It is important that today’s breeders take many aspects into consideration when making breeding decisions, such as:
Breed type and characteristics
General health of the sire and dam
Health test results
Inbreeding (COI) Recommendations
The MSCA recommends that, where achievable, breeders should produce puppies with an inbreeding coefficient as low as possible, and no more than 12.5% (at this time). To produce an accurate COI, it is highly recommended to have at least 10 generations on both the sire and dam. Calculating COI with fewer generations will not give as accurate of COI. The MSCA strongly recommends against closely related inbreeding, and will no longer issue full registration status to any puppies born after October 1st, 2017, out of litters of direct inbreeding, defined as that of father/daughter, mother/son or sister/brother pairings.
Other Considerations Not only should you consider the implication of a dog’s level of inbreeding, there are other equally important factors to consider when deciding to breed two dogs together, such as working ability, stable temperament, correct structure, health test results, and general health of the individual dogs as well. Your breeding decisions should always take into consideration the qualities, compatibility, and balance of both the sire and dam you are considering.
Breeding For Health How complex inherited disorders, such as hip dysplasia, are passed on to individual progeny is not straight forward and breeders should consider the health test results of any breeding dog’s parents, grandparents, siblings and previous offspring.
Breeders should consider the health of their puppies to be a priority, increasing the probability that healthy puppies will go on to live long, healthy and happy lives.
Why Health Test Your Dog Potential puppy buyers want their new Maremma Sheepdog puppy to have the best possible chance for a long and healthy life. Routine veterinary care is important towards achieving that goal, additionally, the risks for heritable health diseases can be greatly reduced through careful breeding practices, beginning with screening examinations before breeding.
The MSCA Health Committee believes that it is important that ALL dogs be screened for heritable diseases, even those who may never be bred, and that results be released for public view, both normal or abnormal. By doing this, breeders will have access to documented information which is INVALUABLE to making educated breeding decisions.
Every breed (and mixed-bred dogs too) is subject to hereditary diseases, and the Maremma Sheepdog is no exception. Failure to screen for heritable diseases before breeding could result in taking unnecessary risks for passing on genetic disease.
Modern health screening helps breeders make informed breeding decisions, and allows breeders to health test their breeding stock for inherited diseases before the dog is bred. Health testing allows breeders to help reduce the number of affected dogs and eventually eradicate these conditions. Now, health testing is typically available in most areas, and is considered very safe. New procedures and medicine have removed many of the risks that used to be associated with certain health tests. Testing all potential breeding stock allows breeders to better understand the kind of genes a dog may pass on to its offspring, giving breeders the information necessary to avoid producing clinically affected puppies. When breeders are able to make more informed decisions using health test results, this enables them to adapt their breeding programs to reduce the risk of diseases appearing in future generations.