Most breeders test for hereditary health issues which is great however it is what is done with these results that is a true representation of a Breeders dedication to the ongoing wellbeing & health of the Bull Terrier. Kidney & heart disease have been & continue to be a issue - do not let anyone tell you otherwise!
Do your homework, understand clearly what each issue is, how it is tested for & what the results actually mean. Ask about the health of related dogs ie siblings, grandparents - if there is an issue has the breeder undertaken more stringent testing on the dog they are using eg doppler ultrasound instead of basic auscultation for heart testing?
Health is only one piece of the puzzle when doing a litter but remember that a dog is for life and that life should be free from health issues that could have been prevented.
Raiden Bull Terriers is a foundation member of the NZKC Accredited Breeders Scheme. This scheme is voluntary & available to all NZKC members with a Registered Kennel name. The sole purpose of the scheme is to promote health testing of known diseases specific to individual breeds and to encourage transparency within the NZKC breeding community it is not in recognition of a Breeders past achievements. Test results are submitted to the NZKC and recorded on the NZKC Registered Pedigree of the dog/bitch - all submissions must be accompanied by supporting lab tests & vet certification. A member of the scheme is unable to register a litter without providing the required health tests for both Sire & Dam.
As DNA profiling for Sire/Dam is mandatory the parentage of any resulting puppies is undisputable - your puppy will be a product of its pedigree.
As more people join the scheme and submit their test results I foresee it becoming a useful tool that will enable informed decisions to be made regarding possible future matings. Documented information detailing both past & current health test history of dogs/bitches beyond an individual has not always been easily accessible and this scheme can only be of benefit to both Breeders & Bull Terrier owners.
The ABS mandatory tests required for the Bull Terrier are:
Polycystic Kidney Disease (Ultrasound Scan) - only required once
BT Nephritis (UPC test with a result of below 0.3) - annual testing required
Patella - annual testing required
Cardiac - annual testing required
DNA Profile - only required once
BAER (hearing) - only reqd once
Lethal Acrodermatitis (LADS) - January 2018 saw the introduction of a new DNA test which will ensure that no affected dog need ever be produced. This test is not a requirement of the ABS but Raiden Bull Terriers welcomes all tools that help ensure good health and has pre-ordered test kits from the UK to be used on current and future dogs in my breeding program.
Here at Raiden all of my dogs both those used for breeding & those that are pets are regularly tested (UPC, Patella & Heart). In addition to the above tests I will only use dogs that have been Vet checked immediately prior to mating to ensure that they are 'fit to breed' ie no skin conditions, allergy issues, tail chasing or spinning behaviour.
Because quality food is absolutely essential to the growth and continued health of every bull terrier my dogs are fed a combination of different kibbles & Maranui (raw) as their main source of food. I highly recommend Acana for those who choose to feed a dry diet.
Please check out the below links to the Bull Terrier Club UK - it provides excellent & easily understood information on health issues, training & feeding for owners of this charming but challenging breed.
Click HERE for health information
Click HERE for training information