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by mike hedi on 20 October 2009 - 01:10

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by B.Andersen on 20 October 2009 - 01:10

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Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 03:09 am
A1 is A Normal    A2 is A Fast Normal   A3 is Noch Zuglassen

by mike hedi on 20 October 2009 - 01:10

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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:52 pm


by Bob-O on 20 October 2009 - 01:10

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Mike, the rating of "a" Normal, meaning "normal" is the same as a1. This is followed by "a" fast Normal (a2) which means "nearly normal" and finally by "a" noch Zugelassen (a3) which means "still certifiable". The S.V.'s rating system for elbows follows the same scheme. It is perhaps important to note that a slim majority of GSD's score as "a" Normal.

You did not ask - but I will say it anyway. The hip rating of an individual dog is important, but is only a part of the total package. Of great importance is the ZW (Zuchwert, or breed-worthiness) number earned by that dog as it reflects how his ancestors/siblings/other close relatives have fared with their individual hip quality. I will keep it short as it requires much typing to explain exactly how the ZW system works.
In short, the mean value for the ZW is 100. Dogs who score higher than 100 are at a higher risk to produce hip dysplasie, and dogs who score less than 100 are at a lower risk to produce hip dysplasie. The average of the sum of the ZW's for a breeding pair can not exceed 100. In other words, one could breed a male with a ZW 110 to a female who has a ZW that is not greater than 90, or of course vice-versa.
Provided the hips of both parents are evaluated by the S.V. and ZW numbers assigned to each; the offspring begin life with a ZW that is essentially the average of the parents. This number will remain the same, unless the offspring show better or worse hip quality than the parents when they are examined. If they "improve" their number may drop very slightly, but if they "worsen" their number will rise slightly. If one is found to be dysplastic then the numbers can rise significantly. I am just using the parents and offspring as an example, but in reality all close and scored relatives affect the ZW for a dog.

Lastly, you may see a hip rating of "Zuerkannt" on older pedigrees. This shows that the hips passed the S.V.'s evaluation, but did so before the S.V. adopted the "a" stamp rating system that defined the quality of hips. This is similar to the years past when O.F.A. assigned "Normal" as their passing score, and later developed the grades of "Excellent", "Good", and "Fair".

 This is essentially a brief explanation of what can be a lengthy subject to express in detail.

Best Regards,

(edited last sentence of first paragraph; replaced "a" fast Normal with "a" Normal)

by mike hedi on 20 October 2009 - 01:10

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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:52 pm
Thank  you BOB  you are the best.

by SitasMom on 20 October 2009 - 01:10

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bottom of the page for a chart..

by Visitor on 20 October 2009 - 02:10

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Thanks Bob O.  you explained things really well.

by TopDogs on 20 October 2009 - 03:10

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Interesting. I did not realize that about 25% fast normal results is considered a 'slim majority' over the nearly 60% normal results 

by Justk9s on 20 October 2009 - 04:10

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I am not sure that I agree with OFA's chart.

I imported a female from Germany.  She was rated Fast Normal hips.  I was concerned when I saw that chart.  I purchased her anyway and had her xrayed for OFA when she came.  At 4 yrs of age, she recieved OFA-Good. 


by Louise M. Penery on 20 October 2009 - 09:10

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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 03:23 am

There are other differences regarding the SV's HDZW system.

First, these SV x-rays are done on mostly 12-month-old dogs. In many cases (such as mentioned in an improvement from fast normal to OFA "good") that does not indicate a great inconsistency in the 2 systems. The fact is that a rapidly growing, immature dog x-rayed at a year (and receiving a fast normal rating) can indeed settle in with the greater maturity that comes with OFA x-rays (and be rated as OFA "good") at 24 months or later.

However, something is definitely fishy when one sees an NZ-rated dog (imported to the USA and not known for producing good hips) receive and OFA rating of "excellent".

One must also understand that the SV's system is often skewed and weighted for German dogs against "auslander" dogs by assigning the latter dogs higher ZW scores.

OTH, I have a male (now 11 years old) with a ZW score of 77. When bred to a female with a ZW score of 76, he has produced a daughter (yet to be bred) with an HDZW score of 73. I don't know how that is possible.


by Bob-O on 20 October 2009 - 11:10

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TopDogs, thank you for finding my error. I should have stated that the slim majority is "a" Normal rather than "a" fast Normal. That is what happens when one has two (2) things on his mind as he types. I edited my above statement regarding that error. During the mathematical calculation the "a" fast Normal is an expected rating just as the ZW 100 is an expected score. The long formula is a multi-layered calculus whose purpose is to test the strengths of distribution, hence these factorials have a heavy weight.

Louise, I agree with you as we have noticed that a few dogs have "improved" just because they were older and examined by a different entity. I know we all agree that in most cases hips do not improve with time, but we also know the joint laxity of a young dog is a bit greater than that of an older dog. At least that is what I think can skew the final results a bit. Yes, and I have seen "averaged" ZW scores that did not make complete sense, especially since the ZW of the parents and grandparents did not shift.

The most recent time that I used the S.V. for a hip evaluation I was not surprised. I examined the radiograph with my engineer's eye and decided the hips were a definite O.F.A. "fair" and not O.F.A. "good". I did not expect the "a" Normal rating and the S.V. obviously agreed that the dog's hips were "a" fast Normal.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with "a" fast Normal hips, just as there is nothing wrong with O.F.A. "fair" hips. In the end, the total package of the individual dog and how he improves is what is important. But I will forever avoid dogs that have the "a" noch Zugelassen rating even if they have a low ZW number. That's just my preference.

Best Regards,

by Nans gsd on 20 October 2009 - 14:10

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Here's one for you all;  are the dogs that do not pass OFA or SV;  ones which may be considered mildly dyplastic or worse;  are they born like that?  Has anyone seen the hips of a newborn that are either good or not so good, can you tell at birth?

by dshlerner on 20 October 2009 - 15:10

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Good information!
Louise, if the offspring of your male(HDZW 77) and the female to whom he was bred(HDZW 76) was rated as A Normal,this would explain her HDZW being lower than that of either of her parents. As you know, the offspring of any breeding pair receive a breed value(HDZW) that is the average of both parents. That number gets adjusted based on the hip results of the individual offspring in question. The number is decreased by 4 points if the offspring has A Normal hips,i.e; 77+76/2 =76.5> 77, minus 4 for A Normal= HDZW 73. Hope that explains it.

by Bob-O on 21 October 2009 - 00:10

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Nans gsd, from what I have read in canine medical journals I understand that puppies are born with correct hips. What happens after that is due to genetics. The sockets and femoral heads of each tibia may not develop properly as the puppy matures. I have seen radiographs of young puppies; six-months old, I think; that did not develop pelvic sockets. That is how severe hip dysplasie can be. We know the cause is polygenic, and that makes it virtually impossible at this time to identify all of the genetic markers (and their required combination) that cause this deformity.

The O.F.A. claims it can make a preliminary evaluation as early as nine (9) weeks of age, but they clearly state that such preliminary findings are not 100% a predictor of what the future holds. I seem to remember they stated that a nine-week-old puppy who recieved a finding of O.F.A. "fair" had a 75% chance of achieving that finding again at twenty-four (24) months of age. The other 25% I presume would be classified as borderline or mildly dysplastic.  For a higher rating such as O.F.A. "good" I think the chance was 60% or so. I will not even mention the rating of O.F.A. "excellent" since fewer than 3% of examined GSD's ever get that rating. Essentially, the more mature the puppy is at the time of evaluation tends to make a better prediction of the final result.

The S.V. maintains the idea that as much as 75% of hip dysplasie is caused by environmental factors such as obesity, aggressive growth, aggressive exercise, injury, etc.. Forgive me for being skeptical; I might believe that is true for cases when only one (1) hip is affected (unilateral hip dysplasie) but I do not accept this reasoning when both hips are affected (bilateral hip dysplasie). But again I am not a medical professional, and I have not seen the radiographs from thousands of dogs. I do think one should err on the side of caution and be careful raising a puppy.

I firmly believe that a young puppy who has sound hips (with decent bone structure and minimal laxity) will maintain sound hips, and is less prone to injuries that can occur if the puppy has less than perfect joint conformation. The puppy with less-than-perfect (but still passing) joint conformation may be more susceptable to hip injury and a later finding of dysplasie. But that is an engineer's thought application to this idea.

Good Topic!
(edited - poor grammar!)

by Oskar1 on 22 October 2009 - 07:10

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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 11:26 am

Hi Bob, hope you & your family are well.

As I can agree with most what is said, I would like to add a thought on the ZW. When I decide on a breeding the ZW will play a considerable factor on my decision, but one that will be taken with a grain of salt. It happens all to often that a dog gets x-rayed, the picture gets evaluated by the Vet and owner and they decide NOT to send it in. Therefore this dog, or better the rating of this dog, will not be counted into ZW number of his parents or siblings. So the ZW is NOT the cure it all solution, but for me a good tool, but certainly not the only reason for a breeding.
A Statistic can only be as good as the data used to set up this statistic.

It would be a total different story, if ALL dogs would have to be x-rayed, and the results submitted to the SV for evaluation. We then would get a pretty good idear of what lines to avoid, and that rather quick. But unfortenately, this will be to good to become true, as not all puppy buyers are inclined to have their dogs x-rayed. 


by Bob-O on 22 October 2009 - 11:10

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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 08:24 pm
Hi Ulli! Thank you for the well wishes, and I trust that you and your family are well also. This year we had a wonderful summer that could not last forever, and autumn is now here. All of the dogs have just blown their undercoat to prepare for the new winter undercoat, so we are sweeping a lot of hair.
We are all doing well here - just getting older!  I just sterilized one of my younger females as she has never produced for me. It was not her fault; we have just been so busy the past three-and-one-half (3 1/2) moving and working there has not been time to make a litter the correct way. I do not know when we will ever produce another litter, but I do know this - when I do I must have a new breeding female.

I agree that the failure to obtain all data is the one problem with the ZW - all offspring are not examined or some are examined and the results are never sent to the S.V.. That might tell a very different story for some dogs, and our GSD as a whole. I know the O.F.A. has discussed using a system that is similar to the ZW, but of course it would have the same flaw of limited (and selective) data. I have not heard much about this during the past year, though. I agree that the ZW is but one (1) more tool used to make a breeding decision.

Stateside, the O.F.A. data says that our GSD is making very small but continual improvements with hip dysplasie. Are we really making these small improvements? I hope that we are, and that the gradual shift in the numbers over the past ten (10) years are not just "lucky" numbers. And just like the S.V., the O.F.A. examines only a fraction of the GSD's here. The cost for the veterinarian and the radiographic evaluation ranges from $200.00 to $300,00, so pet owners do not use the O.F.A. services unless they suspect a problem.

Some breeders offer to pay a portion of the O.F.A. costs in order to know more about their puppies. But that is rare, and of course it makes the puppy cost more. The O.F.A. will now make a preliminary evaluation for a very young puppy, but of course we know that this is not a guarantee either, and it costs as much as for a grown dog.

Anyway, again best wishes,

by Oskar1 on 22 October 2009 - 15:10

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I too was thinking of reembursing puppybuyers the cost of screening hipps & ellbows. After putting the numbers together, I sadly had to reevaluate. At the cost of the Vet & the cost of the SV to evaluate the x-rays and putting the stamp into the pedigree, it would have been around 300 €uros (roughly 450$) per pup. Not really an option for me, as breeding and mantaining our dogs does not come for free in our days. And it would only make sense if everybody would do this, to obtain as much data as possible.

As too the screening of very young pups, I doubt that I will do that - to many unknown factors involved at an age of 12-14 weeks. I do prelimps at 6-7 month, not that I think the outcome will give me a 100% peace of mind, but at least one can see if ball & socket are there ! Sometimes you get to see results that are more than less desireble, but at least now you know that this will be not a breeding prospect for you.

Nice thread.

Bob, I sure you will find a nice female one of these days - loking forward to hear that you have a litter on the way. Yup, we are all getting older - even more so I enjoy seeing a new litter fall - nothing better then the smell of a Puppy !
All the Best to you.

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