Many breeds of dog become popular because they have one or two distinct characteristics that people admire and appreciate. But what perhaps sets the German Shepherd apart from other popular breeds is the unique constellation of attributes that these dogs possess. Loyal, loving, tranquil, intelligent, athletic, eager to learn, cheerful, serious, strong, handsome, dignified – these adjectives can all legitimately be used to define the personality of the highly respected and beloved German Shepherd (GSD).
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.
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.