HD / ED scoring. - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by 8lu3d09 on 07 April 2019 - 13:04

A Stamp, PennHip or BVA-KC / OFA etc.

I am looking to get my bitch HD and ED scored this year. The last time I got one of my Sheps scored I used the BVA-KC scheme as that was the only available option in the UK at that time.

Now the UK offers to test under the German A stamp scheme and also the PennHip scheme; are these better or do they just test a different way?


by Hundmutter on 12 April 2019 - 08:04

Have refrained from answering for some days, as I really hoped some UK or other breeders would reply to your interesting question !

However, the few UK people who still hang out here don't seem to want to comment, so if you'll put up with a non-breeder's response, some history might be of use to you in making your decision !

I don't think people have lost faith in the UK scoring system per se but it seems we have a wider choice these days;

that's usually not a bad thing.  We have to remember that there has been some past cynicism about the SV 'A' stamp, there having been instances of imported dogs having proved to have had very different results when scored by the KC/BVA panel.  Notably one that Sheila Rankin brought over some years ago, so you could have a word with her; but I think there have been a few others.   [And of course, we'd only know if the dogs were tested under both schemes ...]

You can find elsewhere on PDB a comparison of which result in one Hip Scheme is supposed to equate to what in the others, including the OFA (for Americans).

Its also worth taking into account the fact that while Malcolm Willis was alive, he updated the KC/BVA scheme results at intervals so we could see how it progressed and gradually brought down the 'breed mean', the average figure below which dogs were more suitable for breeding with while reducing the overall trend in poor hips.  I don't know if anyone is currently keeping a central record but such overviews are now no longer published, which is a pity.

FWIW I still like using the KC/BVA scheme because I find the number-scoring easy to understand / visualise, but others may not feel the same.  If an owner / breeder wants to compete in Germany (even if only as a precursor to trying to get in on the breeding & selling side - probably fat chance, but good luck to them !) then obviously registering for the SV's HD and ED evaluations makes complete sense.  You could try talking to some of those UK breeders who regularly send dogs to the Seiger show each year.


PennHip is a slightly different kettle of fish, because yes it's a different sort of calculation, as I understand it. And despite the best efforts of the National Magazine to explain it a few times, I am still not entirely clear as to how that difference actually works, or how it compares to other hip information. Don't even know if you'd still need to use the KC/BVA scheme for ED; or whether the KC accept it, for e.g. purposes of the Accredited Breeder list.  Not saying there is anything wrong with PennHip, and more people in the breed do seem to have used it as the years go by, but take-up does not seem huge by comparison to the KC/BVA version.


The other point to always bear in mind, is that it does not matter which system you use, the very nature of HD (don't know if this is showing to be true of ED as well) means that it can still occur even when you have bred dogs with a proven excellent family history of good hips; and that some individual dogs will confound us by having rotten construction for hips yet never 'going off' them ... and vice versa.  And there is a body of evidence to make one think that even when you have a genetic pre-dispositon to the condition, environmental factors like the diet and exercise type/levels of a puppy can have an effect for good or ill. 



by apple on 12 April 2019 - 11:04

PennHip measures laxity in hips thinking that laxity leads to degenerative changes and HD. An older study I read reported that PennHip used in breeding programs was able to help in selection of breeding partners that lead to decreased laxity, but not to a decrease in HD, so apparently the premise that laxity causes HD is not accurate.


by 8lu3d09 on 12 April 2019 - 20:04


Thanks for your reply.
Yes, I remember reading about Sheila's dog; is she still with the Breed Council?

One of the reasons I'm looking into A stamp is because she was born in Germany and getting her scored by the German system will add her results to the SV.

However, she is also registered with the KC here.

It would be interesting to see what she will score with the A stamp compared with the BVA/KC scheme.

Getting her scored here would be much easier but to get the A stamp, I have to go through the GSDL of GB or the BAGSD or be a member of the SV. I've applied to the league but apparently, it takes up to 30 days to be accepted; wasn't like that in Joyce Ixer's day😂.

I wonder if I could just get the SV to send me the forms directly or maybe they'll only accept submission from a WUSV member club?


Thanks for the info on PennHip.


by Hundmutter on 12 April 2019 - 21:04

The League was very different in Joyce Ixer's day !
(Think I will refrain from further comment on that). Mind you, I don't know whether that delay is the League's fault, it may just be that with increasing international interest the SV cannot process it faster ? From here on PDB, I gather there are probably a fair few Americans now who register their dogs hips n elbows with the SV ...

Yes, Sheila is still Hon Sec to the Breed Council, as well as being the 1st point of call for the Breed Magazine editorial panel (and she is still Sec for the GSD Club of Essex). And she does Breed Notes for 'Our Dogs' most weeks, runs the Crufts stall for the BC, and a ton of other stuff. Wish I had half her energy !

'Fraid I don't know whether the SV would send out application forms individually; it seems more likely to me that they would prefer it all done through a Member Club, but I don't know what other countries do about this, and unfortunately I don't know anyone over here well enough who might want to be doing it - I don't mix in those exhalted circles - who I could just ring and ask for you. Who have you contacted at the League, 'cos Carol Eastwood would probably be the best person to field those questions. [You would be better with the League, I think, BAGSD's idea of being a WUSV Member Club is hardly dynamic, still.] Good luck.  Contact details for both Sheila and Carol are on the respective websites, I think.


by 8lu3d09 on 12 April 2019 - 21:04

The membership application is dealt with by Mo Lakin. It is a 30-day wait to get membership approval to join the League.

by Rik on 12 April 2019 - 23:04

1. whichever system you choose, you should get a view/copy of the xray. you will know if they are real or not, why all of the talk about xrays not matching is wasted space.

2. regardless of what different results anyone gets, I would consider xrays done in Germany by German vets to be honest and accurate. done in other countries and sent to SV, a very prominent German breeder told me he would never trust it again
3. with microchip and tattoo id required, it is not as easy to fake.

4. IN your case and chosen path, I would go for the A stamp. But the end result is that you know the status of your dog, that you are having done. Not like you are buying a dog and hoping it was done honestly.

5. I don't personally like PennHip because of the stress put on the hips for laxity. but that's just me. If the head and socket look good, and the past generations look good, I'm good.

6. I think OFA gives a very accurate description/rating. but again, if I was doing my own dogs, from the SV system, for SV purposes, I would do SV Hip ratings.



by Hundmutter on 13 April 2019 - 09:04

Rik - without trawling back through a host of documents, I think I am right in remembering that in the particular case the OP & I referred to, the X ray plate (and it was an actual X ray, back then) was available (and thereafter published) so anyone who thinks they are any good at reading the pictures (rather than simply accepting the grading) - and it sometime is not so obvious ! - was able to see that the initial 'A' stamp had been wrong. You imply, I think, that the German decision may have been superior to the subsequent evaluation by the British panel ? In fact, I have an idea that the SV did eventually accept that this was a wrong 'un, and (sort of) apologised.

Waste of space to recall the event ? I know many, many more are fine, than those odd few which may not be, for whatever reasons. I was not trying to say "The SV system is no good"; I was simply reporting that some folk here, given the choice, may be a little sceptical and choose to stick with the UK version unless they absolutely HAVE to get a German one. Which for most, internal, purposes they would not. (I am not psychic about whether the OP would need it or not for his 'chosen path'.)

Not sure how we should take the general reference to other countries' vets lack of skill in taking pics !

OFA grading would not be available to us over here, would it ? Except for dogs born and initially Registered with AKC then imported by a Brit, perhaps ?

@8lue3do9, I thought you meant the process including Germany was runnng @ 30 days ! Heavens, is it really taking a whole month just to JOIN the League ? What are they doing, 'positively vetting' all applicants ? [ You wouldn't believe the number of times over the years I've thought I 'must' join, then never got round to it as I didn't have a dog doing the right range of activities to make it worthwhile for me ;-) ]


by 8lu3d09 on 13 April 2019 - 11:04


Yes, my application has been received and will be reviewed by the council and a decision will be made within 30 days.

I was a member 30 odd years ago; at that time it was just a case of sending off a cheque or postal order, then you were a member for the year.


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