What does the above statement mean?  It means different things to different breeders. To some it means nothing, they are not interested in testing to make sure that they produce the healthiest possible puppies, not only for themselves, but for the buying public.  To others it is a statement that is totally unknown to them, they just wanted to have a litter of puppies so the kids could witness the miracle of life. To others it sounds good, but you don't do it, you only tell people you do and hope they don't ask for proof.  All of the above scenarios are all breeders whether they realize it or not. The above statement sets them apart for a responsible breeder.

A responsible breeder is one that does everything possible to make sure when they produce a litter it is as free from hereditary health problems as possible.  It means this breeder has all the main breeding tests done, having OFA done at the appropriate time, eyes checked, and DNA testing done. They will back their breeding program by providing buyers with a written health guarantee against hereditary defects, and will take the animal back if for any reason you are no longer able to take care of it.

Remember the old statement "You get what you pay for."  Buying from a responsible breeder is not cheap.  They have put a lot of time, studying, planning and yes money into breeding the best they can. They not only do this, but because 90% of all puppies born will eventually go as family pets and companions, they want to make sure each puppy has a temperament suitable for family living.  A show dog normally has to have a very steady temperament to handle the rigors of the show ring, whether it is conformation of performance.  A responsible breeder knows and understands and breeds to the breed standard. Unfortunately the Sheltie is not an easy breed, it is a fairly young breed, a little over 100 years old and due to the crosses to other breeds that were made in founding of the breed, size is a problem and is one of the main reasons a dog is place as a companion.

The list of links below are the four major tests a dog should have before being bred.

OFA, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

CERF, Canine Eye Registry Foundation

vWD, von Willebrand's disease, VetGen

Thyroid, Michigan State University, Endocrinology