This article is from the Genetic Diseases in Dogs FAQ, by Gary Mason.
First and foremost in solving any problem is ensuring that everyone
involved understands it. While genetics can be a very complex
technical subject, the basic information required to make progress
toward the elimination of genetic disease by developing an effective
breeding program is within the reach and understanding of everyone
Breeders should understand the implications of genetic diseases
recognized as affecting their breeds, and take steps to breed only
those dogs that will minimize the propagation of unwanted
Prospective buyers should be made aware of the genetic diseases
related to the breed they are considering. And they should learn to
ask that test results or genetic histories for the animals they are
planning to purchase be explained to them.
Veterinarians should be able to recognize genetic diseases, and inform
owners, breeders, and prospective breeders of their presence in dogs
they examine and treat.
A general information publication on genetic diseases in all dogs
could be prepared. A cooperative effort among many breed clubs and
other interested organizations could reduce cost and gain maximum
exposure for such a product. By crossing many breeds, a single
publication could be offered to the public at many venues, including
shows for single and multiple breeds, county and state fairs, and
other events at which those interested in dogs might be expected to
attend. There are many opportunities to spread the word.