You may have felt that choosing a breed was the biggest decision you had to make before getting a dog. But now that you have made that choice, you are now faced with a more basic decision: do you want a male dog, or a female?
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.
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.