www.offa.org. She has her eye examined and certified clear by a veterinary Ophthalmologist annually. She has had multiple genetic tests, such as testing for the hereditary cataract gene and the gene for multiple drug resistance (common in herding breeds like the Australian Shepherd). Each breed has health clearances unique to that breed. These clearances can be found through the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), www.caninehealthinfo.org
Every parent dog should be carefully proven before being chosen for breeding. This means besides the health testing, the dog needs to be proven either as a championship conformation dog, an assistance dog, a solid hunting or field trial dog, or something else that justifies passing on those specific genes. Unless they are bred to be special, puppies from that litter just knock other homeless dogs out of their chance for a home.
Responsible breeding depends on your dog having the genetics to belong in a breeding program. Even when a dog is beautiful and trains well, if he or she is not from a carefully-bred genetic bloodline, that dog cannot be expected to breed true and pass down the good qualities. Good - and GREAT - dogs come from everywhere, including strays, rescues and shelter dogs. They can be heroes and do amazing things. But they can't be expected to reproduce their good qualities through breeding unless they come from stable bloodlines.
What makes a good breeder? She or he is a highly committed person who does things like import dogs to bring in healthy new genes and shows the dogs to their conformation championships as well as various forms of advanced training. She conducts a socialization and training program with every puppy before they leave her, to prepare them during their critical developmental stages so they will be able to do well in life. She will take them back at any age if they ever need another home. So many people want her great dogs that she can always find a new home for one of them. She is an expert trainer and is always ready to help with one of the dogs she has produced.
Clearly there is a great deal to consider when breeding your dog. Are you willing to do all the work of proving your dog before breeding? Are you willing to take the risks of what can happen to the female? Are you willing to bear the expenses? Are you willing to take those puppies back at any time in their lives?
Most reputable breeders, including myself, consider breeding a calling.
They breed for the love of their particular breed. It is truly a labor of love. If you are interested in learning more about Memo or any of my other Australian Shepherds please feel free to visit my website at www.senexaussies.com.