Black Russian Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight



I n general, the Black Russian Terrier is a healthy, robust dog. Like many large breed dogs, they are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Like all dogs, they can have other health problems as well. Black Russian breeders and the Black Russian Ter- rier Club of America (BRTCA) have been working with histori- ans, researchers, and veterinarians for more than 30 years to help understand conditions and diseases in the Black Russian Terrier. It is essential to ask questions about each dog or puppy you are considering for your family. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of information you get. This breed is not “worse” than another breed or even a rescued mixed-breed. Because of the research and breeder cooperation, we know more about health in this breed. Knowledge is a great tool that can help a buyer choose the right addition to their family. Remember, there is no perfect dog. Every dog will have some health concerns in its lifetime. Even the best breed- ers and best pairings may produce some puppies that have issues. Breeders make the best selections possible for sire and dam based on known risks. Genetics plays a part, as does the environment. Everyone’s goal is to produce a happy, healthy dog that possesses the best Black Russian Terrier traits and characteristics. The AKC Parent Club, the Black Russian Terrier Club of America ( ) is the guardian of the breed in the United States with regard to health and the conformation breed stan- dard. The BRTCA recommends the testing of mating pairs before breeding. Those test results may be made public on a website: The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals ( ). Health tests recommended by the BRTCA ( tests?breed=BRU&var= ) are: • Hip Dysplasia Screening by Radiographs (X-Rays) after 24 Months of Age; • Elbow Dysplasia Screening by Radiographs (X-Rays) after 24 Months of Age; • Cardiac Evaluation after 12 Months of Age (Puppies Should Already Be Screened by Auscultation Before They Go to Their New Homes); • Companion Eye Certification (CARE) by an Ophthalmologist; • DNA Testing for Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy; • DNA Testing for Color, including K Locus (Dominant Lack) and A Locus (Agouti). A CHIC number (Canine Health Information Center http:// ) is assigned to each dog whose test results are made public in the OFA database. You may hear

breeders talking about CHIC numbers because they are proud that they’ve completed all of the Parent Club recommended tests. Look closely at the wording: They’ve COMPLETED the tests; this does not mean the dog PASSED all the health screenings. For this rea- son, it is essential to look at the OFA database yourself—take no one’s word for it. Even if you see official “OFA Certificates,” please look for yourself. If you need help navigating the OFA database, ask for it. There is no substitute for doing this. In addition to the aforementioned tests, there are other tests and screenings that breeders may complete. Additional informa- tion is always useful. Screenings that you may see are: • Hyperuricosuria or HUU (DNA test); • Degenerative Myelopathy or DM (DNA test); • Thyroid (Bloodwork); • Patella/Shoulder (Physical Exam and/or X-Ray); • Penn-Hip (Specialized X-Ray); • Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA (DNA Test).

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