Spader Australian Cattle Dogs
Home of the K9 Cowboys!TM
Working Australian Cattle Dogs (Blue & Red Heelers) with excellent dispositions, conformation & ability from top herding AKC bloodlines.
Genetic testing is an important part of ensuring that our program creates sound working partners that live long and healthy lives. Some of these genetic diseases are also influenced by environment, but we still strive to create a breeding population of healthy dogs that make a life-long friend for you.
PRCD-PRA stands for Progressive Retinal Atrophy, a genetically inhereted condition in this breed that causes blindness. We're very fortunate to have a genetic test for this condition. There are 3 classifications of tests: A meaning clear, B meaning Carrier, C meaning affected. Carriers do not exhibit this condition, but they should not be bred to other Bs or Cs for the fear of producing blind dogs.
BAER stands for brainstem auditory evoked response, it helps monitor the breeding population for dogs that could possibly be deaf or develop deafness at a later date. Bi-lateral normal means that the response is seen from both ears, and that it can hear fully. There are some dogs in the breed that are uni-lateral, and they can lead completely normal lives. We strive to breed bi-lateral hearing dogs.
Hip dysplasia causes undsoundness of gate and osteoarthritis in this breed. Hip dysplasia is an often mis-understood condition that is caused by both hereditary and environmental factors. It is polygenic, meaning that as of yet researchers have not been able to create a genetic test due to the environmental factors and many genes that play a role in its development. Some dogs that are "dysplastic" never exhibit signs of lameness, and breeding dogs in the top half of the breed for the hip conformation traits helps, but does not guarentee, progeny clear of hip dysplasia. We strive to use Pennhip, an objective ranking that shows 3 different views of the dogs hips to measure our dogs. We have used OFA in the past, but prefer Pennhip's quantitative results and more thorough evaulation.
Please note: even though we test our breeding stock for HD, and select breeding stock out of the top end of the breed for hip tightness, due to the fact that HD is not a highly heritable trait we can not guarentee a hip ranking on the pups we produce. We make every effort to produce sound dogs, but due to the impact of environment and rearing we cannot offer any promises on where your pup will score.
Some things you can do to decrease the likelihood of HD:
Do not feed pups free choice. Rapid growth has been noted to increase risk. Also feed a balanced nutrient panel diet that is formulated for dogs. Calcium balance is key.
Provide pups plenty of exercise. This also aids in joint development, even HD dogs benefit from the muscular development that being in shape provides.
Research also notes that dogs raised on slick surfaces and certain breeds are much more prone to this condition. It is present, although not widely, in the ACD breed.