||Our group developed a genetic-counselling program for boxer-dog breeders in The Netherlands, using data for cryptorchidism (uni- and/or bilateral), epilepsy, knee-problems (including ligament rupture, fractured or ruptured meniscus, severe osteo-arthrosis of the knee, or a combination of these disorders), and schisis (including cheiloschisis, palatoschisis, or cheilopalatoschisis). We transformed the estimated breeding values (EBVs) into odds ratios (ORs), to enable the breeder to compare the risk for each of the traits for a certain dam-sire combination with the average population risk (set at 1). The goal of the study was to evaluate the use of our genetic-counselling program by Dutch breeders of boxer dogs. We asked breeders of the Dutch Boxer Club to send in an application form for genetic-counselling from June I to December 1, 2000. Breeders indicated on this application form three desirable sires for their dam (sire 1, sire 2, sire 3) in random order. On the basis of this information, a counselling report was produced which included ORs for the four diseases in litters of the dam-sire combinations indicated on the application form. Together with the counselling report, the breeders received an evaluation form. We received 129 application forms from 70 breeders, and collected 125 evaluations. Of these evaluations, 96 were informative about the influence of the counselling report on sire choice. The most-important criteria used by breeders to select sires were: the exterior characteristics (60%) and known progeny (52%). Although it was the first time breeders could make use of genetic-coun selling, 32% of the breeders indicated that the genetic-counselling played a major role in their sire selection. Breeders expressed little difference in importance for the four genetic traits, but there was a tendency to consider epilepsy more than the others. Breeders hesitated to put long-term population interest above short-term personal interest. Nevertheless, the general conclusion of this study is that breeders acknowledge the value of counselling, especially to reduce the frequency of a threatening disease such as epilepsy. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.