Many kennels aim to produce high-quality dogs for the show ring with the desirable traits that will earn them titles. However, some of these kennels have been known to cut corners and experiment with their breeding practices, including line breeding.
Line breeding involves mating closely related dogs such as father to daughter, mother to son, or siblings. While this may make the desired traits more pronounced, it also increases the likelihood of genetic defects and health issues in the offspring.
Unfortunately, this practice has contributed to some of the problems that Scottish Terriers face today. As responsible pet owners, it's important to research and choose breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs over profit and shortcuts and most importantly do genetic testing on all their adults.
Scottish Terriers are a beloved breed of dog with a long history and a loyal following. However, their gene pool has become alarmingly small in recent years, which can have serious consequences for the health and well-being of these animals. In fact, because of the small gene pool it is not uncommon to see the same names appearing in multiple pedigrees from different Scottish Terrier breeders.
This situation can be particularly problematic if the breeders do not take care to test their Scotties and choose their matings carefully. If they do not take these precautions, it is very easy to produce puppies that are carriers off or affected by various health issues. Unfortunately, these puppies may then be sold to unsuspecting homes, leading to heartbreak for pet owners and unnecessary suffering for the animals.
As an example of how small the Scottish Terrier gene pool is, In 2019 The Daily Mail
along with other sites stated that the Scottie dog could be dying out as the breed is placed on the Kennel Club’s ‘at risk’ register. Luckily they are trying to make a come back but this doesn't help the fact that their is a big risk of not having enough healthy Scotties to breed in the future if Scottish Terrier Breeders doesn't make it a top priority to genetically test their Scotties and watch their breeding practices more closely.
If you are thinking about purchasing a Scottish Terrier puppy, it's essential to inquire about the breeder's genetic testing practices for their adult dogs. Despite testing, it's not unusual for Scottish Terrier breeders to have a few carriers within their breeding program due to the limited gene pool.
However, responsible breeders are well-versed in the genetic problems that plague this breed and understand how to selectively breed to avoid them. Therefore, genetic testing is a critical aspect of the breeding process, as it helps to ensure the health and well-being of the puppies.
Common Genetic Problems in Scottish Terriers - Scottish Terriers are prone to several genetic problems that can significantly impact their health and well-being.
Some of the genetic problems that Scottish Terriers can have that can be bred out of the breed if all breeders would just test them is:
1. Von Willebrand Disease: a blood clotting disorder that can lead to excessive bleeding
2. Cerebellar Abiotrophy: a degenerative brain condition affecting coordination and balance
Breeding Strategies to Eliminate Genetic Problems
1. Genetic testing: Implement a breeding program that focuses on diversity and genetic variability to further minimize the occurrence of genetic problems. This can be achieved by carefully selecting breeding pairs from different bloodlines and closely monitoring the health and genetic history of the offspring.
2. Selective breeding: choose dogs without genetic problems as breeding partners
3. Avoid inbreeding: mate unrelated dogs to reduce the risk of passing on genetic issues
Purchasing A Scottish Terrier Puppy That Is Not AKC REgistered
It's important to note that some Scottish Terrier breeders who are not registered with the AKC have acquired their dogs with Limited AKC registration. This means that there may be restrictions on breeding and registering the puppies but they are breeding them anyway.
The restricted breeding with limited AKC could have been placed for a reason and it could be because one or both of the parents may be carriers of a genetic problem, which could be passed down to the offspring.
If you decide to purchase a Scottish Terrier puppy from a disreputable breeder, such as a puppy mill, who disregards the limited AKC registration and breeds the dogs anyway, there is a higher chance that the puppy may have health issues, including genetic problems. This is because the breeder may register the puppies with a different affiliation as they cannot register them with the AKC.
Therefore, it is recommended that you purchase a Scottish Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder who follows AKC guidelines and does the necessary genetic testing. This will ensure that your puppy is healthy, well-cared for, and has a better chance of living a long and happy life.
Because of the very small gene pool with Scottish Terriers by opting for a breeder with AKC registered puppies who prioritizes genetic testing, and offers you a genetic defect guarantee you can adopt a Scottish Terrier puppy with confidence, knowing that you are getting a healthy and happy pup.