Explaining what all of those OFA codes mean

I wanted to explain what all of the codes mean when you are looking at OFA results.  Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is the warehouse of many of the health tests done on dogs and while we all talk about it not many people explain it.  For this example I used Stinger's CHIC which lists the required test for an Australian Shepherd (minimum there are more if you look on each dog's page you see the tests).

The first code AS tells OFA this test was done on an Australian Shepherd, each breed has its own code.  Because Eyes and Elbows are newer additions they both have a Alpha character telling what the test is (EYE for eyes, EL for Elbows).  Next is the number give to that dog for testing.  For Eyes both of my dogs had the new OFA eye test done almost as soon as they started it (before it was done by CERF but you will see people use CERF for both CERF and OFA eye checks, the checks are identical it really is what paper theCanine Opthamologist uses) so Stinger was the 38th Aussie to have his eyes checked through OFA.

The next number is the dogs age in months.  So for Eyes he was 23 months and Hips and Elbows he was 24 months.  If you look to the side you can see that in truth all of the tests were done less than 10 days apart but since his birthday is 11/23/11 he technically was not 24 months on his eye check.

Now only for hips do you see a grade.  That is because Eyes and Elbows are pass/fail in the US.  So if someone tells you their dogs have excellent elboys you know they are not correct.  In Stingers case he has an E for Excellent.  The other passing grades are Good and Fair.  Usually you want to see Good, you pray for excellent (those are rarely given out) and you are careful when breeding a Fair.  A lot of it has to do with proper positioning.  I use a vet who is the guru of OFA x-rays, she it worth the drive!

Next is an M for Male or F for female (Elbows have the sex before the age) and then there is another piece of really important information.  VPI means my dogs have permanent identification (in this case they are microchipped).  The vet checks before the exam to ensure the chip matches my documentation - this tells people that the test belong to that dog.  YES some people will switch dogs in testing - not all but some.  So I like that I can guarantee people my results are legitimate.  If you see NOPI that mean no permanent identification.  PI means they have identification but it was not verified.

When you have VPI on your results they show up on the AKC website for anyone to see and of course offa.org allows you to look ANY results up.

For Aussies you only do most tests once, the only test repeated in the eye exam, it should be done yearly.  I do all of mine yearly and pay the extra fee to have the boys results published.  Bummy is done but since she is retired I just keep a copy for me.

I hope this helps people understand all of the test.  As you know I am passionate about health.  To me temperament and trying to produce healthy dogs is more important than anything else.


PKC Match and Herding Report

I totally forgot to report on last weekends sheep herding and Piedmont Kennel Club match.  So Memphis and I went to the match and had a blast.  We did Rally and Go (Basically Rally but no judge) and he was really really good.

We did conformation and won Best of Breed and a Group 2 Herding.  He was really good for me - and so it was a great day.  PKC is going to have a few more of these events and so I plan to hit them.  We met some super nice people there as well.

On Sunday I took both of the boys to Findley Vue Farm for some sheep herding.  We had stopped going in October when I got paranoid about their OFAs.  I wanted to wait until those were done and graded and then Christmas came so this was our first opportunity.

They were both really good - Memphis was a bit wild (shocking) but settled down quickly, Stinger was right where he was before.  In fact he was so good we also tried some ducks.  He loved them although he was trying hard to figure out how to move them together.  When he got a bit close one of the ducks would shake their wings and Stinger would back off.  Such a good boy.

Both boys are ready to trial - just have to find a trial now!!!  I have a video of Stinger and the ducks below.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc7CAHMLyaA.  If you hear a dog bellow and Stinger lose concentration that would be Merle Force One angry he is missing out on the fun LOL



Health Clearances are now online

Welcome 2014!  As my first order of business I put the health certifications of the Boys up online.  I hope everyone takes the time to look at them. 



If you buy a puppy or are looking for a stud dog these are the MINIMUM you should see.  This is what the parent club USASA recommends.  Don't let people whine and complain they are expensive - it costs less than $500 (an I am being generous wiith that amount).  If you are really trying to breed a good dog these are what you need to do.

Note I did not say a good SHOW dog, I said a good DOG.  All puppies, pet, show, working, performance should come from parents with genetic screening.  And DO NOT JUST TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT.  One yahoo local has on his website that his stud dog has excellent elbows - there is no such designation they are pass or fail.

That my friends is a red flag.  Healthy dogs does not mean they run and play.  It means you are screaning them to determine the best way to produce happy healthy dogs.  Again, don't believe me check it out yourself.  I am not afraid to post all of the testing I do.

Then again you don't have to take my word for it, you can see with your own eyes :-)

2013 In Review

It is 7pm on New Years Eve and me, Bummy and Stinger are sitting on the bed.  My last blogpost for this year.  It has been a good year - some sad moments but more happy I think and now we look to the future - 2014 is a blank slate.

I try to look at the positives so let's review:

January - brought us our FIRST points!  2 points for Memphis and then the next day two points for Stinger!

February - I got to go to Westminster for the first time!  The Stinger hit the road with Jamie and swept Winner's Dog every day at the very prestigious Chicago International Dog Show cluster!

March - My first Bred By AKC Champion!  Stinger wins majors at Lexington and then Concord (okay History buffs gigle with me!)

April - Bumble Bee and the Tinks are 4th place at Nationals in Brood Bitch, Stinger is in the finals of 12-18 and Bummy makes the finals of Best of Breed!

May - Memphis is in the points!

June - Ozzie takes Best of Breed in Asheville every day!

July - More points for Memphis!

September - Memphis win winner's dog at Florida Herding Specialty!

October - Our second Bred By AKC Champion!  Sugar finishes in AKC and in one weekend gets 14 points in ASCA!

November - Sugar finishes her Grand Championship in three weekends.  Memphis is now AKC Major pointed.

December - OFA results are in Stinger is OFA Excellent/Normal, Memphis is Good/Normal!

So what is in store this year?  I hope we finish Memphis up - poor guy only shows once every 6 weeks or so!  Then he and I are on to Agility.  Hoping to finish CGC, TDI and Rally Novice with both boys and also get some herding titles.  Next year will definitely be more performance focused.

I also am hoping to have the pitter patter of a pup or two!  Paws crossed.  I thank everyone for reading this and hope that you have a wonderful and SAFE New Years!

Merry Christmas!

Stinger the Red Tri Aussie, had a very shiny coat

And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glowed.

All of the black and merle Aussies, used to laugh and call him names.

They never wanted poor RedDog, to play in any dog show games.

Then one foggy weekend show, Jamie came and said,

"Stinger with your coat so bright, let's go win Best in Show tonight!"

Then all the Aussies loved him, and they shouted out in glee

"Stinger the Red Tri Aussie, you'll go down in HIS-TOR-Y!"



Calabrone Australian Shepherds and Pekingese
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