Cancer: Is it a problem in Glens? As yet it isn’t known but more cases are being reported. Is this a sign of modern living or something happening to the breed that we aren’t aware of?
Patella Luxation: A luxating patella is, basically, something not quite right with the dog’s knee-the alignment is wrong. Glens have short legs and a slightly different structure combined with a lot of muscle and weight. It would be quite easy for patella luxation to slip into the breed and not be realised. This is why some countries are beginning to test their Glens if any lameness (skipping/hopping on the back legs) is seen in their dogs. There is currently nothing that indicates achondroplasic breeds are more prone to this condition
Back Problems: If is often reported that dwarf breeds are more prone to back disease but this does not seem to be the case with Glen of Imaal Terriers. It could be due to their general overall muscular condition but nobody really knows; a good indicator though to not let your Glen enjoy too much of the couch life.
Arthritis: Glens are a bigger bodied dog on short legs so a lot of pressure is placed on puppy “elbows and ankles” particularly if the Glen becomes overweight. Growth rate can be so fast that the long bones grow at different rates leading to limping. This can be identified as arthritis by vets unused to achondraplasic physique. It is very unusual for a young Glen to suffer with this & the problem will often disappear when the growth plates even out but extreme crate rest is needed.
Breeding-Should I do it?
You have to be sure that you have enough enquiries for good homes, as this is quite a specialist breed and can be difficult to sell if you don’t have “contacts” in the breed. Enquiries are often from people who have already had one and are looking for a replacement for an old dog who has died.
Is your bitch DNA eye-tested? Is she a good specimen of the breed?
Glens can have quite large litters of 8-10 puppies and if new owners are not forthcoming you could be faced with keeping this number of extremely active pups beyond the age of 8 weeks until suitable homes become available. Do you have the time and the space for such a commitment and the budget to feed growing hungry pups?
Are you able to afford the cost of vets fees if your bitch requires a caesarian section? Depending on where you live this could cost you anywhere up to £1000+. There is always a risk that your bitch might suffer complications and die during whelping.
Can you give up (at least) 8 weeks of your life? Can you have a Glen you have bred back when it is 5 years old? Caring breeders can.
Having puppies will NOT pay your bills!