Illnesses and diseases are bound to affect our dogs at some point in their lives and often we do everything that we can to protect them from certain diseases. Vaccinations are given and we groom them regularly, trying to make sure that they stay as healthy as they possibly can. However, what about the diseases that we cannot predict?
Congenital problems in dogs are there from birth and there is nothing that we can do to prevent them, other than good breeding. So just how do you breed a good, healthy dog in order to prevent congenital problems?
Although it is possible for you to treat congenital problems in dogs, often it is better to prevent them in the first place. So just how do you do that?
If you are going to breed your dog then you will need to take your time when looking for a potential mate. Ensure that your dog is also healthy too before even considering breeding. Does your dog have any current or previous health problems? Do they have any particular Behaviour problems? If they do then under no circumstances should you breed your dog and the same goes for choosing a mate. Do not accept any dog that has any kind of problem. You need to breed healthy dogs and if one or both have various problems then the puppies are more than likely going to have the same or some type of congenital problem.
Another thing you need to think about when choosing a breeding pair of dogs is what is their family history? Even if the two dogs themselves are healthy, if they have a family history of a disease or congenital defect then it could well be passed on to the puppies. Would you be willing to take care of the puppies yourself if they had a congenital defect? If the answer is no then unless you know that both dogs and their families are healthy, then you should not breed them.
This may sound obvious, but when breeding you should never breed two dogs who are close relatives. Various problems can occur if you do and it is kinder and wiser to choose another dog from a completely different litter.
Following on from the point above, you should never breed a dog which has been inbred. Even if it is from a different litter from the dog that you want it to breed it with, you should still never breed from an inbred dog. This is because inbred dogs tend to have various weaknesses due to over breeding.
There is a certain standard that each breed of dog should have. Look back in time and you will get a good idea of what your breed should look like. What shape, size and temperament should your breed of dog have? Does your dog fit that mould? Does the dog that you are thinking of using as a mate for your dog fit the mould too? If not then it is wise not to consider breeding from them. You should ideally find two dogs who match the standard and who are a good version of their breed.
Overall the only way to stop congenital problems in dogs is to breed properly and to purchase a puppy from a knowledgeable breeder.