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· Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
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So what, then, in the whole of the GSD community, it's impossible to find a breeder that takes DM into account? It's not about lowering the gene pool by only breeding clear dogs, it's about being smart when breeding known carriers. I have no problem with a breeder that would even consider using an affected dog, so long as the the other dog was clear. That way, even though all the puppies would be carriers, they would also be unaffected by the disease. I refuse to believe there's no one out there that's doing this. Obviously, it's only one of many things that needs to be considered when breeding, but it doesn't mean it should be ignored!
It's not impossible, but it is difficult. In my experience, there are also a huge number of serious GSD people who are unaware that the genetic marker test for DM exists. And those who are aware of it are also quite aware of the big debate on whether the test is even accurate for GSDs.

We've been testing our females, and have one who came back carrier (A/N). So in researching potential studs for her spring litter I inquired with the owner of every stud I was interested in about DM testing as I'd only want to breed her to a clear (N/N) dog to eliminate the chance of producing affected pups. Not one single stud owner I contacted had already tested their stud, and the majority didn't even know what I was talking about when I asked. Those who were aware of the test, as I said were also well aware that it was contested whether or not the test even had any value. When I asked if they'd be willing to test their stud for me, only a couple agreed to do so.

Beyond the ignorance that the test even exists, which is prevalent, the biggest part of the problem is that very few people have the rational, balanced view of the topic that you do, in that it is only part of the overall huge list of things that needs to be taken into consideration for breeding. There are many, many people, particular "armchair breeders" on internet forums like this one, who will loudly proclaim their opinion that no dog who comes back anything less than clear should be bred.. and OFA Fairs should never be bred, and any dog who's 2nd cousin twice removed might have possibly have had allergies shoud never be bred, and... well, you get the picture. If they all had their say, there would be no GSDs left to breed at all. This irrational, paranoid attitude on the part of many people is something that breeders are very well aware of, and unfortunately it means that many would rather not know the results of tests like this than risk being crucified in the court of public opinion by people who really don't have a clue about what breeding is all about.
 
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