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Breeding healthy dogs requires a thorough commitment to sound breeding practices and an understanding of several sets of complex information:
The WFA is dedicated to identifying, researching, and understanding health problems in our breed, with the goal of helping breeders make informed choices leading to healthier dogs.
This can only happen if breeders test their dogs and register the results to enable the best possible choices for current breeding programs. Since breeders often study many generations of a pedigree, registration now will be very useful in the future as more research provides answers to currently frustrating health issues.
The WFA and the West Highland White Terrier Club of America have agreed on a baseline of useful tests for our Westies that will help to improve health. We endorse CHIC, the Canine Health Information Center, as the preferred centralized canine health database. This registry is jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). CHIC also maintains a DNA bank that will facilitate future research and testing aimed at reducing the incidence of inherited disease in our Westies.
A CHIC number and report is issued once a dog’s breed-specific test results are entered into the database. Owner approval is required for results to be published. However, CHIC encourages sharing all results, whether normal or abnormal. All dogs must have permanent identification (microchip or tattoo) for entry into the database.
The breed-specific requirements for West Highland White Terriers include the results of three screenings: