When you decide to get a dog, you are doing so with the expectation that your new canine companion is going to be with you for many years to come. But how many years, exactly? This is something that all prospective pet owners would like to know. The average lifespan for a dog is about 12 years, but this fact by itself tells you very little. In reality, there are a number of variables that will help determine how long the newest member of your family is likely to be with you.
Dogs can suffer from a whole host of diseases and other serious health problems. Some of these conditions are inherited, while others are caused by viruses; still others are related to lifestyle and environmental influences.
The best tool for breeders in the fight against canine hip dysplasia (CHD), to come along in years, is the SV's HD Zuchtwert, or Breed value assessment number (HD ZW). The HD ZW number is an estimation of the probability that a dog will produce progeny with CHD.