How to use the OFA and Sweetbay databases

    A wealth of information about dogs and kennels is now available EASILY on the OFA site.   You can find out whether and what has been registered about any kennel, any dog, its sire and dam, and any dog's ancestors, progeny, and full and half siblings.  And this is all by simple mouse clicks.

    The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals:

    Simply go to the OFA main page:

    In the small search window on the blue bar near the top, enter either a full name or just the kennel name [the search engine is pretty sophisticated, but seems to capture most variations on a kennel's spellings if you leave out the "'s" after the kennel name; e.g., for "EnormousBeautifulBlackNewf's Intergalactic Wowzer" [I hope I made that up!], just enter "EnormousBeautifulBlackNewf."  (or the correct spelling if you're looking after a particular dog).

    Click on "go"

    You will get a list of every dog with that kennel name -- at least every dog with any OFA certification for any listed condition.  [Note that lots of kennel names have more than one page of dogs, you have to go through the pages as indicated on the yellow "results" bar at the top of the list].

    Each dog's name is also a hyperlink.  Click on it, and you will get that dog's details [titles has a category, but it's obviously not populated yet -- many dogs with titles have no listing yet for titles] of birth and its sire and dam (if they have any listed health certifications), it's AKC number, and its certifications to date.  The same page lists the dog's full and half siblings.

    But there's more: by clicking on the names of dogs in THAT list, you can learn the same of sire and dam and siblings!

    If you haven't accessed this resource, or haven't done it recently, give it a try; it is a wonderful resource and can support responsible breeding practices.

    Sweetbay's OFA Book:

    The Sweetbay site ( has a scrolling frame under a portrait of a Newfoundland on the left side of the screen.  By using the scroll bar on that pane, near the bottom you will find "Free Health Data" in red, and the link "OFA Certified Newfoundlands" - click on that link (on Sweetbay's page, not here) and you will access that site's databases.  An introductory page explains how they are arranged [they're pdf files].  They contain the same information as the OFA arranged in different ways, and they also rigorously report all championship, AKC and NCA titles associated with each dog.

    Sweetbay's Annotated Studbook:

    Further down the left frame on the Sweetbay site is the "Free Pedigree Data" title, and its link, "StudBook 2000" which contains information culled from the AKC Stud Book and the OFA Book. The first page explains the use of this resource. This information is stored in an Excel spread sheet, which allows you to sort by any of the types of data stored -- e.g., sire, dam, breeder, etc.

Why look at these resources?

    Although referring to data such as that on these sites cannot begin to capture all that careful breeders or buyers should appraise, it certainly helps estimate the genetic probabilities that ultimately determine so much about the health, longevity, appearance, and performance of our breed.  See The Secret of Siblings.