I thought this would be helpful to share on the forum. We’ve all seen the threads. Poster has bred or is going to breed their dogs, forum members ask about health tests, most fess up and say they don’t have them, don’t need them, some try to pretend that they do. I want to talk about the latter kind and how it pertains to anyone looking to buy a puppy from a breeder. After one of *those* threads, the poster contacted me via PM and demanded that I answer the original question. I basically told them to go pound sand, and stop BSing about those hip scores. We went back and forth “yes my dogs are hip scored”, “no they’re not” a few times until finally poster produced a “certificate” with pertinent information blocked out. I laughed (I’ll explain why in a minute), but then I got to thinking how easy it would be to dupe someone who didn’t know. So, let’s back up for a second. The reason breeders pay organizations like Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and PennHip and the UK organizations for specialized testing for genetic disease is not just to be able to sell a dog who has been “health tested”. The reason for these organizations is to have a database where people interested in studying genetic conditions and disease have an accurate collection of data along with the pedigree information to study and in turn potentially find markers for disease and cures. It’s not about one dog, it’s about having accurate data on multiple dogs through generations. There is absolutely no reason why a responsible, ethical breeder would not want to give out their dog’s OFA number so that a potential buyer could put that number in the OFA search and look at that dog’s health tests and health tests of the pedigree behind the dog. None. Unless of course the breeder is lying. Health certificates are pretty darned easy to fake. What isn’t so easy to fake is the information on the public databases. So if a breeder says “oh yes the dam and sire were health tested and both had excellent hips” but they don’t have the certificate right now, or they lost the information or whatever, they’re lying. All you need is the dog’s OFA number and that information is right there for anyone to see on the OFA database. Forgot the OFA number? No problem, you can search by the dog’s birthdate, breed, tests you’re looking at, date of test, name of dog, all sorts of criteria. You can make the search as broad or as narrow as you like. And yes, they also list mixed breed dogs. http://www.offa.org/search.html?action=new There is a similar database on CHIC http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/search.html Here is the KC Health Test Finder http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/mateselect/test/ More and more unscrupulous breeders are trying to fake health tests, which I choose to see as a good thing because at least the health test info is getting out and more and more people are asking for them. Now we need to educate buyers on confirming that those health tests are indeed real and valid. Again, a good breeder should have absolutely no issue producing evidence of health testing listed on a public database. Oh, that “certificate” that made me laugh? It was a score of excellent for a 10 month old bitch. 10 month olds don’t get hip scores. They get preliminaries, and it will say preliminary on the certificate. Preliminary certificates are also white in a portrait orientation. Final scores are on a blue certificate in landscape orientation. This certificate was blue in a landscape orientation. Not even a good fake. However, just to be sure, I searched for a bitch of that breed born in that month. No prelims on record (and a score of excellent automatically gets put on record). I also sent a quick message to a friend who just had preliminaries done on her male. Nope, it’s a printout, not a certificate for prelims... If buyers don’t know to verify information via the available databases or have someone they trust to check information with, how easy is it for them to get duped by a fake certificate?