bird so he swims that way. So I did and still he just couldn’t seem to get it. He would look at me and I was helpless, I thought I don’t know what more to do but then he found it! Retrieved to hand and we moved to the second bird.

Now this bird landed where it was supposed to but it was a sinker! It hit the water he swam that way but I could barely see it and I guess he didn’t either. Again he is swimming so close to it and then up on land, back in the water determined to find that bird. I thought oh no this is it we are done, we failed! Finally, the judge said “we can’t even see that bird anymore it sank so we are calling a no bird and we will let you run him again on a different bird so call your dog in”. Uh yea right, this dog was trained not to return without his bird. So I called him and coaxed him but he would not give up the hunt. Meanwhile they are getting the pickup dog to come down to go out and get it however, Titan had different plans, before the pickup dog could even get down there he located that elusive bird and brought in to hand.

This boy has perseverance plus!! The judges even complimented on this and said he gets a high score for that. They both came over and said “now breathe, it’s all over and he did good you are fine” which otherwise means we passed. Sooo I sat in my vehicle watching the other dogs very calmly knowing we passed and not worrying until the end if they were going to pass us or not.

When all the dogs had run they tallied their score sheets and handed out the ribbons and we had that extra special one with ours…the title ribbon.

It was a great learning experience and one I hope to continue with. Our judges were great the whole weekend, very encouraging and helpful. Marshbanks club put on a good test.

We did get a few shots of us with our trainer and very good friend David Keehn from Dusty Rose K-9 Trainers.

Titan at Marshbanks 2016This was Saturday’s ribbon.

Marshbanks 2016 New Title (2)Saturday’s and Sunday’s ribbons with the special blue TITLE ribbon.

Marshbanks 2016 New Title (3)All of us looking proud!

Marshbanks 2016 New Title (4)So on our way home Sunday I stopped and bought us both some celebratory ice cream. I didn’t get a doggie biscuit in mine Winking smileMarshbanks 2016 New Title (5)Nom…Nom…NomMarshbanks 2016 New Title (1)Ohhhhh brain freeze!

So last but not least I leave you with the best blooper photo I have seen in a while. We could not have staged this if we tried. I have captioned it but feel free to share how would you caption it??

Titan Marshbanks 2016...


Tina and the Brown Dogs

Wordless Wednesday~Family Outing

Sand Cranes.


This is a Blog Hop!

A great way to visit your favorite bloggers and meet some new ones!


Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…