This page contains various helpful information
regarding Health Testing, Registration, DNA, Diseases,
Temperament Testing, and Show Titles...
an explanation as to what all the letters after a dog's name mean.
(use the following quick links to go directly to the information you need)

Thanks go out to Tilo of Ruckus Kennels for the info.


·Health Testing
·Show Titles - Conformation
·Temperament Testing (TT)
and Canine Good Citizen

None of this information is meant to replace the advice of a qualified veterinarian.
Consult your veterinarian about what's right for your pet.

We would like to thank Charles Lidikay DVM and Shauna Lidikay
of Ravenloft Kennels for their expertise and knowledge regarding health concerns
and testing for our dogs.
Ravenloft Kennels also has a veterinary practice called Fillmore Animal Hospital and they also have
The Visiting Vet Housecall Service.
Charlie is a licensed veterinarian in the state of California and Shauna is an experienced veterinary technician and is the practice manager.

UKC ~ The United Kennel Club
American Pit Bull Terriers
In addition to registering dogs, UKC holds conformation shows and working events in which dogs earn points and titles.

'PR' ~ Purple Ribbon-bred.
This means the dog has 3 generations of UKC registered dogs in its pedigree.

AKC ~ The American Kennel Club
American Staffordshire Terriers
In addition to registering dogs,  the AKC holds conformation shows and working events in which dogs earn points and titles.

An AKC registered dog may be registered with the UKC,
making it both a American Pit Bull Terrier & an American Staffordshire Terrier.
(a UKC registered dog MAY NOT be registered with the AKC unless both its parents were AKC registered)

Is a Pit Bull (American Pit Bull Terrier) the same  as an Amstaff (American Staffordshire Terrier)?
There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not the  Pit Bull and the Amstaff can be considered the same dog.

"Some of the breeders of both the American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers will tell you that they are not the same breed and that "that other registry group" is ruining the breed. However, the only REAL DIFFERENCE between these dogs is their name and registry, and the individual breeder's selections and goals. There was NO OTHER BREED of dog added to the bloodlines to create the American Staffordshire Terriers."

        Breed Study, by the STCA (Staffordshire Terrier Club of America)


Conformation Show Titles:

CH ~ Conformation champion.

UKC -- This title is earned by getting 100 points and 3 majors. Points are earned for 1st place and major wins. A major means winning Best Male/Female. You can also win Best of Winners which counts towards your points but not as one of your 3 majors. Wins must be earned under three different UKC judges.
Points are earned as follows: Class win = 10 pts., Major win = 15 pts., Best of Winners = 10 pts.

AKC -- Any dog which shall have won fifteen points shall become a Champion of Record, if six or more of said points shall have been won at two shows with a rating of three or more championship points each and under two different judges, and some one or more of the balance of said points shall have been won under some other judge or judges than the two judges referred to above.

  GR CH ~ Grand Champion.

  UKC --This title is earned by winning 5 Champion classes with competition (at least   3 dogs correctly entered) under 3 different judges.

  AKC --There is no equivalent title in the AKC.

Temperament Testing & Canine Good Citizens:

Testing available for pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs. 

TT ~ Temperament tested. The American Temperament Test Society holds tests designed to carefully evaluate a dog's temperament and those who pass the test earn the TT title. The society will evaluate pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs.  Minimum testing age is 18 months.
The ATTS test focuses on and measures different aspects of temperament such as stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness as well as the dog's instinct for protectiveness towards its handler and/or self-preservation in the face of a threat. The test is designed for the betterment of all breeds of dogs and takes into consideration each breed's inherent tendencies.

CGC ~ Canine Good Citizen.  The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. Through the AKC, but open to ALL dogs. There is no age limit for dogs taking the CGC test, but when tests are given in conjunction with AKC events, clubs enforce the regulation for all activities, contact the club for more info.  Some test giving agencies may require that therapy dogs be a at least 1 year of age to be evaluated.  If the dog is tested as a puppy, retesting as the dog matures is a good idea because temperament and behavior can change over time.


'PR' ~ Purple Ribbon-bred. This means the dog has 3 generations of UKC registered dogs in its pedigree.


This costs under $50, and you can do it at home -- a check swab brush is used to collect a DNA sample from the dog and then sent in to be processed.

  AKC DNA information
  UKC DNA information

**NOTE: If your dog is AKC registered, it is better to DNA profile with the AKC first, then submit a copy of your DNA Certificate along with $8 to the UKC and they will verify the information and certify your dog in their DNA database.**

DNA-P ~ DNA Profiled. Both the UKC & AKC  have a DNA profiling database. You can have your dog DNA profiled easily and receive a certificate with its profile.

DNA-VIP ~ DNA Verified Identified Parentage. Means not only is the dog DNA profiled but its parents are also and the three have been checked against each other, verifying the parentage.

Health Testing:

PennHIP ~ A radiographic method of measuring a dog's passive hip laxity (looseness of the joint). The dog is given a Distraction Index (DI) number between 0 and 1. A DI closer to 0 would mean little or no joint laxity and less liklihood of developing Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). The closer DI is to 1 the more laxity and therefore greater CHD susceptablity. This can be performed on dogs aged 4 months and up. This test does require anesthesia. Developed by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
CLICK HERE for The PennHIP site.

OFA ~ The Orthopedic Foundation For Animals, Inc. A private non-profit foundation formed in 1966 to collate and disseminate information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animal, to advise, encourage and establish control programs to lower the incidence of orthopedic and genetic diseases and to encourage and finance research in orthopedic and genetic disease in animals.

OFA Hips ~ Owners can submit hip x-rays to the OFA and have them evaluated for Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). The OFA gives them a category of Excellent, Good, Fair (these 3 are normal hips) or Borderline, Mild Dysplasia, Moderate Dysplasia or Severe Dysplasia. Must be at least 24 months old for official certification, although preliminary evaluations are possible between 4 and 24 months. For best results this test should be done with the pet well-sedated.

Correction of anecdotal misinformation regarding hip dysplasia:

1. There are no environmental factors which cause CHD.

2. There is no evidence in the scientific literature that megadoses of vitamin C or any other supplement is
beneficial in reducing the effects or preventing CHD.

3. High caloric intake resulting in rapid growth and increased weight gain may exacerbate changes in dysplastic hips but will not create hip dysplasia.

4. Exercise, running, jumping up and down, and slick floors will not cause hip dysplasia.

5. Prior injuries to the femurs and/or pelvis may be detected radiographically and are taken into account when evaluating hip status.
(above corrections taken from OFA Hips booklet published by OFA)

CLICK HERE for Hip Dysplasia Treatment Options

OFA Elbows ~ Owners can submit elbow x-rays to the OFA to be evaluated for elbow dysplasia. They recieve a rating of normal or abnormal. Abnormal scores are further divided into Grade I, Grade II or Grade III. Must be at least 24 months old for official certification although preliminary evaluations are possible between 12 and 24 months.

OFA Cardiac ~ Owners can have their dog examined for congenital heart disease and receive OFA certification and a breed number from OFA stating the dog is normal or affected. Must be at least 12 months old for official certification, but OFA provisional certification is possible for dogs between 6 weeks and 12 months of age. This provisional certification is great for breeders to do before selling a puppy and for assessment of the breeding potential of a dog.

OFA Patellas ~ Owners can have their dogs evaluated for patellar luxation (slippage/rotation of the kneecap) and receive OFA certification and a breed number. This is a manual examination. Dogs recieve a classification of normal or abnormal, with abnormal being further divided into 4 grades. Must be at least 12 months old for official certification, but OFA provisional certification is possible for dogs between 6 weeks and 12 months of age. Again, this provisional certification is great for breeders to do before selling a puppy and for assessment of the breeding potential of a dog.

OFA Thyroid ~ A blood serum test can be done to determine if a dog has thyroid abnormalities. There are two types of thyroid abnormalities covered by OFA:
1. Autoimmune Thyroiditis (known to be heritable)
2. Idiopathically Reduced Thyroid Function
Dogs receive a category of Normal, Abnormal or Equivocol (equivicol meaning the results were not definitive and retesting in 3-6 months is recommended). Normal dogs are issued OFA certification and a breed number. OFA recommends the dogs be recertified (no OFA charge for recertification) at 2,3,4,6 and 8 years old since the classification can change as the dogs age. Dogs must be at least 12 months old.

CERF ~ Canine Eye Registration Foundation. The Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) is an organization that was founded by a group of concerned, purebred owner/breeders who recognized that the quality of their dog's lives were being affected by heritable eye disease.  Dedicated to the elimination of heritable eye disease in purebred dogs through registration and research. There is NO minimum age requirement. The certification is good for 12 months from the date of the exam. 
CERF contact info: phone: 765-494-8179

 ~This is a painless examination of the dogs eyes, if free of inheritable eye disease you dog can be certified.

BAER ~ The BAER (Brain Auditory Evoked Response) test is a safe and painless testing device to determine if a dog has a hearing loss. A BAER test is performed by placing a insert earphone into the ear canal, while recording needle electrodes are inserted in the skin at the base of each ear. Each ear is tested individually. A series of one thousand clicks are transmitted via the earphone to stimulate a response. The response is detected by the needle electrodes, transmitted to the BAER device, where it is recorded. The click series starts at 70 decibels and is gradually increased to 105 decibels (if hearing is not detected at the lower levels).
By recording the response signals from the needle electrodes, the BAER device can then produce a graphic display of the dog's hearing responses.

This can be performed on dogs as early as  5 weeks.
What is the BAER test?  ·  BAER Test Sites  ·  Dog Breeds with reported Congenital Deafness


None of this information is meant to replace the advice of a qualified veterinarian.
Consult your veterinarian about what's right for your pet.

Zoonotic Diseases ~ What is a Zoonotic disease?  Zoonotic diseases are those that can be transmitted from your pet to you or your family.  Children are especially susceptible to zoonotic disease.
Keeping your pet healthy:  Take your pet in for regular veterinary exams.  Parasite preventives may help (wormings, Sentinel® - talk to your vet about what's right for your pet).
Keeping your family healthy: Wash hands regularly & wear shoes outdoors.

Fleas ~ The most common of all canine parasites. Severe infestation of flees can cause anemia, as fleas feed on blood. Dogs pick up tapeworms from fleas.   A normal dog may only experience minor skin irritation, but some dogs can flea allergic and have a severe reaction to flea bites.

Giardia ~ Giardia is a parasite that lives in the intestine of affected animals. These small parasites are very easy to miss on a fecal exam and may not be present in the stool of animals infected with the organism. Repeated fecal exams are sometimes necessary to identify this parasite. Not all animals in which infection can be demonstrated have clinical signs.  **Clinical signs of giardia include weight loss, inability to gain weight appropriately during growth, diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite and greasy appearing stools.** The most commonly used medication for giardia infection is metronidazole (Flagyl), which WE RECOMMEND. The giardia organisms come from the environment and live in moist to wet areas.  They are susceptible to quatenary ammonium disinfectants (Lysol and dilute chlorine bleach - these disinfectants should be used cautiously around your pets).  Keeping the dog's environment dry helps a lot.
This disease may be contagious to people from infected dogs so good sanitary practices, like washing your hands after handling an infected puppy, are very important.

Heartworms ~ Heartworms are the deadliest of all canine parasites.  They are spread by mosquito.   Transmission of the parasite occurs when a mosquito draws blood from a heartworm infected dog or cat. Once inside the mosquito, the microfilariae develop into larvae. Later, when the mosquito bites a new victim, the larvae are injected into the dog, thereby causing the infection. It generally takes about six to seven months for the larvae to mature and to start producing the microfilariae inside the dog or cat’s circulatory system. The adult worms end up occupying the right chamber of the heart and the pulmonary arteries, while the microscopic microfilariae circulate throughout the bloodstream. All these worms within the blood vessels produce an increased workload on the heart, along with restricted blood flow to the lungs, kidneys, and liver, eventually causing multiple organ failure. At first, pets may exhibit a chronic cough and/or reduced exercise tolerance, followed by sudden collapse and death.  Infection among humans is very rare.

Hookworms ~ Hookworms are parasites that attach to your pet's intestinal wall.  Despite their small size they suck large amounts of blood from the vessels in the intestinal wall.  Dog's may become infected with hookworms in four ways:  orally, through the skin, through the mother's placenta before birth, and through the mother's milk. Hookworm larvae can penetrate human skin.  Children or adults walking barefoot on contaminated soil, or putting contaminated dirt in their mouths can become infected.
CLICK HERE to learn more about canine hookworm infection.

Roundworms ~ Virtually every puppy is born with roundworms or can become infested while nursing.  A simple worming can treat roundworms in pets.  Children playing in contaminated areas, or in contaminated dirt can become infected with roundworms by putting their dirty fingers in their mouths.  Roundworm eggs can hatch in a child's stomach causing blindness and damage to abdominal organs.

Whipworms ~ Whipworms are intestinal parasites.  They can cause watery, bloody diarrhea and weight loss in your pet.  Whipworm eggs can survive in soil for years, even in cold climates.  People can become infected through ingestion of infected dog feces, soil or grass.  Infection among humans is very rare.

Other Intestinal Parasites:

Coccidia ~ Coccidia are parasites that live in the lining of the small intestine.  Puppies are most commonly affected.  Pets may be asymptomatic (have no symptoms) or they may experience diarrhea and bloody stools.  Coccidia can be difficult to confirm on routine fecal exams....special stains are required.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Coccidia

Other Health Concerns:  Coming Soon
This section is still under construction,
but please use the following links for more information in the meantime...

Brucellosis~ Learn more here -> Canine Brucellosis

Kennel Cough~ Learn more here -> Kennel Cough Info

Parvo~  Learn more here -> Parvo Info : More Parvo Info: "What you should Know about   canine Parvo"

Mange~  Learn more here -> Demodectic Mange (Demodex)