Darwyn Welsh Terriers has actively supported the breed club’s decision to participate in the OFA – CHIC health registry, with our own dogs, including the sire & dam of our current litter.
I, along with a few other breeders, have been encouraging the US breed club for a number of years, to join the many other breeds that do this.
As a long-term advocate for health testing (and active on the club health committee for the breed), we embrace and support this move. Each of my individual dog pages on my website provide their individual link to these tests. Of course, we also spend a lot of attention on health beyond the basics on the OFA tests as well.
What is CHIC?
The OFA created the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) by partnering with participating parent clubs to research and maintain information on the health issues prevalent in specific breeds. We’ve established a recommended protocol for breed-specific health screenings. Dogs tested in accordance with that protocol are recognized with a CHIC number and certification.
What tests are recommended by the Welsh Terrier Club of America (WTCA)?
Officially to get a Welsh Terrier CHIC designation from OFA, the dog needs to have the following tests published:
* Eye Exam (Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist and results registered with OFA)
* Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) DNA test done and published
* Be micro-chipped (for individual identification purposes)
The above are the base requirements to receive a CHIC number.
At the WTCA Annual General Meeting, held on Montgomery weekend, October 2019, the head of the health committee, responded to questions about why additional tests were not included. Specifically tests that many other breed clubs include and many of us test for. She stated that it was expected that these other basic tests should simply be done by all breeders of all breeding animals, at a minimum. These include ensuring things like the dogs PATELLA and HEART test normally. We fully agree with her.
At Darwyn, we also submit our paperwork on those items above to the OFA. We agree that they should be base minimums, along with other basic measures of good health (and other important factors that go into decisions to breed – including conformation and temperament).
What other tests are recommended?
While we here at Darwyn Welsh Terriers have not seen a significant issue over the 20 years of these other issues, by watching conversations of pet owners on the large social media groups, it is clear that they can be a problem. We try, where possible, to be proactive. Over the years, we have submitted documentation to the OFA on many of our breeding dogs for:
Low thyroid appears to be an issue in the breed from watching pet groups. When it occurs, even if the thyroid tests normal but is at the low end of the scale, it seems to be associated with unpredictable and aggressive behavior towards people.
* Hips and LCP (Legg-Calve-Perthes)
Hip dysplasia has been seen in the breed, albeit not to a large extent. Recently, the science community has raised some questions whether or not this is primarily affected from genetics or environment (specifically of baby puppies and when they are nursing). At Darwyn Welsh Terriers, we are keeping our eye on both – making sure that the dogs participating in our breeding program have quality hips, and nursing puppies have great traction to reduce future potential issues. To date, we have not seen any hip dysplasia in any dogs that we have bred and raised.
Who are the most recent CHIC designated Darwyn Welsh Terriers?
American CH Darwyn’s Enchanté
American & Canadian CH Zora Darwyn vom Granitfelsen