When you first start looking at Aussies, you may be faced with a long list of health issues and testing that is required. However do not let that put you off.
There may be a long list of testing that breeders are required to do, however this is as an aid to breeders to help them produce healthy dogs and avoid some of the health conditions that do crop up. Yes we do have some big issues in the breed, that as of yet we can not test for. However breeders should be aware of where these are in their pedigrees, and be trying to minimise the risk of the issues arising.
Do not let a breeder tell you that they have no health issues in their lines. All pedigrees will have something lurking in there somewhere.
When Looking for a puppy, both parents should have had theirs hips and elbows scored by the BVA, eyes tested by an ophthalmologist, and be DNA Tested for HSF4 and MRD1. Ideally they should also be DNA tested for CEA, PRA, B12 deficiency, HUU, DM, NCL, CD, CMR1. It all conditions dogs with one copy of the gene MUST be bred to a clear dog (although MDR1 may be an exception to this).
Despite all the issues we discuss on the following pages of our site, the breed is actually a relatively health one. Yes we do occasionally hear of dogs being lost in their prime, however it also isn't unheard of for Aussies to live until 14 and well beyond.
Much more information about the health of Aussies can be found on the Australian Shepherd Health and Genetics Institute website.