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Health of the Australian Shepherd:

As with all breeds the Australian Shepherd does have some health issues. In some cases these can be inherited conditions from the parents. It is therefore advisable and in some cases mandatory to health screen potential breeding stock.


Below are some conditions which the breed can be susceptible to:

  • Hip Displasia

  • Elbow Displasia

  • Multi Drug Resistance (MDR1) See the MDR1 Drug list

  • Collie Eye Anomaly /Choroidal Hypoplasia (CEA-CH)

  • Distichiais

  • Detached Retina

  • Hereditary Cataracts (HSF4)

  • Iris Colaboma and Iris Hypoplasia

  • Persistant Pupillary Membrane (PPM)

  • Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration/ Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA)

  • Epilepsy

For a more detailed description of the above conditions visit the ASHGI website


10 Steps to a healthier Australian Shepherd:

This program is for breeders, owners, supporters and lovers of the Australian Shepherd who want to join the effort to improve the genetic health of the Australian Shepherd, and who support the use of open health registries.

10-Steps was created by members of EpiGENES, an international discussion group formed in 2003 to candidly discuss the incidence of epilepsy in our breed and provide information for owners and breeders seeking a community of sharing. ASHGI launched the program at the 2004 ASCA National Specialty.

1. I recognize that genetic disease is a longstanding fact in the Australian Shepherd breed. Only through open and honest communication and sharing of accurate information can we, the breeders and guardians of this breed, improve the overall genetic health and significantly reduce the incidence of genetic diseases in the breed we love.


2. I support the open disclosure of all health issues that affect the Australian Shepherd, utilizing publicly accessible canine health registries in the country of my residence whenever possible.


3. I openly and publicly disclose all information in my possession about the health issues that have been produced by my dogs and dogs from my breeding, and also those health issues where a significant risk factor may exist.


4. If I receive information about a new genetic issue in connection with my dogs or breeding, I work to the best of my ability to notify the purchasers/owners of dogs that are related to the dog with the new issue.


5. I support and assist other breeders in their disclosure efforts.


6. I do not speak ill of any breeder or breeding program that has produced an affected Australian Shepherd.


7. I compassionately support and assist owners of affected dogs in the gathering of information on the genetic diseases that have stricken their dogs.


8. I support research studies for genetic diseases in Australian Shepherds, submitting biological samples from dogs in my kennel or of my breeding when they are available and applicable for the study. I encourage others to do the same.


9. Before being bred, all of my dogs are DNA profiled with an accredited laboratory and the results made public, if such services are available within my country, or before my stock is exported to a country that has DNA profiling available.


10. I will have my dogs screened for genetic diseases, as recommended on the ASHGI web site, by veterinarians who have the proper certification. I support the recording of test results in open registries and as they become available to me, I will post my results. As new genetic tests for Australian Shepherds become available, I will submit my breeding stock for those tests.



For information on how to show your support for 10-Steps, or if you have questions or comments about 10-Steps visit the ASHGI 10-Steps page.

Other sites that offer health information and testing

To view the current breed health Survey follow the link to the Kennel Club Health Survey webpage

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