Support a breeder who does, at the very minimum, the testing for the parent dogs’ hips, elbows, and eyes on all their breeding animals.
Many breeders will claim that they test all their dogs, but make sure you actually verify that this is true on the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals’ website (www.ofa.org) for the parents of the specific litter you are in line for. A breeder that has nothing to hide should have no problems making their test results public on the OFA database and sharing the OFA numbers with you.
Note that OFA x-rays on dogs under two years of age are considered preliminary results. There may be extenuating circumstances where a breeder may want to use preliminary results for a first breeding, however, no reputable breeder should be breeding more than one litter based on prelims, and they should update those preliminary results with a second, official test result as soon as possible.
Each breed is also predisposed to certain genetic conditions and it’s important that these are tested for as well. The most common health issue with Eurasiers are with their thyroid, so Eurasier breeders should also be performing a thyroid test on all breeding animals. Ideally, the breeder tests the thyroid annually as conditions can develop over time.
Many national breed clubs also set a standard on what the minimum required testing on breeding animals are. For Eurasiers, these tests are:
- Hips (x-rayed)
- Elbows (x-rayed)
- Thyroid (via blood draw)
- Patellar (via vet practitioner)
- Dandy-Walker-like Malformation, also known as DWLM or Cerebellar Hypoplasia (via genetic testing or clear by parentage since it is an inherited disease)
- Eyes (via board-certified ophthalmologist)
Dogs who complete all the required testing set out by the parent breed clubs can earn a CHIC number, another tool you can use to evaluate your prospective breeder. These tests aren't difficult to do but they are expensive and time consuming - disreputable breeders are unlikely to invest in their breeding dogs by completing all the required testing.
Regardless of which breeder you choose, if you take nothing else from this site, please, please, please, take this one thing away: always double-check and verify that your breeder has done OFA testing. Ask for the OFA numbers and check on www.ofa.org that the numbers match the name on the dog. If they don't publish their OFA numbers publicly, ask to see the health certificates.
There are Eurasier breeders out there breeding dogs multiple litters on preliminary results, using fake OFA numbers (or numbers from other dogs), and other shady things. Find a breeder you feel you can trust and develop a relationship with for the life of your dog.