The importance of health testing, Part 1
It is important for potential puppy buyers to not only ask for this information but demand to see it. It is your responsibility to educate yourself on what to look for and to hold breeders accountable. Support the good breeders that are doing things right and stop supporting the irresponsible breeders that are cutting corners.
As mentioned in Part 1 of this article, hip dysplasia is not the only concern. You should also see breeders x-raying and certifying elbows now as well. We also have a DM (degenerative mylopathy) test available, which can be a little controversial but supplies the breeder with important knowledge and information when breeding a dog. You can read more about this test on my previous article on degenerative mylopathy.
The point is that a good breeder should be utilizing health testing before they breed their dogs. Health issues can pop up in the GSD breed no matter what we do to prevent them. However, health testing does help to reduce the percentage of these health issues. Breeding sound healthy dogs should always be a priority and people need to realize the importance of this. Health testing is part of the reason that a well bred puppy from a good breeder is not cheap. It costs a lot of money to properly breed German Shepherd Dogs, which is why you should not expect to pay next to nothing to for a puppy.
It is also important to remember that health is just one part of the breed and one aspect that a good breeder should look at. What good is a healthy dog if he is scared of his own shadow or unable to function like a GSD should? Temperament, working ability and correct structure should always be considered in addition to health.