Some of the most important information you can gain about your prospective breed is in regards to health problems. There isn’t a single dog out there that will be 100% healthy through their entire life, but everyone is working together to breed the healthiest dogs possible. Some health problems are serious; some are not, but most can be prevented or treated with a little care from the breeder and from the owner. And with most health issues, anticipation and early detection are the key. There is the possibility, however, that a breed in which you’re interested possesses the potential to have a serious health problem with which you do not wish to deal. So please read on.
There are several issues that are common in a number of breeds that you should be specially careful about. Potential breeding stock should be tested for these health problems and certified to be free of them before breeding and passing on of the unfavorable genes. There will be more on that topic in the next section, since this is largely the responsibility of breeders. However it’s imortant that owners know about common problems, work to prevent them from occurring, and can identify them in case they do occur.
There are too many specific health problems to list here. However you can talk to a veterinarian, breeders of the breeds in which you’re interested, or look online. Some good online places to look include the websites of the national clubs for the particular breed(s) that you’re researching as well as the AKC website.
Before approaching a breeder for pups, you should know what health problems are common in the breeds in which you’re interested so that you will know what kind of health testing the breeder should have done on the parents. There are many tests presently available and a responsible breeder should be testing their breeding stock before bringing more puppies into this world.
Once you’ve reviewed the health problems associated with your breeds, you may be ready to assess individual dogs for entry into your family. From here, you can either look at breeders or rescue a dog.