In 1998, I decided to start health certification (initially Hip Dysplasia, later more) on all my breeding Chow Chows. At the time no other ZA breeders were certifying all their breeding dogs. Internationally the trend was growing but not yet mainstream.
Why certify when I know evaluations are limited in scope thus only a partially accurate measure? After much research it was apparent that when using these evaluations in making breeding decisions, marked benefits appeared in the whelping box.
As perfection does not exist, there would be no complete solution. The ideal I am striving for as a breeder is the lowest incidence, currently possible, of health concerns.
At first this decision seemed to set me back, as I decided to exclude certain dogs from my breeding program and include those which others would not. Excluded ones may be really beautiful doing well at dogshows but health evaluations are not acceptable, others test clear in health evaluation but have temperament issues, and so forth. Breeding is about an entire picture.
I have been blessed with wonderful puppy owners who work with me, providing regular feedback, positive and not so positive. This feedback is imperitave to future decisions, as the flesh and blood results from a breeding give the most accurate (though still only partial) picture of the genetic load breeding dogs carry.