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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a question, for breeders and buyers. Would you breed/buy a dog with OFA Fair hips? Or "fast normal" hips?

If so, what other considerations do you take into account? If said dog had OFA fair hips, littermates all got an OFA number and pedigree was stocked with passing hips, does that affect your decision?

On the flip side, if a dog has " excellent " hips, but the pedigree is littered with hip issues, do you take that into consideration? Breeders, how diligently do you look at siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, when considering a dog/bitch for breeding?

As a buyer, does an OFA Fair, scare you off? Even though it means the hips are normal? Is it the word "fair"?

In a few months my boy will be getting his prelims done. My last male OFA fair. Never took a wrong step, never had arthritis. He had perfectly functional hips, was a working SAR dog. But the "fair" was off putting to me. I never bred him, he was neutered(for reasons not related to his hips).

Just curious how others feel about less than " excellent" ratings. Same goes for the German "fast-normal", which to me equates to an OFA fair.







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As a buyer I have always asked to see the pedigree of dam and sire. Having said this, Lola's dam and sire had excellent, however there were some highish scores on the sire's side further down the line.

Lola has HD - whether this was caused genetically or environmentally or both, I can't say.

Yes I always look at hip scores, does this guarantee excellent hips - NO.
 

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As a buyer, hips that rate "fair" don't bother me if everything else is what I like / what I want. Sure you take a chance, but you take a chance with any hip rating in my opinion. Fair is still passing/not dysplastic

I should add, I've had a couple of gsd's with Fair hips, and they never had any hip issues, were active dogs living until 13 years of age

Masi, was rated a 'good'.
 

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Fair is passing. Not perfect, but NOT HD. Fast normal does not bother me....many dogs going FN at a year do better at 2, not all, but many. I look at the whole pedigree for breeding/buying...and if info on littermates is available, even better! The ZW system is not perfect - especially with non German born dogs...the numbers are skewed....Csabre has OFA Good hips, has produced 1 Fair, 2 Goods, 2 prelim Goods/'a' normals...her mother was OFA Good, produced 1 litter and 2 OFA Goods, 2 others prelim Goods....and got a highish number (90) - and her daughter Kira, 'a' normal/OFA Good prelim is 82 (sire is 83 and dam 90?????) ...the others aren't showing up yet that I have sent in.... Basha is 96, "B" hips in Belgium, and one daughter, Hexe is 81...yet Basha produced 2 OFA Excellents, 6 or 8 Goods, 1 Fair and 1 Mild .....


Passing is passing and you HAVE to look further than that rating!

Lee
 

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You have to look at not only the dog, but the dog's littermates, full siblings, parents, grandparents, etc. An excellent out of a litter of dysplastic dogs is much more of a risk than a fair, FN or even a NZ out of a litter of all good/excellent and normals whose depth of pedigree also shows good ratings.

We tend to panic so much about hips, but rarely talk that much about elbows. A dog with severe hips probably won't have much of a working life, but often has a long companion life. Severe or grade 3 (is that OFA's worst?) elbows are very often a death sentence.
 

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I chose not to use a male I was given in a breeding capacity because of bad hips through parentage. Sire and two of his brothers had HD mild to moderate OFA prelims before age of 2. Even if I got OFA Excellent on my male I would not breed him. I want to see a pedigree of passing hips and I want to know about all the littermates I can track down.
 

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Fair doesn't bother me, especially if the relatives are mostly Good/Excellent or, at least, also Fair.

Other things would weigh a lot more heavily in my decision to buy (or theoretically breed) a dog. To me, Fair = a passing rating, and that's sufficient.
 

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How strongly does the breeding of two "excellent" hipped dogs correlate to offspring? Direct ratio(as in genetic traits for coat type) or is more a nebulous "odds are" situation?

This is a hard question to parse. I guess I am asking if hips have a genetic marker or not. Would a pairing with pedigrees that stretch back for 10 generations with perfect hips have a better chance or almost guaranteed outcome of great hips?
 

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As a buyer, I would want to see the whole picture... so I would dive into the pedigree and really ensure I had a knowledge of what other relatives were rated AND producing. For me, I want to see the whole picture and although hips are of course important, Fair is still a pass so it wouldn't deter me from purchasing but it would make me take a better look at the whole picture of the dog being bred and the relatives of said dog.
 

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I was scared of HD. I bought Lucy from Austria, she is EGSD - the only line vertually HD free. Home
Western line dogs have more "fire" in them, they are more playful. Eastern ones are bigger, more muscular, and they are rather calm dogs in comparison.
 

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How strongly does the breeding of two "excellent" hipped dogs correlate to offspring? Direct ratio(as in genetic traits for coat type) or is more a nebulous "odds are" situation?

This is a hard question to parse. I guess I am asking if hips have a genetic marker or not. Would a pairing with pedigrees that stretch back for 10 generations with perfect hips have a better chance or almost guaranteed outcome of great hips?
I heard a statistic tossed out on here that 1 in 10 excellent-excellent breedings is a HD. No data at all to back that up, but perhaps whomever originally put that out has research they could link (I honestly don't remember). I know the litter that produced the sire of my male was an excellent/excellent, and they threw multiple HD dogs. It's much less about the score of the dogs and much more about the litter as a whole. If you have an excellent dog but all seven other siblings are fair or HD I wouldn't touch it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone. HD is so prevalent in our breed, just curious as to what educated breeders and buyers think. To me " fair" is fine. But I know lots of people shy away from it.


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Hips are but one element of the dog... If I really liked the sire for other reasons, and he had fair hips, BUT showed no symptoms of HD, I'd be fine with it... If the dam was also fair I'd be a bit concerned but not outright against it.

If the pedigree is littered with bad hips I'd not breed/get a puppy, even if both parents were OFA excellent
 

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How strongly does the breeding of two "excellent" hipped dogs correlate to offspring? Direct ratio(as in genetic traits for coat type) or is more a nebulous "odds are" situation?

This is a hard question to parse. I guess I am asking if hips have a genetic marker or not. Would a pairing with pedigrees that stretch back for 10 generations with perfect hips have a better chance or almost guaranteed outcome of great hips?
There isn't a single genetic marker... Rather a large amount of genetic code that defines the structure, ligament robustness, etc.

For example (making this up) If one dog had poor femoral head coverage but ligaments of steel, he might never show symptoms. A dog with excellent femoral head coverage but ligaments like worn out rubber bands might OFA excellent and never show symptoms. Breed the two and you may get excellent covered super ligament dogs with perfect hips, and poor covered slack ligament dogs that can't walk without sever pain, in the same litter.
 

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There isn't a single genetic marker... Rather a large amount of genetic code that defines the structure, ligament robustness, etc.

For example (making this up) If one dog had poor femoral head coverage but ligaments of steel, he might never show symptoms. A dog with excellent femoral head coverage but ligaments like worn out rubber bands might OFA excellent and never show symptoms. Breed the two and you may get excellent covered super ligament dogs with perfect hips, and poor covered slack ligament dogs that can't walk without sever pain, in the same litter.
Ohhh, see I was under the impression that HD was a bone only issue. Didn't know that the ligaments were also a variable. Connective tissue, cartilage, bone density and shape are all a factor. Waaay to many variables to narrow down the field to a guaranteed great hip situation. Bet a good osteo doc could whip up a list of things, with priority given to the major mechanics to really help in decisions. Gads, the funds needed to test just one dog across the spectrum would be insane.
 

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Know the Genetic Load but Don't Obsess About it

By "genetic load" we mean the total complement of genes within a population that can negatively affect the fitness of individual animals. Some of these genes are known; many remain poorly understood or unknown. The breeder should at least be well aware of genetic problem areas within the breed. Some will be breed-specific (syringomyelia in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the purine metabolism defect in Dalmatians); more will be common to most or all canine breeds (epilepsy, canine hip dysplasia) but in some breeds may be associated with particular bloodlines.

Breeders are told that to produce animals with genetic defects marks them as "bad breeders," so they tend not to share information about such defects. They are also told that their objective should be to "eliminate" these genes, which is used as justification for inbreeding and expensive screening programmes. This kind of advice builds up an obsessive attitude towards genetic load. People spend endless time discussing specific defects, individual animals, screening programmes and the like, whilst ignoring the true causes of genetic disease.

It is unlikely that canine genetic load can be effectively eliminated, at least at the present stage of genetic knowledge. Not until the functions and interactions of all genes in the dog genome are fully known, and gene surgery commonplace, would that become a real possibility.

It is therefore important that breeders share knowledge about genetic load within their breeds, so that they can avoid unfortunate breeding combinations. Authors such as Malcolm Willis and Jerold Bell insist that outbreeding "covers up" recessive defects. Indeed it does and indeed it should! That is exactly what nature itself does, and no one criticises natural evolutionary processes or recommends that natural populations should be inbred instead of mated naturally. The fact that inbreeding "exposes" recessives is not necessarily helpful, because in most cases it is impractical to remove or "eliminate" the "defect" genes. Rather, breeding should be guided in such a way as to avoid reinforcement of known recessives whilst maintaining genetic diversity in the population.

Screening and selection can never succeed as a strategy for the "elimination" of genetic disease. As one defect is eliminated, others will be reinforced, and the latter state of the breed will be worse than the former. The genetic load must be known, tolerated and managed; to obsess about its elimination will lead only to disaster.
Population Genetics in Practice
 

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My male's mother is rated as OFA fair. She has had several litters. None have developed signs of HD. Of her off spring that have been tested one was prelimmed OFA Good and two were Pinn Hipped in the 85th percentile. I have not had my male's hips done yet.

As a side note, I am keeping the mother for a few month and I have to tell you that she is an absolutely wonderful dog, beautiful mover, extremely fun dog to work with. After spending time with her, I would have no problem purchasing an OFA fair dog if the rest of the package was as nice a dog as she is.
 

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OFA Titled Hips

Personally, I would only breed a dog that had fair, good or excellent hips. I would stay away from breeding dogs with OFA titled hips that were less than fair. The only exception to this rule, for me, would be if I Knew the dog had an hip injury.
 

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I have considered a pup from an OFA fair dam with an OFA excellent sire. In my research I found that it matters greatly with the hips throughout the line. Fair to fair would have alarmed me but I would have still looked at the pedigree before making that decision.
 
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